The Admiral Launch Duo explores new sounds for harp and saxophone. Equally at home in acoustic and electroacoustic settings, saxophonist Jonathan Hulting-Cohen and harpist Jennifer R. Ellis have developed their repertoire through ground-breaking commissions, unexpected transcriptions, and improvisation. They have collaborated with composers including Angélica Negrón, Dylan Arthur Baker, Matthew Browne, Christine Hedden, Jasper Alice Kaye, Natalie Moller, Patrick O’Malley, and Stephen J. Rush. Fresh Inc. Festival alumni and three-time residents at Avaloch Music Institute, the Admiral Launch Duo has performed nationally. Committed to creative scholarship, they have presented at the inaugural Northwestern University New Music Conference (NUNC!), North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, and the Humanities Education and Research Association Conference. They are upcoming performers and clinicians at the International Harp Festival and the American Harp Society Summer Institute. They are 2016-2017 fellows of the UMass Interdisciplinary Studies Institute, exploring musical themes of trespass and premiering a piece they commissioned for harp, saxophone and electronics by Angélica Negron. The Admiral Launch Duo enjoys working with students of all ages and has worked with high school students on both coasts of the United States as well as given masterclasses at University of Arizona, Michigan State University, and Schenectady County Community College. They take a comprehensive and versatile approach to community engagement, collaborating with the Cal State East Bay Aphasia choir, University of Michigan Social Justice Art Festival, UM-CAPS Suicide Prevention event, and The Friendly Kitchen, a soup kitchen in Concord, New Hampshire. Past appearances include performances at Center for New Music (San Francisco), Michigan State University, The Hartt School, Kerrytown Concert House (Ann Arbor, MI), Schenectady County Community College Chamber Music Series, UMass Amherst, Listening to Ladies Concert Series at Kalamazoo Piano Company, Harps Etc. (Walnut Creek, CA). As recent awardees of the FRG/Healy Grant, their debut album will be released late 2017. Next season, they will premiere fifteen short premieres in collaboration with Vox Novus.
Committed to pushing the boundaries of harp performance, Jennifer R. Ellis (D.M.A. University of Michigan, M.M. Cleveland Institute of Music, B.M. Oberlin) is the first harpist to attend the Bang on a Can, Fresh Inc., and Splice summer festivals. She has performed over fifty premieres and played with Britten Pears, Spark Festival, American Wind Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra Institute, and Texas Music Festival. She has received the Alice Chalifoux Prize, Rackham Centennial and Graduate fellowships, AT&T Foundation and Conservatory Deans’ scholarships, and holds prizes in the Ann Arbor Society for Musical Arts, Coeur d’Alene Young Artists, LMC of Seattle, and Inez Stafford competitions. She has published in The American Harp Journal and Harp Column Magazine and teaches harp and eurhythmics. An inaugural UM Engaged Pedagogy Initiative Fellow, Ms. Ellis trained in community-based learning and collaborates on a variety of community engagement projects. She is an in-demand clinician and has given over a dozen university masterclasses/guest workshops in 2015-2016. www.harpellis.com
“Impressive” with “exceptional facility” (Schenectady Daily Gazette), Jonathan Hulting-Cohen’s refined and compelling saxophone playing has been heard worldwide. As a soloist, he has performed with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony and Tulare County Symphony Orchestra, and in recitals across the US and France. His nouveau-vaudeville saxophone sextet, The Moanin’ Frogs, has appeared nationwide in concert and on television, including at The Kennedy Center, Texas Bandmaster’s Association Conference, and in Strasbourg, France. His harp-saxophone duo, Admiral Launch, has toured coast-to-coast and recorded for NAXOS. He studied Carnatic music in India, and premiered his film, Silence, at the World Saxophone Congress in 2015. Jonathan is Assistant Professor of Saxophone at University of Massachusetts Amherst. He earned his BM and MM under Donald Sinta at the University of Michigan. Jonathan is a Conn-Selmer and D’Addario Woodwinds Artist, performing on Selmer (Paris) saxophones and D’Addario Reserve reeds.