Tenor, alto, and soprano saxophone player Elias Haslanger grew up during the 1980s in the Austin, Texas, area, listening to the sounds of the Marsalis brothers and other young jazz players like Mark Whitfield and Roy Hargrove.
In sixth grade, Haslanger picked up the saxophone, and by the time he was in high school, he was playing gigs around the Austin and San Antonio area. After attending the University of Texas at Austin and studying with renowned saxophone teacher Harvey Pittel, Haslanger attended the Manhattan School of Music and later Southwest Texas State University, during which time he received the Downbeat Student Music Award for College Outstanding Tenor Saxophone Performance. Haslanger's 1994 debut album Standards is a collection of straight-ahead bop and swing tunes featuring a team of top Austin area musicians. Haslanger has continued recording in a similar vein: 1998's Kicks Are for Kids features Haslanger with a team of stellar sidemen including famed pianist Ellis Marsalis, drummer J.J. Johnson, and Edwin Livingston on bass. Haslanger tours widely and is a frequent guest on the jazz festival circuit, with yearly appearances at the North Sea and Montreux Jazz Festivals in the Netherlands and Switzerland, respectively. ~ Alex Arcone, Rovi