Jim Olsen has been a professional composer/arranger and performer on flute and saxophone for over 30 years. His jazz compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by trumpeters Bobby Shew and Jim Rotondi, saxophonist Dick Oatts, flutist Hubert Laws, pianist Michael Weiss, the Eastman School of Music, Kansas University, University of Denver, Indiana University and Oregon jazz ensembles.
His extensive catalog of non-jazz compositions includes three highly acclaimed works for percussion ensemble, concertos for saxophone and trumpet, a wide variety of chamber pieces and the score for "Exit Dying," a made-for-television movie. "We See Stars," with a nonet featuring Bobby Shew and Dick Oatts, was released in February of 2014. Fragments, a CD of his original music for big band, was released to critical acclaim in 1996.
Olsen is the music director emeritus for the Swing Shift Jazz Orchestra, a Eugene-based big band. During his 15 years as the director he conducted for and performed with such notable artists as pianists Michael Weiss and Kenny Drew, Jr., drummer Jeff Hamilton and trombonists Michael Davis and Andy Martin, as well as Laws, Shew, Rotondi and Oatts.
Olsen received his B.S. in Music from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and an M.M. in Composition from the University of Oregon. His music is published by UNC Jazz Press and Jim Olsen Music.
Walls - for percussion ensemble (1995)
Dark Sun - jazz nonet (2014)
Flop Sweat, for flute and electronics
On The Downhill Side
Visit Me Online:
• Music: SoundCloud and Jim Olsen Music.• Web
Oregon Connection: Jim Olsen arrived in Oregon in 1977 as a graduate student at the University of Oregon. While at the UO, he directed the jazz ensembles and earned his M.M. in Composition. Since that time, barring a short sojourn in California, he has been a resident of the state.