- Teaches students:
- and Ages 5+
- Teaching since:
Max Bessesen is a performer, teacher and composer based in Chicago, IL. His skills as a saxophonist and woodwind doubler have taken him across North America, Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia and earned him awards from organizations including Downbeat Jazz Magazine, the US Embassy and the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund. The first jazz musician ever to receive a grant from the Beebe Fund, Max spent 2016 in Chennai, India researching the rigorous and systematic South Indian Classical system and applying this knowledge to the music of the African Diaspora.
Max has had the pleasure of preforming with such jazz icons as Ingrid Jensen, Ambrose Akinmusire, Dayna Stephens, Billy Drewes, Abraham Laboriel, and Allison Miller among others. In addition to his jazz work Max has recorded and performed with musicians from the pop and world music realms including The Fray, Simone Shaheen, and Gonzalo Grau. Max currently holds degrees in Jazz Saxophone Performance and Law & Society from Oberlin where he studied with Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, and Billy Hart. He performs regularly with his working band Echoes.
Very patient instructor.
I learned a great deal about playing alto sax from Max. He was serious about helping me grow my skill with the instrument, while making the learning enjoyable. One only needs to hear him play to realize what talent he possesses. He is very encouraging and motivated to help beginners, young and old, master the sax. Trained at the Oberlin Conservatory, with years of performance history, I felt that I was studying with one of best teachers, at such a reasonable rate.+ Read More
I took lessons with Max in the summer of 2014 and 2015 and learning and hanging from Max has been one of the main reasons I decided to dedicate my life to working on music. He challenged me with life and music concepts that have been a big part of my life. Max was extremely committed to our lessons. For example, I would pick a transcription for both of us to learn and we would play it together and he would help me with certain rough spots, break it down and talk about the history. I've never had a teacher do that for me before. Max gave me essential information in a very open and informative way and was very down to earth and friendly in the way he taught. I flourish when the people I study with are open to work on what interests me and give me essential things to work on that I haven't been thinking about. If I wanted to work on Katy Perry songs, he would take me seriously and do whatever he could to help me play Katy Perry songs. Too often teachers assume I know things, but he was very thorough and made sure I had everything I needed. Max showed up on time to every lesson and was the type of teacher that was so invested in helping me that he wouldn't be looking at the clock every five minutes. My brother was on the ultimate frisbee team at my high school as a freshman when Max was a Senior. My brother told me that Max was a role model and inspired him to be on the ultimate frisbee team at his college. That makes two of us. Max was one of the key people in my high school years who inspired me to pursue my passion. Studying with Max has made me a deeper, more creative, and more down to earth person and musician.+ Read More