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About Keshavan Maslak

An eccentric, avant-gardish saxophonist who undertakes to actually entertain rather than alienate, Keshavan Maslak is a second-generation American of Ukrainian ancestry. Maslak grew up in Detroit. His musically inclined grandfather introduced him to music via Eastern European folk and classical forms. Maslak began studying at age six. His first paying gig at age 12 was playing polkas and mazurkas to members of the immigrant Slavic community in Detroit. As a high-school student, Maslak developed an affinity for jazz and Motown-style R&B. He attended college, first at the University of Michigan and then at North Texas State University, where he played in that school's prestigious Lab bands. Maslak studied classical sax technique with the renowned teachers Larry Teal and Donald Sinta and composition with Martin Mailman. After college in the late '60s, Maslak spent time on the road with a Motown Records revue. He moved to San Francisco, where he studied yoga for a time and played with drummer (and former Ornette Coleman sideman) Charles Moffett, who exerted a strong influence on Maslak. He then moved to New York, where he became involved with various experimental music. In the '70s, he played with Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson and became involved with free jazz. In 1978 he moved to Europe, where he lived for four years. Based in Amsterdam, he worked regularly on the continent and recorded for small labels. In 1981 he formed Loved by Millions -- a sort of free jazz/R&B fusion group -- and adopted the pseudonym Kenny Millions. Maslak moved back to New York in 1982. In 1986, he relocated to Florida, where he eventually opened a sushi restaurant with his wife, Junko Maslak. He has continued to record; his several most recent recordings have been made for his own HUM HA label. Over the years, Maslak has acquired an impressive list of musical associates, including Paul Bley, Sam Rivers, Sunny Murray, Han Bennink, and Chet Baker, among many others. ~ Chris Kelsey

    Detroit, MI
  • BORN
    26 Feb 1947

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