Emil Hess is a Danish saxophone player, bandleader, and composer based in Copenhagen. He
plays all saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, and piano. He has released 12 CD’s with his
own music. EH leads Emil Hess Quartet and Emil Hess Evolution Orchestra. He also co-leads
Scandinavian Jazz Quartet, the New York based Hess/Huntley, 3XHESS, Hess/Dayyani, and the
saxophone quartet United Notions.
Born in Copenhagen, April 16th 1965. At age 7 he started playing piano and later bass. At age
13 he got a tenor sax which has been his main instrument since then. EH has lived in Vejle, San
Francisco, Aarhus, Boston, and New York while playing, writing music, and since 1992 doing
He has written 230 compositions for small groups, larger ensembles and film productions.
Some of the people he has enjoyed playing with are: Mulgrew Miller, Cameron Brown, Lars Jansson,
Dave Ballou, Rich Huntley, Thomas Clausen, Søren Lee, Erling Kroner, Niklas Winter, Jørgen
Emborg, Klüvers Big Band, ToneArt Ensemble, Ted Curson, Carmen Bradford, and his brothers
Nikolaj Hess & Mikkel Hess.
EH has played clubs and festivals in Scandinavia, USA , Africa, China, and most of Europe. EH
has a Masters degree in Music from Aarhus University where he is now an associate Professor.
He has also studied two years at Berklee College of Music in Boston and City College in New
York. His teachers have been, among others, Jerry Bergonzi, Dave Liebman, George Garzone,
Ron Carter, and Bill Pierce.