Max Bessesen is a performer, teacher and composer based in Chicago, IL. His skills as a saxophonist and woodwind doubler have taken him across North America, Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia and earned him awards from organizations including Downbeat Jazz Magazine, the US Embassy and the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund. The first jazz musician ever to receive a grant from the Beebe Fund, Max spent 2016 in Chennai, India researching the rigorous and systematic South Indian Classical system and applying this knowledge to the music of the African Diaspora.
Max has had the pleasure of preforming with such jazz icons as Ingrid Jensen, Ambrose Akinmusire, Dayna Stephens, Billy Drewes, Abraham Laboriel, and Allison Miller among others. In addition to his jazz work Max has recorded and performed with musicians from the pop and world music realms including The Fray, Simone Shaheen, and Gonzalo Grau. Max currently holds degrees in Jazz Saxophone Performance and Law & Society from Oberlin where he studied with Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, and Billy Hart. He performs regularly with his working band Echoes.