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 four-time residents at Avaloch Music Institute, the Admiral Launch Duo has performed coast-to-coast. Committed to creative scholarship, they have presented at the inaugural Northwestern University New Music Conference (NUNC!), North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, Humanities Education and Research Association Conference, International Harp Festival, and the American Harp Society Summer Institute. They were 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 Negrón. In 2018, they premiered fifteen new works as part of the Vox Novus 15 minutes of Fame project. They also headed a consortium commission for Gregory Wanamaker’s Meditation and Dance. The Admiral Launch Duo enjoys working with students of all ages and has worked with high school students as well as given master classes 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 Spectrum NYC, Center for New Music (San Francisco), Wisteriahurst Museum, 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), CSU East Bay, University of Arizona, and Arizona State University. Awardees of the FRG/Healy Grant, their debut album was released on December 1st, 2018 on Albany Records.
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) has performed over eighty premieres. She embraces firsts; she was the first harpist to be a One Beat Fellow, a fellowship through Found Sound Nation and the U.S. State Department, the first harpist to attend Bang on a Can, Fresh Inc., and Splice summer festivals. She appears on diverse recordings including Sumkali’s Dha Re Dha (American Indian Fusion), Steve Horowitz’s Entertainment Tonight (new music), and Launch (harp and saxophone duets). Her passion for composer education has led her to provide workshops for composers at institutions including University of California Davis, Cal State University Sacramento, Bowling Green State University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Miami University, University of Hartford, University of Michigan, Cleveland State University, and University of North Carolina Greensboro. Her articles appear in Harp Column Magazine and The American Harp Journal, where she now serves on the editorial board. She was a 2017-2018 Artist-In-Residence at UC Davis, faculty at the 2018 Nief Norf Summer Institute, and currently teaches for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. www.harpellis.com
Saxophonist Jonathan Hulting-Cohen appears regularly as concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He has premiered three saxophone concertos and performed standards with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony, Adrian Symphony Orchestra (MI), and Sequoia Symphony Orchestra (CA). He presented solo recitals in Strasbourg, France, Mississippi University for Women, and the Edinburgh (Scotland) Fringe Festival, and performed chamber music with David Shifrin at Chamber Music Northwest and under John Adams and David Robertson at Carnegie Hall. With the Admiral Launch Duo, Hulting-Cohen commissioned and premiered nationwide ten works for harp and saxophone, which are featured on their 2018 release on Albany Records. Co-founder of The Moanin’ Frogs saxophone sextet, he performs internationally and maintains a visible profile in popular chamber music. Their debut album was released on Teal Creek Music in 2017. Jonathan Hulting-Cohen earned his BM and MM under Donald Sinta at the University of Michigan and is a Conn-Selmer and D’Addario Woodwinds Artist. He is Assistant Professor of Saxophone at University of Massachusetts Amherst. www.jonathanhultingcohen.com