Allan Chase

Jazz Saxophonist, Composer, Educator

Allan Chase is a jazz saxophonist, composer, and college educator. He has performed jazz and improvised music since 1974 with his own groups and as a member of the Lewis Nash-Allan Chase Duo (1979-80), Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet (1981-present), Prima Materia with Rashied Ali (1992-2000), the Steve Lantner Quartet with Joe Morris and Luther Gray (2002-present), the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, the Bruno Råberg Quartet, Ra Kalam Bob Moses, and many other groups. He appears as a soloist on over fifty jazz and improvised music recordings, a few rock and classical recordings, and several movie scores. He has released two CDs as a leader, Dark Clouds with Silver Linings (with Ron Horton, Tony Scherr, and Matt Wilson) and Phoenix (with Ron Horton, Adam Kolker, David Finck, and Lewis Nash).

Since 2008, Chase has chaired the Ear Training department at Berklee College of Music, and he works with the students of the Global Jazz Institute at Berklee. He has taught a wide range of college courses in jazz history, transcription and analysis, ear training, harmony, counterpoint, music theory, jazz composition and arranging, ensembles, and private lessons in saxophone and improvisation.

He has taught at Berklee’s Valencia (Spain) Summer Performance Program in July of 2014-18, and will lead the Interlochen Summer Jazz program in June and July 2019.

Allan Chase was born in Willimantic, Connecticut in 1956, grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and has lived in the Boston area since 1980, except for six years spent in Brooklyn, NY (1990-96).

He studied music theory and composition at Arizona State University (BM 1978) and ethnomusicology at Tufts University (MA 1992), where he wrote a book-length thesis on the music of Sun Ra. He also did graduate study in music theory and jazz at New England Conservatory (1980-81) and studied new music improvisation in two summer programs at the Creative Music Studio with Roscoe Mitchell, Karl Berger, George Lewis, Anthony Braxton, Jerome Cooper, Leo Smith, and others (1978 and ‘79).

He began his teaching career at Berklee in 1981, and has also taught at Tufts University (1993-7) and New England Conservatory (1994- 2012), where he served as chair of jazz studies, chair of contemporary improvisation, and dean of faculty.

Long bio:




Courses taught, 1981-present:

Other people named Allan, Alan, Allen Chase

Berklee Oral History Project Interviews, 2009

A long, detailed personal musical memoir with pictures and audio: coming soon — watch this space for a link.


Photographer: Geoff Adams