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Saxophonist, flutist, and composer Laura Dreyer is a vibrant, creative voice in the New York jazz scene.

Her catchy original compositions combine lyrical melodies with jazz, Brazilian rhythms, funk, and rock, resulting in an exciting, contemporary palette of sound with a strong rhythmic twist.

A multi-instrumentalist, Dreyer performs both nationally and internationally with her Brazilian Jazz ensemble, “Laura Dreyer and the Manhattan/Rio Connection,” while additionally being in great demand as a side-person.

Audiences have heard her in the bands of such diverse artists as Dr. Billy Taylor, Dom Salvador, Helcio Milito, Portinho, Bossa PDX, Walter Bishop Jr., Mel Lewis, Robert Palmer, Nnenna Freelon, saxophonist/author James McBride, “The Diva Jazz Orchestra, and many others.

Laura has recorded four CDs as a leader/producer, including Mysterious Encounter (Lavasphere), Free Flying Bird (Sony/Piloo), and Sax in the City (Apria), and Vida. Arte. Amor. (Mayimba Jazz). She is also featured on acclaimed Brazilian pianist Dom Salvador’s newest release, The Art of Samba Jazz, which received a Premio da Musica Brasileira award for Best Instrumental CD.

Laura attended The Berklee College of Music in Boston, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music form SUNY Empire State College. She has additionally studied with saxophonists Joe Henderson and Joe Lovano, and composers Lyle Mays and Jim McNeely. She is active as a music educator, having served on the faculties of the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Clinics, Cazadero Music and Arts Camp, Jazz Camp West, and the New York Pops Salute to Music Program.

She was a featured performer and educator in Busan, South Korea at The Friends of Music in Korea Music Festival, and is currently on the faculty of Village Community School, Riverdale Country School, and The New York POPS PopsEd program.

Laura regularly conducts clinics and workshops at high schools and colleges which have included Berklee College of Music, The University of Reno, Nevada, Portland State University, The Jazz Improv Convention, and The California Jazz Conservatory.

In this episode, we talked about:

  • Laura’s experience being one of the original band members in the Diva Jazz Orchestra
  • Being a female jazz player; the differences from the ‘90’s – now
  • How to decide on your “look”
  • Preparing for jam sessions; 5 tunes you should know and her mindset tips
  • Lead alto saxophone responsibilities in a big band
  • Tips for authentically performing and composing Brazilian music
  • Essential Brazilian musicians you should know (and Laura provided us with a free pdf!)
  •  and a lot more!








You can watch the video of this interview HERE

Laura’s List of Essential Brazilian Musicians