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If you’re ever in New York City, stop by the Jazz at the Kitano nightclub. That’s where you’ll find former AYWS alto saxophonist Adam Hutcheson performing regularly.

“I love New York because the combination of world-class talent and cutthroat competition has pushed me to continue practicing hard to take my playing to the next level,” he says. In addition to performing, he also teaches at the Harrison School of Music and maintains a private music studio in Manhattan.

Adam is no stranger to the Big Apple, having performed at Carnegie Hall as a member of the AYWS.

“Typically, only musicians that have truly ‘made it’ get to perform at Carnegie and on national radio,” he says. “We got to do it as high school kids!”

Adam believes that part of what made his AYWS experience so great was that he was able to travel several times to perform outside of Atlanta. “The AYWS needs funding to continue performing in different cities across the country to let the rest of the U.S. know that there is a top-notch wind ensemble based in Atlanta,” he says proudly. “Not only is traveling memorable for the students, but it also keeps Atlanta relevant as an arts city.”

And that relevance is becoming increasingly important. “We unfortunately live in a world where nearly all music being put out on the radio is electronically produced and real instruments are being replaced by computers,” Adam explains. “Keeping the arts alive means putting real instruments in real people's hands and getting the public's ears to pay attention to what real music is supposed to sound like.”

After his time in AYWS, Adam played play lead alto in the Grammy-nominated University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band, performing in London, Dublin, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. He was also a two-time finalist at the North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Competition and won several Downbeat Magazine student awards. 

After college, he recorded his debut album, entitled Dreaming is Free, and has also been a sideman on many other jazz albums. More recently, he has played play shows with some of his musical heroes, such as master drummers Victor Lewis and Mike Clark.

If you're a jazz fan or would like to learn more about Adam, follow him on Instagram (@ahutch727) for regular posts and videos from recent performances.