“Evan has a distinctive style on both his chosen instruments, on which he offers appealing sounds, fluent command, and that often elusive thing called swing. His singing is gratifyingly unaffected and unpretentious, adding a personal and natural ‘extra’.”
Dan Morgenstern, NEA Jazz Master

“[A]rtists like Evan Arntzen represent a new generation of musicians exploring the [clarinet’s] possibilities… Evan presents an effortlessly fluid and lyrical approach in his playing that could convince even the most ardent hard-bop enthusiast to reappraise the sounds of Jimmie Noone or Buster Bailey.”
Seton Hawkins, Jazz Scholar

Evan Arntzen was born and raised in East Vancouver, Canada, about as far away from New Orleans as one can be, and yet it is the music of the Crescent City that sparked Evan’s musical journey. A third generation musician, Evan began learning New-Orleans-style clarinet from his grandfather, Lloyd Arntzen, at the age of seven. The first melodies he learned to play were blues, all from great Black American composers, such as Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton. 

Evan discovered the tenor saxophone at thirteen and rapidly expanded his musical vocabulary, eventually graduating from the jazz program at Capilano University in Vancouver with a degree in saxophone performance.

Since moving to NYC in 2014, Evan has performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Cafe Bohemia, Birdland, Town Hall, Mezzrow, Smalls, Symphony Space, as well as festivals and venues around the world. He holds the lead saxophone chair in Grammy® Winning Vince-Giordano’s Nighthawks, and performs regularly with Catherine Russell, Jon-Erik Kellso and The EarRegulars. Evan is featured on notable recordings by Bria Skonberg (Sony Masterworks), Kat Edmonson, Loudon Wainwright III, and the award-winning soundtracks for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Bessie. He has also released three critically-acclaimed albums as a leader: Evan Arntzen meets La Section Rythmique (2018), Jazz Crush (2019), and 2021’s Countermelody (Dot Time Records), which was produced by Scout Opatut (4/4 Creative).

Evan has been fortunate to perform and record with a long list of US, Canadian and International Artists, including: Scott Robinson, Wycliffe Gordon, Jason Marsalis, Ken Peplowski, Houston Person, Evan Christopher, Ingrid Jensen, the late Eddy Davis, Harry Allen, Corcoran Holt, Jerome Jennings, Terry Waldo, Warren Vaché, the late Ross Taggart, PJ Perry, Terry Clarke, Brad Turner, Dave Robbins, his parents (Tom and Georgina Arntzen), and Elmo. He performed in a very shiny gold lamé blazer at the 2010 Paralympic Opening Ceremonies for a live audience of 50,000 people and broadcast across the globe. He wore nothing remarkable when he performed in Michael Bublé’s 2012 and 2013 Christmas Specials. In 2017, Evan musically directed Jazz at Lincoln Center’s  “Jazz for Young People” program on Louis Armstrong in the Rose Theater. 

In addition to performing and recording, Evan is a passionate educator, and teaches Jazz and Woodwinds at Harlem School of the Arts..

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Countermelody (feat. Catherine Russell) – Dot Time Records, 2021

          – Singles: Muskrat Ramble (feat. Catherine Russell) & Bu’s March

Jazz Crush (feat. Jon-Erik Kellso) – 2019

Evan Arntzen meets La Section Rhythmique – 2018

– Blackstick (feat. Evan’s Grandfather, Lloyd Arntzen) – 2013


Purchase Evan’s music in the online store.


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  1. Bu's March
  2. Smiles
  3. Bunty
  4. Disconnected Papa
  5. Ballin' the Jack

Countermelody 2021, Dot Time Records – 2021
Evan Arntzen (reeds/vocals), Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Mike Davis (trumpet), Charlie Halloran (trombone), Dalton Ridenhour (piano), Arnt Arntzen (guitar/banjo), Tal Ronen (bass), Mark McLean (drums), Catherine Russell (vocals)

Produced by Scout Opatut

Jazz Crush (featuring Jon-Erik Kellso) – 2019
Evan Arntzen (reeds/vocals), Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Dalton Ridenhour (piano), Tal Ronen (bass), Kevin Dorn (drums), Harvey Tibbs (trombone), Jerron Paxton (banjo), Vince Giordano (guitar & tuba), Mara Kaye (vocals).

Produced by Scout Opatut

Evan Arntzen Meets La Section Rythmique – 2018
Evan Arntzen (reeds/vocals), Dave Blenkhorn (guitar), Sebastien Girardot (double bass), Guillaume Nouaux (drums)

Blackstick (featuring Lloyd Arntzen) – 2013
Evan Arntzen (reeds/vocals), Lloyd Arntzen (reeds/vocals), Arnt Arntzen (guitar/banjo/vocals), Don Ogilvie (guitar), Jen Hodge (bass), Benji Bohannon (drums)

Albums Available Now
Purchase a high quality digital album, or a hard copy from Bandcamp.

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After You’ve Gone (Feat. Catherine Russell)
Muskrat Ramble (Feat. Catherine Russell)
Evan Arntzen : Solitarity
Countermelody Release
After You’ve Gone (Feat. Catherine Russell)
Muskrat Ramble (Feat. Catherine Russell)
Evan Arntsen : Solitarity
Countermelody Release

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If you would like to stay up to date with Evan’s concerts, you can easily track him via BandsInTown to receive concert, live stream and tour updates. Click here to visit BandsInTown.

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Join my teaching studio! Lessons available in-person and online.

I can help guide you on a variety of topics:

– Clarinet (all levels)
– Saxophone (all levels)
– Flute (beginner & intermediate levels)
– Beginner piano
– Jazz theory

– Ear training & listening skills
– Improvisation
– Reading music
– Composition
– Building your repertoire

I’ve been fortunate to have some great teachers in my life so far, and I love passing on the joys of making music to my students. I have more than 15 years experience teaching students as young as 5 or as old as 80. I’m also currently on faculty at Harlem School of the Arts, where I teach private lessons and beginner & intermediate Jazz Band. My teaching style is fun and focused. Whether your goal is to play professionally or just for your own enjoyment, I plan lessons for each individual student in order to achieve the best results from the musical process.


“Evan’s the real deal. I came back to the clarinet and saxes after a 30-year hiatus and had a rocky restart, but since working with Evan, my playing has improved by leaps. He makes lessons fun, but challenging, and I saw real improvement in my playing almost immediately. I enthusiastically recommend him for anyone of any skill level, from beginners to advanced players looking to sharpen their skills.” John Bianchi, Manhattan

“Mr. Evan has taken the time to teach me the necessary basics of the saxophone that I needed and his approach is very fun and it motivates you to practice. He has taught me many techniques which he went through with me and also given me songs to learn which I played for an audition to get into the University of Trinidad and Tobago and succeeded. I am really thankful for the time he spent teaching me as I believe he is one of the reasons I am in university today.” Chavez Benjamin, Harlem

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