photo by Diana Norma Szokolyai
  Dennis Shafer

Welcome to the website of Dennis Shafer, saxophonist and teacher. As an artist who loves to create and explore in the world of the performing arts, he also leads and is a member of several projects and groups in Paris, France, Boston, and New York.


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This year marked saxophonist Dennis Shafer's concerto debut in Jordan Hall with the New England String Ensemble, Federico Cortese, conducting, performing Chemins IV by Luciano Berio.   The Boston Globe noted "the difficult solo part was played brilliantly by Dennis Shafer."  In 2009, Dennis Shafer released his debut solo album and promoted it in a world-tour with concerts in Paris, Bangkok, Lawai (Hawaii), and several US cities, including Boston, New York, San Francisco, Eugene (Oregon), and Lawrence, Kansas.  He belongs to the internationally renowned BBCNASE contemporary saxophone ensemble directed by French saxophonist Jean-Michel Goury, which recently presented a full program at the World Saxophone Congress in Thailand.

 In 2008, Dennis Shafer was presented a Legacy Award by Meryl Streep from the Creativity Foundation. A native of Lawrence, Kansas, he holds a Bachelors from the Boston Conservatory and a Diplome d'Etudes Musicales from three years of study at Boulogne Conservatory in Paris, France. In Paris, Dennis worked with several great composers and saxophonists, including Francois Rosse, Etienne Rolin, Yosh'ko Seffer, Francois Coutinaud, and Rico Gubler.

 Parisian literary life and contemporary art laid the groundwork and inspiration for Sounds in Bloom, a poetry-music-movement-art ensemble he co-founded with poet Diana Norma  Szokolyai in 2006.  Originally participating in David Barne's Spoken Word in Paris and featured by, Sounds in Bloom now returns regularly to Paris for performances, including at the theatre Salle Edmond Michelet at the Cite International des Arts, where Dennis was Artist in Residence in 2006.

 In Boston as a debuting impresario, Dennis Shafer has organized several masterclasses and concert series for composers, musicians, and poets visiting from Paris, Bordeaux, Rome, Estonia, and Sudbury (Canada).  In 2009, his Yes We Can! 5 World Premieres concert, featuring works from visiting Italian composer Claudio Gabriele, made a splash with a full audience participating in surrealist games and improvisation.  This year Dennis has founded a new music ensemble, which will host a Concert Series themed Choose Your Own Adventure, featuring dance, theatre, Soundpainting, and a world premiere of Techni-Calligramme, a work composed by himself and 5 other composers.

 As a teaching artist, Dennis has presented workshops, masterclasses, and concerts in 2009 at the Boston Conservatory, the University of the Pacific (San Francisco), and the University of Wisconsin (Whitewater).  Dennis' students also make appearances in the Boston area music scene, with performances in Inman Square, Harvard Square, and Wellesley Free Library.

 As a continuation of his inter-disciplinary fervor, Dennis co-directs the Chagall Performance Art Collaborative, which has a residency at the OUTPOST 186 in Cambridge's Inman Square.  The Collaborative explores the newest reaches of contemporary performance art, and has recently been selected by the Boston Globe as a Nightlife Pick.  Now based in Boston where he has premiered works by Robert Morris, Curtis Hughes, and Claudio Gabriele, he has earned an Artist Diploma at Longy School of Music, studying with Kenneth Radnofsky.

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