Saxophonist and composer Spenser Liszt unleashes genre-bending sounds that sparkle with his deep reverence for the tradition of lush, intricate classical compositions and the carefree, collaborative spirit of jazz and hip-hop. Well-versed in every type of saxophone (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and doubles), his imaginative work displays his solid foundation in theory, drive to experiment with technique and his talent for making infectious music in the moment that springs equally from his mind and from his heart. His appetite for exploring every possible musical avenue without limits gives his performances and recordings profound dimension and is the reason Liszt is in such demand as a creative partner and a soloist.
Liszt studied classical saxophone with Don Fabian at Southern Methodist University and jazz with trumpeter Akira Sato. He holds a Master of Music in jazz studies from the University of North Texas under the apprenticeship of Brad Leali. His work ethic and passion for collaboration has led him to perform and record with many groundbreaking artists, including Aretha Franklin, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, The Temptations, Miles Okazaki, John Clayton, Terrell Stafford, Peter Erskine, Frank Wess, Wayne Bergeron, Dennis DiBlasio, Shelley Carrol, Roger Boykin, Lars Jansson, Stefan Karlsson, Steve Wiest, Frank Mantooth and the renowned nu metal band Korn. He has toured as the baritone saxophonist with UNT’s Grammy-nominated world-renowned One O’clock Lab Band and was featured on their releases Lab 2013 and Lab 2012.
In 2015, Liszt was part of a Kickstarter endeavor called “Strange Monsters,” a CD that presents short fiction and poetry read by actors set to original music. Most recently, he finished recording on Keith Karns Big Band’s album alongside legendary saxophonist Rich Perry and on an album with new alt-rock super group Banquet (with members of Midlake, Grandaddy, Band of Horses and Franz Ferdinand), both of which will release in 2016.
Liszt is also proficient on bass clarinet, clarinet, bassoon and flute. His approach to all instruments is rooted in Sonny Rollins’ concept of mixing pure improvisation with impeccable sight-reading ability. He leads his own Dallas-based band, founded on his playing approach mixed with his belief in organic composition. His debut album, Until Further Notice was released on Armored Records in January 2014. Liszt’s second album, Patience will be available in Winter 2016. The recording has him surveying new territory and instrumentation, including opera singers, string orchestras, hand bells/chimes and much more.