Saxophonist, Multi-Instrumentalist and Music Educator, Sam Pilnick received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and Jazz Studies at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY, where he studied with Robert Young and Sam and received a Masters of Music in Jazz Studies at Western Michigan University, where he studied with Andrew Rathbun and Scott Cowan. As a performer and composer, Sam explores a variety of styles including jazz, contemporary, electronic, and creative music for a variety of ensembles and solo works. He leads The Sam Pilnick Project, a jazz collective that performs original works in the Chicago and Kalamazoo Regions. In 2018 they released their second EP, Pure Imagination. Sam has performed with Lucas Pino, Edward Simon, Randy Brecker and others.
Max Bessesen is a performer, composer, and educator based in Chicago, IL. His skills as a saxophonist and woodwind doubler have taken him across five continents and earned him awards from organizations including Downbeat Magazine, and the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund. Max has performed and recorded with artists as diverse as Dayna Stephens, Simone Shaheen, and Isaac Slade (of The Fray). He performs with a variety Chicago ensembles, leads his own quartet, and is one part of the collective quartet Echoes. Max holds degrees in Jazz Saxophone Performance and Law & Society from Oberlin where he studied with Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, and Billy Hart.