Shawn Maxwell’s New Tomorrow Quintet
Shawn Maxwell – alto saxophone/flute
Victor Garcia – trumpet
Matt Nelson – piano/rhodes
Junius Paul – bass
Phil Beale – drums
To a remarkable degree, Shawn Maxwell has the urge—a quality fundamental to those who create improvised music on a nightly basis. In this way, it is not enough to simply create, but the need to innovate that guides each note. His art lies in addressing the ordinary modalities of life in an extraordinary way, placing notes in their most complimentary places with precision and enthusiasm. Of course, there’s the way he plays. Maxwell’s style was built around swelling harmonic runs while painting complex melodies across an expansive canvas. Each harmony he creates is purposeful in form as well as function.
By all accounts, Shawn Maxwell formed his style early on the tough and tumultuous streets of Joliet, Illinois. From the time a saxophone first touched his lips, Maxwell knew that music was his calling. With conviction and abilities that belied his age, it was equally clear to others that Shawn Maxwell was destined to be a musician. He quickly became a celebrated performer in the Joliet Central High School band program where his prowess as a soloist was on regular display. Shawn further refined his art in a post-secondary setting, absorbing all that his instructors could teach – earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Millikin University in 1999. Shawn then signed with the prestigious and legendary Conn-Selmer Company to join their Performance and Educational Artist Roster.
After starting his professional career touring Internationally, across the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, Maxwell returned home to conquer the Windy City. With equal parts genius and toil, Maxwell has become one the preeminent performers in the Chicago jazz landscape. His multi-instrumental talents have been lauded by fellow musicians and critics alike.