Respected baritone saxophonist, composer and bandleader B.J. Jansen is back with “Common Ground”, his tenth project as a leader.
Over the course of a dozen carefully chosen selections, the appropriately titled “Common Ground” Featuring: Delfeayo Marsalis, Ralph Peterson, Duane Eubanks, Zaccai Curtis, and Dezron Douglas, aims to explore the musical commonalities among six musical titans who each bring with them their diverse backgrounds and distinctive musical legacies. “We had a common interest in keeping with the tradition while still pushing the boundaries,” says Jansen.
On “Common Ground”, this musical melting pot gives way to an eclectic program that offers a little something for everybody. “When I wrote the music, I made sure there was something for each musician to latch on to,” says Jansen. For the album’s two-day recording session last summer, Jansen’s approach was decidedly “hands off” as he allowed each musician to find their own groove.
With “Common Ground” clocking in as project number 10 for the 36 year old, it can surely be considered something of a milestone- one that is
commemorated with an all-star band. In addition, “Common Ground” also speaks to Jansen’s tenacity to keep making music even when the current climate doesn’t make it so easy to do so. Ralph Peterson recalls: “The first thing I noticed about B.J. was his hustle game. He’s quite the hustler and I respect that.” With the superb “Common Ground”, it seems that Jansen’s relentless hustle might just be paying off.
B.J. Jansen, born in Cincinnati, has established himself as a charismatic and dynamic performer, composer, bandleader and educator on and off the stage. B.J.’s journey in music began at age 10 when his father bought him an Alto Saxophone and gave him recordings of Gerry Mulligan and Charlie Parker. He later found his true voice on the Baritone Saxophone while performing in various college ensembles.
His musical journey took him from the Midwest to the East Coast when he relocated to Philadelphia in 2004. It was in Philadelphia that he found the, “heart beat”, of Jazz. He spent three years learning on the streets of Philadelphia before relocating yet again to New York City in 2007.
In New York City, B.J. has had the opportunity to learn from and perform with some of the greatest living musicians today. He continues to forge his own artistic path on the hallowed grounds of Jazz in New York. He has recorded multiple albums as a leader and led ensembles in many of the most respected Jazz venues in the City.
The life-long study of Music has taught B.J. many lessons about art and life. Realizing the importance of giving back, B.J. hopes to continue to form alliances to improve the lives of people through music.
B.J. holds an MBA in Music Management from the William Paterson University of New Jersey and a BA in Jazz Studies from the University of Louisville, School of Music.
In February of 2010, B.J. joined the Artists Recording Collective (ARC) label. In 2012, B.J. Jansen also became an Endorsing Artist for Yanagisawa Saxophones of Japan and Harry Hartmann’s Fiberreed of Germany. In 2016, Janse has become an Endorser for Ligaphone Paris.