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Khari Allen Lee


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, Shannon Powell, Wes ‘Warmdaddy’ Anderson, Jason Marsalis, Bill Summers, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Ravi Coltrane, Kenny Barron & more. In addition to his own the group, the New Creative Collective, he is lead saxophonist & touring member of Delfeayo Marsalis’ Uptown Jazz Orchestra, Sextets & Quintets, former lead saxophonist of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra directed by Adonis Rose, and was a faculty member at the University of New Orleans & Loyola University, following his extended tenure at the prestigious New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA). He was recently chosen to become the Auburn University Daniel F. Breeden Eminent Scholar in Residence for the Arts & Humanities.

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

He is featured on recordings with Grammy & 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), & recently released albums by octogenarian blues man, Bobby Rush (Porcupine Meat [2017 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album]), multi Grammy-winning trumpeter & composer Terence Blanchard (The Comedian [Original Motion Picture Sountrack], 2017), & 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 at Auburn University as Daniel F. Breeden Eminent Scholar in Residence for the Arts & Humanities, he has served as faculty at Loyola University, the University of New Orleans & Tulane University, as well as a decade’s long appointment at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA).

He earned his Bachelors of Science in Music Education from Auburn University, attended the Berklee College of Music as a scholarship recipient, graduating with an Artist Diploma in Professional Music, & earned his Masters of Music from the University of New Orleans as a member of the Louis Armstrong Quintet.


On the Scene with Khari Allen Lee