About

Born in Rochester, NY, Erik Stabnau became interested in music early on before taking up the saxophone at the age of 9. While in high school, Erik began performing professionally around Rochester and Western NY, and was recognized as an outstanding soloist at the Charles Mingus Competition in New York City.

Following high school, Erik earned a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz and Contemporary Media from the Eastman School of Music, where he learned from world renowned musicians and studied privately with saxophonists Chien-Kwan Lin, Jose Encarnacion, and Charles Pillow. He was a member of the Eastman jazz Ensemble under the direction of Bill Dobbins, and the Downbeat award winning Eastman Chamber Jazz Ensemble, which was recognized for their “Outstanding Undergraduate College Performance”.

Erik has shared the stage with notable musicians, including David Bixler, Bob Sheppard, John Fedchock, Jim Pugh, Tanya Darby, Derek Gardner, Dennis Mackrel, Reggie Thomas, Bill Holman, and pianist David Paich of Toto. He has also performed with a variety of ensembles, including the Dave Rivello Ensemble, Birch Creek Jazz Orchestra, and the O’Jays. Erik’s playing has been heard throughout the Northeast, with notable performances at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, Lewiston Jazz Festival, New Trier Jazz Festival, and  Artpark.

Besides playing the saxophone, Erik is an accomplished woodwind doubler on the flute and clarinet. He has performed in orchestras for musicals such as The Drowsy Chaperone, Footloose, Frog & Toad, Grease, Guys & Dolls, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Kiss Me Kate, Les Miserables, West Side Story, and The Wizard of Oz.

In addition to performing, Erik is an experienced music educator. Besides teaching privately, he has instructed instrumentalists and directed ensembles at the Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary and Birch Creek Music Performance Center.

Erik performs regularly throughout Western and Central NY as a leader with his own duo, trio and quartet. He can also regularly be heard at live shows and in recordings with 5Head, Tempest, Blue Dance, and Orient Express.