Saxophonist, composer, and arranger Brian McCarthy draws inspiration from the history of jazz while maintaining a modern awareness. His latest nonet album AFTER|LIFE, was awarded 4 stars by The Times (London) critic, Chris Pearson. Pearson says, “Imagine John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme driven by science rather than spirituality…While Coltrane praised God, McCarthy muses musically on death and rebirth in a cyclical cosmos and how we are all linked, down to a molecular level.” His debut nonet project, The Better Angels of Our Nature, earned 4 ½ stars from Downbeat Magazine. Brian Zimmerman called the work “a jazz album that makes a cavernous impression for its arresting beauty and conceptual brilliance.” McCarthy is endorsed by Selmer-Paris saxophones and D’Addario Woodwinds. He has released two albums featuring his small group and has recently introduced The Brian McCarthy Jazz Orchestra, which showcases new arrangements for guest artists. McCarthy is a two-time grant awardee from The Vermont Community Foundation (2016 & 2018) and The Vermont Arts Council (2015 & 2020).
Offstage, Brian has laid down roots in presenting and education as Affiliate Artist of Saxophone at the University of Vermont and adjunct Director of Bands at Saint Michael's College. In addition to his college involvement, Brian is active with students at the middle and high school level as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor with the Nassau County All County Festival, Green Mountain District Music Festival, Pennsylvania All-State Music Festival, and Vermont All-State Music Festival. In 2011, Brian also established Jazz at St. Michael’s College, a concert and educational series featuring artists such as Mulgrew Miller, Joe Locke, Brian Blade and The Fellowship Band, and The Dave Liebman Big Band.