Hailed by the New York Times as “a tenor saxophonist with an enigmatic, elegant and hard-driving style,” JD Allen is a bright light on today’s international jazz scene, with 14 albums as a leader to his credit. His unique and compelling voice on the instrument – the result of a patient and painstaking confrontation with the fundamentals of the art – has earned Allen years of critical attention signaling his ascension to the upper ranks of the contemporary jazz world. Originally from Detroit, Allen’s apprenticeship, anchored by his lengthy tenure with Betty Carter, occurred largely in New York, where he worked with legends Lester Bowie, George Cables, Ron Carter, Louis Hayes, Frank Foster Big Band, Winard Harper, Dave Douglas, Cindy Blackman, Butch Morris, David Murray, Wallace Roney, Rufus Reid and Geri Allen. Allen’s most recent album, “Toys / Die Dreaming” (Savant), extends his singular and well-honed approach to the trio. His solo saxophone release, “Queen City,” will be released in 2021. Off the bandstand, Allen is a compelling educator and activist. He is a founder of We Insist!, a nonprofit jazz and Black arts action community and their sister organization, We up - Re up, a collective of jazz musicians whose primary goal is to foster jazz performance curating opportunities within non-traditional inner city and rural performance settings.