As a saxophonist and educator, Jon Beshay has proven himself to be a hard working and dedicated musician. The Michigan based saxophonist has grown quickly and has a great love for the music of jazz. He is committed to performing for audiences everywhere, and equally committed to sharing his knowledge through education.
Jon Beshay was born in Michigan, and grew up in Ann Arbor. At the age of 10, he was given his first saxophone, having already been entranced by its sound. Having started out on alto, he switched to tenor a year later, finding the deeper tone of the tenor to be closer to what he was already hearing. When he was 13, Jon met one of Michigan’s most talented drummers, Sean Dobbins. While in Sean’s summer music camps, Jon developed a strong interest in the hard-bop music of Art Blakey, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Dexter Gordon. Sean also instilled a strong desire to teach in Jon through his energetic and positive demeanor.
After graduating from high school in 2007, Jon was accepted to the Jazz Studies Program at Michigan State University. There he has been studying with the best educators and musicians in the country, including Diego Rivera, Rodney Whitaker, Rick Roe, Etienne Charles and Wess Anderson. While at MSU, Jon has grown immensely as a musician and an educator, earning great praise from the faculty members there.
In 2010, Jon Beshay won the DownBeat Student Music Award for “Best Jazz Group” as leader of the Jon Beshay Sextet. Jon Beshay composed, arranged and directed for the group. The Jon Beshay Sextet has performed at various venues including Baker’s Keyboard Lounge and the Kerrytown Concert House.
As an educator, Jon has returned to work with his first mentor, Sean Dobbins. He returns to Ann Arbor every summer to teach in the AAPS Summer Music Camp alongside Sean. He has also done various clinics for public school jazz programs, and taught private lessons to kids of all ages. He has also on a few occasions worked with Etienne Charles at Michigan State’s Community Music School in Detroit. Jon Beshay intends to keep education as a large part of his musical career, and will continue to share his knowledge with all learning musicians.