Skip to Content

Elias Haslanger


Elias is a dynamic, young saxophonist/composer who has played with artists Ellis Marsalis, Maynard Ferguson, Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Connick, Jr., Martin Banks, Wynton Marsalis, Chucho Valdes, Roy Hargrove, Wes Anderson, Lew Soloff, Frank Foster, Clark Terry, Russell Malone, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Jesse Davis, Steve Turre, Al Grey, Peter Martin, Donald Edwards, Allen Farnham, Roland Guerin, Fred Sanders, Edwin Livingston, JJ Johnson, Pete Rodriguez, Brannen Temple, Ephraim Owens, Kirk Whalum, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Joe LoCasio, Tony Campise, Asleep at the Wheel, Mitch Watkins, Bob Meyer, Jae Sinnett, Marvin Stamm, James Polk, and countless others. Elias has opened for the legendary McCoy Tyner and jazz greats Kenny Garrett and Terence Blanchard.

Elias has performed around the United States and Europe at clubs like Snug Harbor in New Orleans, Jazz Alley in Seattle, The Elephant in Austin, and The Blue Note in New York. He has also acted as a guest artist/lecturer at universities around the nation. Mentored by the legendary saxophonists Harvey Pittel and Dick Oatts, Elias began to explore the instrument's vast potential by studying saxophone at the University of Texas and then at the Manhattan School of Music. His interest in writing music culminated in a Master's Degree in Composition at Texas State University. In 1997, Elias was awarded the Jazz Instrumental Soloist College Outstanding Performance for the 20th Annual Downbeat Student Music Awards and in 1998, Elias was awarded the Mitte Scholarship from TSU for academic achievement. Elias taught theory, saxophone and composition at TSU in San Marcos for a year before moving to New York. After 4 years of living and playing in NYC, Elias moved back to his hometown of Austin, TX where he continues to compose and play.

Elias has recorded 3 critically acclaimed CD's; Standards, For the Moment, and Kicks are For Kids, all of which have been played on radio stations around the world. Elias' playing has drawn comparisons to John Coltrane, Ben Webster, and Sonny Rollins.

Elias' last CD “Kicks are for Kids”, which features Ellis Marsalis, reached #4 on Gavin Jazz charts with 180 radio stations around the country playing it. “For the Moment” received substantial national airplay, reaching #11 on the Gavin Jazz charts and #14 on the Jazziz Radioactive chart. Elias was voted Best Horn player at the 1997 Austin Music Awards and Best Jazz Group at the 2000 Austin Music Awards. “Kicks are for Kids” was voted as one of the top five jazz records of the year by Rick Mitchell of the Houston Chronicle, while the Austin Chronicle's writers Jay Tractenburg and Christopher Hess voted it as the #1 and #3 best record of all Austin Artists. Downbeat magazine writer Michael Point voted “Kicks are for Kids” as one of the top ten best CD's to come out of Austin in the 90's. Elias has been featured in many national publications including Billboard, JazzTimes, Cadence, Texas Monthly, and JazzIs.

Elias' latest CD “Dream Story”, just released, is already receiving national radio play and drawing critical acclaim from writers, musicians and critics alike.