Rex Novak is an in-demand saxophonist, clinician, and teacher in the West Texas region. He is currently an assistant band director in the Ysleta ISD/Riverside area in El Paso, TX; and beginning his second season as Artistic Director of the El Paso Youth Jazz Ensemble. An avid music educator and graduate from Texas Tech University, Rex has worked closely with the surrounding community to develop a sense of maturity and prestige for the saxophone. His students range from middle school through University, where he has maintained a competitive jazz improvisation studio and coached jazz combos. Rex’s students are consistently ranked among the most proficient of their peers; they are performance scholarship recipients and are active participants in TMEA All-region bands and TMEA State Solo and Ensemble Contest. In 2013, his his instruction was instrumental in solidifying a prestigious invitation for the Del Valle HS Jazz Ensemble I to perform at The Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. Rex’s pedagogical leadership also helped lead Texas Tech University’s Jazz Ensemble I to a noteworthy performance at the Crescent City Jazz Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana in the Spring of 2014.
As a jazz performer, Rex has been a member of the longstanding Lubbock-based group, Jazz Alley, often performing a variety of jazz, pop, and R&B standards. Now based in El Paso, you can find him leading his own groups and collaborating with area musicians in order to bring live music to the community. He is playing Lead Alto in Marty Olivas’ Eklectic Jazz Group, a member of the Big Bad Guiseppe Big Band, and the tenor saxophonist for the El Paso Winds. In his tenure as a student of the jazz studies program at TTU he has held the positions of lead alto and lead tenor in TTU Jazz Ensemble I, as well as been an active member of Jazz Combo 1, Texas Tech’s premiere small jazz group. He has also performed with a number of Rock and Roll groups including The Sidemen Project and South Texas Hippies, where he was a guest on their first EP. Rex has demonstrated prowess as a multi-instrumentalist while playing musicals as a member of the Lubbock Moonlight Musical’s pit orchestras, including a premiere performance of Andrew Lloyde Webber’s CATS. He is a regular call for traveling shows and has worked with Las Vegas-based crooner Steve Lippia, country/opera singer Carrie Tillis, America’s Got Talent winner, Landau Murphy Jr., and smooth jazz superstar, Tom Braxton. His versatility and flexibility as a saxophonist can be heard in performances of Ravel’s Bolero, with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and while performing with The Midland/Odessa Symphony and Chorale.
A passionate performer and pedagogue, Mr. Novak graduated with his Bachelor of Music Degree in 2013 and Master’s degree in Jazz Performance with supplementation in Art Administration from Texas Tech University in May 2016.