About Ethan Helm


New York-based saxophonist and composer Ethan Helm works in contemporary jazz, classical, and other genres. The diverse musical influences in his work shine an imaginative light on swing, blues, and improvisation, pushing the jazz tradition into new and mysterious places. Ethan leads the genre-hopping quintet “Cowboys & Frenchmen,” with whom he has released three albums on the Outside in Music record label, garnering frequent radio play and a four-star review in Downbeat Magazine, as well as two U.S. tours. He has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz Festival, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and throughout the United States and Canada with Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project and Brad Shepik’s Balkan Peppers. Ethan composes and arranges for jazz ensembles (Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Shrine Big Band, Air Forces in Europe Band) and orchestras (American Composers Orchestra, The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew's), and writes music for dance and film. He was a featured presenter at the 2016 North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, performing his piece “Paul Desmond’s Sound” with the Texas Tech University Jazz Ensemble, and is also the author of Patterns for Creative Improvisation, Volumes I and II. (2020, 2023). Ethan grew up in a musical family in Southern California, holds degrees from Eastman School of Music (BM) and New York University (MM, PhD), where he is an adjunct faculty member.

Posts by Ethan Helm: