Alain Sullivan

Alain Sullivan

I have explored just about every option I could find in the saxophone mouthpiece market, and have never been this blown away by a mouthpiece product. My SYOS mouthpieces give me the freedom and capacity to perform at the highest level I can. The depth and flexibility of the mouthpieces have been unparalleled and I am extremely grateful to be affiliated with a company that puts musicians first.

Alain Sullivan is a 24-year-old saxophonist, woodwind instrumentalist, composer, and arranger from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan, with a Dual Degree in Jazz Studies and Biomolecular Science. There, Alain performed with the University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble throughout the country. Alain has studied with Andrew Bishop, Ellen Rowe, Robert Hurst, Benny Green, Dennis Wilson, and many others, who have had a profound influence on his music and career. 

Alain is also a 2018 YoungArts Honorable Mention Winner in Jazz and placed 3rd in the 2020 North American Saxophone Alliance Collegiate Jazz Competition. He has performed on a 2022 Downbeat Magazine Student Award Winner, Addison Tharp's "L's Bop" Big Band Arrangement. 

Well versed in many styles and aspects of jazz, R&B, funk, and pop on saxophone, flute and clarinet, Alain has performed in a variety of settings across the country and internationally, and in established jazz institutions, such as the newly minted jazz club GRNoir in Grand Rapids, MI; Blue Llama in Ann Arbor, MI; Cliff Bells in Detroit, MI; and Smalls Jazz Club in NYC, New York. He has also performed at the Detroit Jazz Festival on several occasions as part of headline groups. Alain has been fortunate to perform with artists such as Regina Carter, Charles McPherson, Aaron Diehl, Scotty Barnhart, Stanley Jordan, Dick Oatts, as well as the Ann Arbor-based funk group, Sabbatical Bob and Ben Rosenblum’s “Nebula Project,” from New York. Sullivan has played lead alto in the Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra, Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra, as well regularly playing with Big Band Nouveau and the Bluewater Kings Band. His most recent project involved a collaboration with the Vintage Parlor Orchestra to pay tribute to the landmark recording, “Charlie Parker with Strings;” this session included a world premiere of an unrecorded arrangement by George Russell, “Ezz-Thetic,” and is currently the only public recording. 

Alain performs with a deep sensitivity and vulnerability, blending a mix of melodicism and technique in a way that is unique and authentic. No matter the situation, Alain aims to perform in a way that is undeniably himself, and leave his listeners with a profound experience. A very open musician, he takes great pleasure in incorporating his love of many genres into his performances. 

Alain is a proud SYOS artist, and performs using exclusively SYOS Custom Mouthpieces on Saxophone and Clarinet

Alain will return to University of Michigan in the summer of 2023 to begin Medical School, alongside continuing his professional work as a musician. 

Instagram: @lemellekh2