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Khari Allen Lee

Khari Allen Lee

Walt and Ginger Woltosz Endowed Professor of Practice

Director of Commercial Music


Khari Allen Lee

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MM, University of New Orleans

AD, Berklee College of Music

BS, Auburn University

About Me

Khari Allen Lee has arisen as one of the most-in-demand saxophonists, educators, composers, and multi-instrumentalists of his generation. He has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Alvin Batiste, Ellis Marsalis, Edward 'Kidd' Jordan, Aretha Franklin, Dr. John, Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, DeeDee Bridgewater, Stevie Wonder, Raphael Saadiq, the Treme Brass Band, Herlin Riley, Nicholas Payton, the Astral Project, Jason Marsalis, Bill Summers, Jeff 'Tain' Watts, Ravi Coltrane, Kenny Barron and more. In addition to his own the group, the New Creative Collective, he is lead saxophonist and touring member of Delfeayo Marsalis’ Uptown Jazz Orchestra, Sextets & Quintets, and former lead saxophonist of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra directed by Adonis Rose

As leader, Khari Allen Lee & the New Creative Collective has released four albums, Conscious Evolution (2012), Our Great Awakening (2014), A New Earth (2016) and Live at the Sound Wall (2023), all to enthusiastic praise. In 2023, he was chosen as the newest artist endorser of the family of P. Mauriat Saxophones. He is also an artist endorser for the family of Jody Jazz Mouthpieces and an artist ambassador for the family of Rovner Ligatures.

He is featured on recordings with Grammy and Tony-winner DeeDee Bridgewater & The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (DeeDee's Feathers, 2015),  New Orleans legend Dr. John (Ske-Dat-De-Dat, The Spirit of Satch, 2014), The Treme Brass Band (New Orleans Music, 2008), and recently released albums by octogenarian blues man, Bobby Rush (Porcupine Meat [2017 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album]), multi Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard (The Comedian [Original Motion Picture Sountrack], 2017), and NEA Jazz Master Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Jazz Orchestra (Uptown On Mardi Gras Day, 2023). He was also featured in the Oscar-winning film Green Book (2018).

As an educator, Lee has served as Director of Music at the International School Moshi, Tanzania, East Afrika at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and as a clinician nationally and internationally. In addition to his current faculty appointment as Professor of Practice and Coordinator of Commercial Music at Auburn University, he was the 2022-23 Daniel F. Breeden Eminent Scholar in Residence for the Arts & Humanities. He has also served as faculty at Loyola University, the University of New Orleans and Tulane University, as well as a decade's long appointment at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA).