Jonah Parzen-Johnson will bring his lyrical, and folk-inspired saxophone melodies to Roadburn 2020

There’s a one-of-a-kind compositional style to the solo saxophone projects of New York‘s Jonah Parzen-Johnson. Along with playing on his own, he is a co-leader of Brooklyn Afrobeat outfit Zongo Junction, and an active part of Brooklyn’s independent and experimental music communities. However, Parzen-Johnson’s circular breathing, multiphonics and inclusive experimentalism owe a debt to Chicago‘s storied jazz history as well. Paired with a quirky – almost vocal – approach and experiments with analog synth, hardware samplers and sequencers, Jonah continues to redefine his instrument and share his unique musical world by melding the emotionally evocative nature of folk music with the chilling power of ambient textures.

Imagine the raw energy of an Appalachian choir balanced by a fearlessly exposed saxophone voice, resting on a combination of electronic components sitting on the floor in front of him. Or as Bandcamp Daily aptly puts it: “It would be easy for him to unleash the wild power of his baritone sax, and let the story be told by the shape of things left in its wake. Instead, Parzen-Johnson crafts de facto folk songs.” Thus it’s no wonder that Jonah keeps challenging the listener with warm melodies and depth on his upcoming album LP, Imagine Giving Up, out January 2020 on We Jazz Records.

Jonah Parzen-Johnson’s story-cycle approach will transport Roadburn 2020 to a completely different world on Friday, 17 April, keeping with a tradition started by Colin Stetson and Mats Gustafsson at previous editions of the festival and new territory that we want to wholeheartedly keep exploring – welcome, Jonah Parzen-Johnson!

Date: April 17

Time: TBA

Stage: Hall of Fame