As a young emerging saxophonist, Braxton Cook has already garnered several honors and accolades. While in high school, he had been honored to be one of 30 other high school musicians selected from a nationwide competition to participate in the 2009 Grammy Jazz ensemble, held during the same week as the Grammy Awards. Braxton had also been accepted into the Vail Jazz Workshop, a select group of musicians nationwide, where he studied with Jeff Clayton, John Clayton, Bill Cunliffe, Terrell Stafford and Lewis Nash. Shortly thereafter, he won a Gold medal in the 2009 National ACT-SO competition sponsored by the NAACP. During his freshman year at Georgetown University, Braxton was selected as NFAA's 2010 YoungARTS Finalist and participated in a fully-paid expense week in Miami, Florida with 150 other Finalists. While there, he received the Silver Medal and was selected to participate in another YoungARTS week in New York with other Silver and Gold Medalists.
In the Fall of 2011, Braxton transferred from Georgetown University, where he studied English, to the prestigious Juilliard School on the Illinois Jacquet Scholarship to hone his skills as a jazz saxophonist. Since his transition, he was fortunate to share the stage with Wynton Marsalis, Jon Batiste and Christian Scott. Most recently, Braxton became the newest member of trumpeter Christian Scott's band. He toured nationally with his group and in the Fall of 2012 went on a 3 week international tour with the Christian Scott Sextet as well. This allowed him to see the world for the fist time and gave him an invaluable learning experience. He was also selected as a semi-finalist in the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition, the most prestigious and competitive jazz competition in the world.
On January 23, 2014, Cook released his innovative EP entitled Sketch. This EP is five tracks of soulful, contemporary jazz, with an R&B twist. The product of an academic household, intellectual curiosity has always impacted the way Cook approaches life and music. With southern family roots, blues, gospel, and soul have played a large role in his upbringing, and this is reflected in his new EP that merges prophetic thought, personal spirituality, and an emotion-filled music assessable to all. “I want people to feel something, when they hear my music,” Cook says. I want people to understand the elasticity of jazz and how it incorporates elements of other musical styles, while still maintaining its inherent qualities.”
In his remaining years at The Juilliard School, Braxton will continue to study music privately with his private teachers Ron Blake and Steve Wilson. In addition, he hopes to continue performing regularly with the Christian Scott Sextet as well as his with his own quartet.
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