Courtney L. Wright

Baritone Saxophone & Composer/Arranger

Courtney Wright is a promising young baritone saxophonist, composer/arranger, and music educator based in New York City where she leads her own quintet called “Bop Stew”, and a 19-piece big band, The Courtney Wright Jazz Orchestra, both of  which primarily perform her original compositions and arrangements. Courtney is a saxophone instructor for the Belongó Music Academy and is one of the Assistant Band Directors for Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz Academy.

In addition to performing with her ensembles, Courtney is an active side musician. She has had the opportunity to perform with many different ensembles in NYC, including the Arturo O’Farrill Latin Jazz Orchestra, the Birdland Big Band, the Newport Jazz Assembly, the JALC Future of Jazz Orchestra, and various ensembles curated by Jazz At Lincoln Center.

Courtney’s music has been performed and recorded by the WDR Big Band, the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, and the One O’Clock Lab Band at the University of North Texas. She is also an active music arranger and orchestrator for large and small ensembles, working on projects for various artists in NYC and beyond. Courtney was a member of the BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop and is an alumnus of the Ravinia Steans Music Institute Jazz Program. She is also an awardee of the ISJAC/USF Prize for Emerging Black Composers as well as the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award.

Courtney is a native of Woodbridge, VA, and grew up outside the vibrant jazz scene of Washington, D.C. She studied jazz composition and arranging at the University of North Texas under the mentorship of Richard DeRosa. Her major influences include Thad Jones, Gary Smulyan, Phil Woods, Charlie Parker, and the great Pepper Adams.