Jonah Parzen-Johnson

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Jonah Parzen-Johnson
Jonah Parzen-Johnson in Cambridge, MA.jpg
Background information
Origin Chicago, Illinois
Genres Lofi, Experimental folk
Instruments Baritone Saxophone, Analog Synthesizer
Labels Primary Records
Associated acts Zongo Junction

Jonah Parzen-Johnson is a baritone saxophonist based in Brooklyn, New York.[1] He was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up on Chicago's South Side. He completed a Bachelor's of Music in jazz studies at New York University in 2010,[2] and a Masters of Music in jazz saxophone at Manhattan School of Music in 2012.[3] In Chicago, Parzen-Johnson studied under Mwata Bowden, a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.[4]

He is a member of Zongo Junction, a Brooklyn Afrobeat ensemble, for which he performs and composes.[5] Jonah Parzen-Johnson performs regularly as a solo saxophonist and his music for solo baritone saxophone and analog synthesizer, which often references the town of Michiana Shores Indiana, balances simple melodic passages with extended techniques including circular breathing, multiphonics, and overtones.[6] Parzen-Johnson's solo music explores his interest in folk music[7] and avant-jazz.[8]

Since 2013, Parzen-Johnson has performed with an analog synthesizer built around a Moog Synthesizer VCO, and Dave Smith Instruments Mopho Module.[9] His self-assembled synthesizer is built to follow the volume of his saxophone and a set of pedals he plays with his feet.[10]


As A Leader

  • Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow (Primary Records, 2015)
  • Look Like You're Not Looking [Ex Reyes Remix] - Single (Primary Records, 2014)
  • Stay There, I'll Come To You [Sleepers Work Remix] - Single (Primary Records, 2014)
  • Look Like You're Not Looking - Single (Primary Records, 2013)
  • Michiana (Primary Records, 2012)

As A Co-Leader


  1. ^ "Primary Records". Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  2. ^ "Jonah Parzen-Johnson". NYU Steinhardt. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  3. ^ ""Jazz Builds the Future". Jazz Institute of Chicago. Retrieved 2013-12-11. 
  4. ^ Stewart, Luke. "Jonah Parzen-Johnson brings soul-searching solo sax to the Dunes". Capital Bop. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  5. ^ Bal, Jessica. "Zongo Junction". Go Folk Yourself. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  6. ^ Reed, Bryan. "On The Beach". Mountain Xpress. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  7. ^ Sumner, Dave. "Never Mind the Category: Jonah Parzen-Johnson "Michiana"". Emusic. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  8. ^ "Killer Bob + Gym, Deer + Jonah Parzen-Johnson + The Due Dilligence". TimeOut New York. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  9. ^ "Jonah Parzen-Johnson "Look Like You're Not Looking"". Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  10. ^ "AMN Interviews: Jonah Parzen-Johnson". Retrieved 2013-10-27.