Deeply influenced by the profound and powerful heritages of Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, along with his inexhaustable list of significant influences including Richard Strauss, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, James Brown, Claude Debussy, Joe Henderson, Jaco Pastorius, Maurice Ravel, Freddie Hubbard, The Beatles, Nat King Cole, Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Gustav Mahler, Pat Metheny,Kenny Dorham, Bob Marley, Stan Getz, Art Blakey, Hector Berlioz, Horace Silver,Led Zepplin, Ella Fitzgerald, Bill Evans, The Roots, Weather Report, Count Basie, Ornette Coleman, Hank Mobley, Sarah Vaughn, Ben Webster, and Billy Strayhorn, Elias embeds the best of these traditions into the foundations of his own compositions.
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Elias Haslanger is a young, up and coming saxophonist, highly- coveted and prolific performer who has performed with an incredible who’s-who list of musicians including Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Maynard Ferguson, Dizzy Gillespie, Martin Banks, Roy Hargrove, Harry Connick, Jr., Wes Anderson, Ryan Kisor, Chucho Valdes, Lew Soloff, Frank Foster, Clark Terry, Russell Malone, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Jesse Davis, Steve Turre, Al Grey, Peter Martin, Donald Edwards, Allen Farnham, Roland Guerin, Fred Sanders, Edwin Livingston, JJ Johnson, Brannen Temple, Kirk Whalum, Joe LoCascio, Tony Campise, Asleep at the Wheel, Mitch Watkins, Bob Meyer, Jae Sinnett, Marvin Stamm,The Temptations, The Four Tops. James Polk, and countless others. Elias has opened for the legendary McCoy Tyner and jazz greats Kenny Garrett and Terence Blanchard. Mentored by the legendary classical saxophonist Harvey Pittel and by Dick Oatts (of the Mel Lewis/Thad Jones Big Band & Red Rodney Quintet), Elias began to explore the instrument’s vast potential, studying saxophone at the University of Texas and the Manhattan School of Music, receiving his Master’s Degree in Composition at Southwest Texas State. In 1997, Elias was awarded the Jazz Instrumental Soloist (College Outstanding Performance-Tenor Sax) for the 20th Annual Downbeat Student Music Awards. In 1998, Elias was awarded the Mitte Scholarship from Southwest Texas State for academic achievement. Elias taught theory, saxophone and composition at Southwest Texas State in San Marcos for a year before moving to New York. In the summer of 1998, Elias performed (by re-invitation) at the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Montreaux Jazz Festival.
Elias’ 1997 CD "For the Moment" received substantial national radio airplay, reaching #11 on the Gavin Jazz charts and #14 on the Jazziz
Radioactive chart. Elias was voted Best Horn player at the 1997 Austin Music Awards and Best Jazz Group at the 2000 Austin Music Awards. Elias appears in and is featured on the soundtrack for the 1998 Richard Linklater film “The Newton Boys.”
"(For the Moment) catches Elias’ fiery quartet on a memorable night at the Elephant Room... The quartet packs a potent one-two punch with Haslanger’s agile sax lines and the remarkable Fredrick Sander’s flowing pianistics complementing each other wonderfully. This fine slice of Austin jazz is a snapshot of how they sounded for the moment." -– Jay Trachtenberg, Austin Chronicle
"With the tender sensitivity of jazz legends such as Ben Webster, Elias Haslanger weaves a delicate web on ‘Stella by Starlight’, ‘For Heaven’s Sake’ and ‘But Not for Me’. On the other hand, he is equally exciting on ‘Passion Dance’, ‘Mile’s Mode’, ‘Cherokee’ and his own ‘For the Moment’. All in all, For the Moment should appeal to Contemporary and Mainstream fans." -– Richard Bourcier, The Jazz Fan Attic
"For the Moment improves upon Haslanger’s Standards debut disc, as impressive an initial offering as any in recent memory... The music’s familiarity makes the players’ innovations considerably more conspicuous. Haslanger zeros in on the core of each melody with his strong and fluid soloing, and his working band anticipates his actions with practiced ease." -– Michael Point, Austin American-Statesman
"Haslanger displays an impressive, mature command of improvisation... displaying his rare abilities to cluster and regroup pieces of the melody, to surprise listeners with lyrical bursts, vibratos and to swirl his way up the scale from gravelly bottom notes to a delicate high-end sound, almost like a clarinet’s, from his tenor." -– Bill Levine, Houston Press