A follow up to the Elias’s successful 2012 release Church on Monday", LIVE at the Gallery captures 2 nights in front of a packed house at Austin’s famous Continental Club Gallery on S Congress. Featuring long-time musical director for Ray Charles, Dr. Dr. James Polk on Hammond B3 organ, as well as former Joey DeFrancesco band-mate Jake Langley on guitar, the band delivers a classic live jazz recording with an energy and enthusiasm that electrifies the audience. Building on their nearly two-year weekly residency at the club, where the crowds have grown as has the band’s intensity, Elias and company play inspired, no doubt driven by their passionate listeners, many of whom show up week after week to get recharged by the music.
Church on Monday, as the band and the Monday night residency is now called in Austin, started off 2014 by playing Alejandro Escovedo’s acclaimed United Sounds of Austin show produced at the ACL Moody Theater. The band shared the bill with Joe Ely, Lucinda Williams and others and “brought down the house” according to Rolling Stone in their review of the show. Elias was also profiled in the June 2013 issue of Downbeat.
Over the span of his 25 year music career, native Texan and Austin resident Haslanger has carved out a unique and distinguished reputation as a saxophonist, composer and band leader. He has performed, recorded and toured with many world-class artists including Ellis Marsalis, Maynard Ferguson, Asleep at the Wheel, Alejandro Escovedo, The Four Tops, and The Temptations, among countless others. He has released five critically acclaimed recordings as a leader that have been played on radio stations around the world and reviewed favorably numerous music publications.
Mentored by the legendary saxophonists Harvey Pittel and Dick Oatts, Elias began to explore the instrument’s vast potential by studying saxophone at the University of Texas and later at the Manhattan School of Music. His interest in writing music culminated in a Master’s Degree in Composition at Texas State University.
In 1996, Haslanger recorded his second CD as a leader, For the Moment, which received substantial national jazz airplay. That same year, he collaborated with the patriarch of the modern jazz scene, Ellis Marsalis, on Elias’s critically acclaimed release Kicks are for Kids, which won praise from fans and critics around the world. Elias continued to teach theory, saxophone, and composition at TSU in San Marcos before moving to Brooklyn, New York in 2000. While living in Brooklyn, Elias was contacted by jazz trumpeter and musical icon Maynard Ferguson who invited him to tour the United States as part of his Big Bop Nouveau band, as the featured tenor soloist in the band. The experience touring with Maynard helped to shape Elias’s philosophy as a bandleader and performer.
Since returning to his hometown of Austin, TX in 2004, Elias has kept an active performing and recording schedule. Last year he was short-listed by the Texas Commission on the Arts for the role of State Musician of Texas. This prestigious position has previously been awarded to Lyle Lovett, Ray Benson, and Willie Nelson and is a reflection of Elias’s work and dedication to advancing the arts in Texas.