Alex Hahn Takes Top Honors at Inaugural Michael Brecker Competition in Israel


Los Angeles-based Alex Hahn performs at the first Michael Brecker International Saxophone Competition, which was held at the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eliat, Israel.

(Photo: Odasan Macovich)

Los Angeles-based Alex Hahn took top honors on Monday at the inaugural edition of the Michael Brecker International Saxophone Competition, which was held at the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eliat, Israel.

Named for the innovative saxophonist and DownBeat Hall of Famer who died in 2007, the competition aims to manifest Brecker’s “spirit and influence” in subsequent generations of jazz players while bolstering young, new talent, according to a press release.

Judges in the final round were Ron Carter, Kenny Garrett, Donny McCaslin and Eli Degibri, artistic director of the Red Sea festival.

“Michael was always supportive of young saxophonists and would have been delighted and humbled,” Susan Brecker, co-founder of the competition and Michael’s widow, said about the event.

Hahn was awarded $12,500; for second place, Miami-based Alex Weitz was awarded $7,500; and for third place, Boston-based Artem Badenko was awarded $2,500.

Semi-finalists also included Niall Cade, Nathan Bellott, Sheridan Hitchcock, Sean Payne and Daniel Varga.

For additional information about the event, visit the Michael Brecker International Saxophone Competition homepage. DB

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