KENJI  LEE  is a saxophonist, composer, and educator based in detroit, michigan.  born in tokyo, and raised in southern california, lee has proven to be an honest, versatile, and compelling musician rooted in the vibrant tradition of black american music.  his hope is to respectfully and reverentially represent the vast and momentous legacy of his heroes with personal authentic relevance as continuum.

lee has had the immense privilege of performing with some of his heroes including wayne horvitz, karriem riggins, rick roe, marion hayden, michael formanek, andrew bishop, and ellen rowe.  additionally, he has performed at many acclaimed venues internationally including carnegie hall (NY), the detroit jazz festival (MI), renee & henry segerstrom concert hall (CA), the emmett ray (CAN), jazzspot intro (JP), blue llama jazz club (MI), cliff bell's (MI), jazz central studios (MN), the royal room (WA), spaghettini's (CA) and more.


lee's work is extensive and diverse, including "sakura" (a mixed-chamber ensemble), "juarez - lee - alvarez" (a straight-ahead trio), and "kenji lee's clandestine reality" (a quartet focused on the critique of surreptitious coercion executed by many of the world's most powerful and influential leaders).


his debut recording, "darkhorse: the superhero", is available now at
kenji holds degrees from the university of michigan in jazz studies and music education.  he has studied saxophone and improvisation with andrew bishop, wendell harrison, robert hurst, benny green, miles okazaki, ellen rowe, ingrid jensen, roger shew, and jeff ellwood.  he is grateful for the opportunity and privilege to have learned from some of the finest and most precious mentors in b.a.m.