When you talk about the upper Midwest, frigid temperatures come to mind before jazz saxophone. But there are a few brave players willing to put up with the harsh winters to bring first rate music to a great community. The Hard-Bop Saxophone Quartet has been a staple in Fargo-Moorhead since 1996. Since the release of their first CD Don't Step On Your Neck in 1999, the group has played countless concerts in the region as well as national and international saxophone conventions, delighting audiences with their lighthearted stage presence and monstrous playing. The group is unique in that their repertoire consists almost completely of their own compositions and arrangements written specifically for this group. Their newest CD, April in Fargo, was released 2006 in, well, April...in Fargo!
MATT PATNODE - (soprano/alto sax) Concert and jazz saxophonist Matthew Patnode enjoys a busy schedule as a soloist and clinician. He has been featured artist with wind ensembles from North Dakota State University, Northern State University, Scottsdale College, and also with the Arizona State University and Crane Symphony Orchestras. In the jazz idiom he has performed with artists from Doc Severenson to Ray Charles. He holds he degrees from the University of New York at Potsdam, Arizona State University, and a diploma from the Conservatoire National De Bordeaux, France. Dr. Patnode is currently Associate Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at North Dakota State University.
RUSS PETERSON - (alto sax) An accomplished classical/jazz saxophonist, bassoonist and composer, Russell Peterson holds degrees from Youngstown State University (Ohio), Le Conservatoire de Bordeaux (France), and Bowling Green State University (Ohio). Winner of numerous prizes, including the top prize at the 1995 International Geneva Saxophone Concours, (Switzerland) and MTNA National Music Competition, Mr. Peterson has soloed with orchestras in the United States as well as Europe. He is an active composer and arranger, having several piece premiered by the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with such notable artists as: Phil Woods, Manhattan Transfer, Dave Weckle, Peter Erskin, Henry Mancini, Gregg Bissonette, Ray Charles, Wayne Newton, Bill Watrous, Gregg Field, Frankie Valie and the 4 Seasons, Maureen McGovern, Samuel Sanders, The Eroica Trio, Frankie Avalon, Nick Brignola, Zoro, Ignacio Berroa, Terri Lyne Carrington, and the Four Tops. Mr. Peterson is professor of Saxophone, Bassoon and Jazz Studies at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.
PAUL LIVERSAGE - (tenor sax) Paul Liversage has been a music educator in Minnesota since 1984. He is an alumnus of North Dakota State University and received his master's degree in music education from Florida State University. He performs with a number of ensembles including the Lake Agassiz Concert Band and is a sought-after musician in the northern plains area.
HARLEY SOMMERFELD - (baritone sax) Harley Sommerfeld is known throughout the region as an extraordinarily versatile woodwind player, with positions ranging from bari sax with HBSQ, to tenor/flute/clarinet with a local jazz quintet, to holding down the lead woodwind chair in the Jazz Arts Group of Fargo-Moorhead. Harley taught instrumental music in the Moorhead, Minnesota public schools for 32 years and received his degrees from Valley City State University (ND) and his Masters degree in music education from the University of Illinois.
Check out the Hard-Bop Sax Quartet on Youtube!