Finally Friday

Jason Kush Quartet
Release Date: 02/10/2023

Pittsburgh saxophonist and composer Jason Kush’s expressive new album


Finally Friday expresses the communal feeling of relief attained by the passage of a trying time and the arrival into a period of repose. This feeling of short-term survival is most often felt at the conclusion of the work week or end of a stressful time. However, for the musician, Friday not only means the completion of the weekdays, but time to hit the stage and experience the release of artistic creation. The anticipation of such an opportunity to not only express but to provide sonic soul food for others is immense. The artist simultaneously gives and receives. That moment of euphoria is Finally Friday.

On his new album, Finally Friday, Jason Kush offers eight new compositions. Out March 3, 2023 via Pittsburgh’s own MCG Jazz label, the album features the stellar rhythm section of pianist Alton Merrell, bassist Jeff Grubbs and drummer David Glover.

MCG Jazz is an ideal home for Finally Friday, through its dedication to supporting Pittsburgh resident musicians, strengthening the long time Pittsburgh jazz community and contributing to the overall cultural and artistic diversity of the region. Through our live recordings we reach a national and international audience.

Dr. Jason Kush is an active saxophonist, educator, and scholar.  Kush has performed as a soloist and ensemble member in a wide variety of genres in the United States, Europe, Central and South America.  In addition to his membership in the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, Kush has worked as a free-lance jazz/commercial saxophonist with the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Manchester Craftsman’s Guild Big Band, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the South Florida Jazz Orchestra, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Eddie Daniels, Christian McBride, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Benny Golson, Maceo Parker, Sean Jones, Freddy Cole, Kevin Mahogany, Wayne Bergeron, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Patti Austin, Dave Koz, Andrea Bocelli, Barry Manilow,

Common, Patti LuPone, Jane Lynch, Michael Feinstein, Johnny Mathis, Freddy Cole, Michael Bolton, Hugh Jackman, the Temptations, the Supremes, the O’Jays, and the Four Tops, among many others.

Kush also has extensive experience as an orchestral musician, performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (over 200 services including a 2013 European tour), the Russian National Orchestra, and New World Symphony (including a 2008 European Tour).  Kush’s Carnegie Hall debut occurred in 1998 with a performance by the All-Eastern U.S. High School Honors Band, with a return visit in 2008 to premier Christopher Rouse’s “Wolf Rounds” for wind ensemble.

In addition to live performances, Kush recorded with the South Florida Jazz Orchestra, the Stephen Philip Harvey Jazz Orchestra, Madd for Tadd, the Pittsburgh Festival Opera, reggatone artist Hector el Father, the South 9 Ensemble, the Nathan Douds Ensemble, as well as Eddie Daniels, Tom Scott, and the Henri Mancini Institute Big Band, a project that received a two Grammy Nominations in 2006.

Kush’s solo discography includes Intersecting Lines (featuring pianist Billy Test, New Focus Records/Naxos) and Sonate (featuring pianist Liana Pailodze Harron, Armazi Productions).  Kush’s most recent recording project, Finally Friday, features pianist Alton Merrell, bassist Jeff Grubbs, and drummer David Glover and will be released in 2023 on MCG Jazz.

Kush’s scholarly work includes a dissertation on the life and innovations of Belgian inventor François Louis, an extensive interview/article on Puerto Rican saxophonist Miguel Zenón, as well as feature articles and interviews in various magazines and journals pertaining to saxophone performance and pedagogy, including in The International Musician, Saxophone Journal,, The Instrumentalist, and The Saxophonist.

In 2013, Kush established the Three Rivers New Music Consortium, an internationally reaching non-profit organization whose goal is to unite musicians, arts enthusiasts, and musical composers in a common quest for newly composed music.  The first commission by this organization premiered in 2014 – Out of this World – a trio for alto saxophone, cello, and piano by David Maslanka.

Kush earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Miami after obtaining his Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami and his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education, magna cum laude, from Slippery Rock University.    In addition to extensive performance and scholarly activity, Kush is a Professor of Music at Slippery Rock University and an Artist Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University.

Kush proudly endorses the Selmer (France) and Conn-Selmer (USA) instrument companies, as well as the fine mouthpieces, reeds, and ligatures of Belgian craftsman François Louis.