Associate Professor, Music & Dance
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Aaron Joseph Lington received his BM in music education from the University of Houston, Moores School of Music, and both his MM in jazz studies and DMA in saxophone performance from the University of North Texas where he studied with James Riggs.
Dr. Lington was a member of the world-renowned and Grammy-nominated One O'Clock Lab Band at the University of North Texas for three years. He has performed with several well-known artists including Maria Schneider, Bo Diddley, Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez, Bob Brookmeyer, the Count Basie Orchestra, and the Temptations. Dr. Lington has performed throughout the United States and Europe, and gave a series of jazz concerts in the Czech Republic in March 2002. As a classical soloist, he has performed with the Grinnell College Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Eric McIntyre, the San Jose State University Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Edward Harris, the Silicon Valley Symphony under the direction of Paul Polivnick, and has premiered new works for saxophone at North American Saxophone Alliance conventions in March 2002 and February 2006 and also at the World Saxophone Congress in July 2003. The San Jose Mercury News praises Dr. Lington’s playing as "revelatory...he obviously relishes the beautiful, blustery bark of his instrument..." In August 2007 and again in August 2009 he was recognized in the Downbeat Magazine Critic's Poll as a "Rising Star" in the Baritone Saxophone category.
His compositional endeavors include commissioned arrangements and original compositions for many artists including the legendary trumpeter Maynard Ferguson and Jamie Davis, former vocalist for the Count Basie Band. In addition, several of his compositions for jazz ensemble may be found on the University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band albums Lab 2002, Lab 2003, and Lab 2004. His composition Askew was awarded the prestigious Sammy Nestico Award by the United States Air Force Jazz Ensemble, the Airmen of Note. This award resulted in the commissioning of a new piece for jazz ensemble, Cobblestone Road, which was premiered by the Airmen of Note in Washington D.C. at Howard University in November 2003. He has received additional awards and recognition from ASCAP and Downbeat magazine for his abilities as a performer and composer. In the academic year 2004-2005, Dr. Lington was a recipient of both a California Lottery Grant and a Junior Faculty Grant from San Jose State University. Funds from these grants were used in the production of his most recent album, Cape Breton. Cape Breton features seven of Lington's compositions for jazz quintet and Cadence magazine praised the album, saying that "...Lington and his companions are topnotch musicians...these gentlemen are by no means amateurs, and this is a pleasurable album of largely mellow yet invigorating post-Bop Jazz."
In addition to his position as associate professor at San Jose State University where he serves as Coordinator of Jazz Studies, Dr. Lington is also a member of the faculty at the Texas Music Festival Jazz Institute, hosted by the University of Houston. Aaron Lington is a saxophone performing artist for Rico Reeds.