Black Diamond thrives on the chemistry and compositions of saxophonists Artie Black and Hunter Diamond. They met while studying under David Baker and Tom Walsh at Indiana University. A mutual admiration for the collaborative recordings of saxophonists Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh led them to experiment with their own two-tenor palette, and it quickly became apparent that the variance in their tonal and stylistic approaches created a captivating sense of balance. This dynamic has allowed them the unique compositional opportunity to write for the group in a way that is both deeply personal and instrumentally uncommon. In Chicago, the band has been featured in residency at Andy’s Jazz Club, the The Drake Hotel, and The Whistler. Other performances include the 2018 Chicago Jazz Festival, and associations with the Jazz Institute of Chicago, Sounds of the City Workshop, the Anagram Series at Elastic Arts, and the Chicago Jazz Composers Collective. Recently, the band has been on three U.S. tours to Florida, Pennsylvania, and the Pacific-Northwest. As active music educators, the group has collectively been featured as guest clinicians and lecturers of jazz and ethnomusicology at Slippery Rock University (Slippery Rock, PA), Whitworth University(Spokane, WA), Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, WA), and Knox College (Galesburg, IL). Black Diamond has three recordings: “Mandala”(2017), “Chant”(2019), and “A Held Space”(2020). Their next recording will release in late 2021.
“They embrace a buoyancy and airiness that most contemporary saxophonists avoid in favor of something heavier and more fiery; together they evoke Lennie Tristano acolytes Warne Marsh and Lee Konitz – in their timbre, in their elegant unison lines, and in the way they solo together, braiding improvised lines that effortlessly shimmer and float.” -Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader