The Westerlies are a NYC-based brass quartet comprised of four friends from Seattle. They stretch the limits of conventional chamber music by emphasizing original composition and improvisation, to create music that resides in the ever-narrowing gap between contemporary classical composition, jazz influenced improvisation, and North American folk music.
Jonah Parzen-Johnson is a baritone saxophonist living in Brooklyn. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, he was surrounded and inspired by the AACM and South Side music community. Before graduating from high school Jonah had studied under former AACM chairman Mwata Bowden and AACM member Matana Roberts. Under their tutelage he developed a dedicated focus on the essential role of composition in the life of a musician. Parzen-Johnson moved to New York in 2006.