Multi-Instrumentalist, Vocalist, and Song-Writer, Austin Gatus first started playing his primary instrument, the Alto Saxophone, at 9 years old. Since then he’s attended the Stanford Jazz Workshop for 5 years, and has taken master classes from the likes of Joshua Redman, Joe Lovano, and Gretchen Parlato. In the summer of 2014 Austin was awarded a merit based scholarship to the Berklee College of Music’s 5-week Program in Boston, where he was placed in the top Jazz Fusion ensemble under the direction of Tiger Okoshi. He also entered his orginal song in Berklee’s Singer-Songwriter Competition and was selected as a finalist to perform at Cafe 939.
As a performing musician, Austin has been invited to headline in the lounge of Dave Koz Jazz Cruises, sailing twice to Europe and once to Alaska. He has also performed with Dave Koz, onboard his cruise, at the Thornton Winery, and at Humphrey’s by the Bay. He was also featured during two concert dates as a special guest performer with Kenny G, backed by the Orange County Symphony, and the San Diego Symphony. The Average White Band’s saxophonist, Freddy V, contacted Austin after seeing some of his YouTube videos and had him sit in on the iconic “Pickup the Pieces”, during two of their tour dates to San Diego. Austin has also had pregame performances for the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix, and UCLA Bruins Basketball.
Austin also leads his own band or Jazz Quartet performing standards and his own original compositions at venues such as Spaghettini’s in Seal Beach, Croce’s Park West in Downtown San Diego, and the San Diego Fair’s Paddock Stage. However, his most endearing performances are in front of children from Rady Chidren’s Hospital, the Starlight Foundation, and other organizations that help kids fight cancer, as he himself was one of those kids, but is now a cancer survivor, and performs at charity events whenever possible.
Currently Austin attends UCLA and is the recipient of the Jazz Department, David L. Abell Scholarship. This scholarship has motivated Austin to honor the intentions of its founder, and the jazz tradition, by honing his craft to the highest level and in turn pay it forward to the generations that follow. The Abell Scholarship has enabled him to study under the direction of jazz legend, Kenny Burrell, at one of the finest institutes for learning in the world, in a city ripe with musical opportunities.