Second album BLUER THAN YOU THINK to release October 13th! Stay ALERT for special offers and live performances!

Photo by Sara Hong

Photo by Sara Hong

Owen Broder - saxophones
Ethan Helm - saxophones
Chris Ziemba - piano
Ethan O'Reilly - bass
Matt Honor - drums

Cowboys & Frenchmen is a new take on instrumentation, orchestration, and composition for the jazz quintet. The front line of two alto saxophones is the vehicle for reimagining the role of horns in a small group setting, charting new territory by exploring individuality within homogeneity.

The New York City-based quintet is releasing its second album, Bluer Than You Think, in October 2017 on Outside In Music. Their first release, Rodeo (Outside In Music, 2015), garnered terrific reviews and enjoyed top placement on radio charts. The release of Rodeo was celebrated at Joe’s Pub, one of New York’s most respected venues for creative music. Cowboys & Frenchmen was a featured presenter at the 2016 North American Saxophone Alliance Conference, which served as the centerpiece for a performance and educational tour through Texas. They performed at the D.C. Jazz Festival in 2016 as finalists in the inaugural D.C. JazzPrix Competition, and again in 2017 as a featured artist. They were also selected to perform at Umbria Jazz Festival’s 2017 Conad Jazz Contest. 


Where does the name "Cowboys & Frenchmen" come from? What the heck does it mean?

The inspiration for our band name, Cowboys & Frenchmen, is a short film by David Lynch, called The Cowboy and The Frenchmen. The film is a Western - but a "Lynchian" Western. Like many of his films, it is his unique, out-there interpretation of a classic genre. Similarly, a lot of our music has one foot firmly planted in a genre, while the other one is busy trying to kick down the genre's door.


Who's the Cowboy, and who's the Frenchman?

We like to keep you guessing.



Co-leader Owen Broder is a saxophonist based in New York City. He runs in a variety of musical circles, leading his own groups and participating in others. Broder’s co-led jazz quintet, Cowboys & Frenchmen, has received critical acclaim for its 2015 release, Rodeo. He has performed with internationally respected jazz artists such as Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evens Project and clarinetist Anat Cohen as a member of her Tentet; he has traveled with The Temptations and The Four Tops, and opened for Grammy Award winner John Legend with his own soul band, Bitchin’ Kitchen; in musical theater, he was a member of the pit orchestras for the German tour of Grease and off-Broadway production For the Last Time, appeared with the band in David Bowie’s Lazarus, and originated the woodwind chair in the U.S. Premier tour of The Bodyguard the Musical

Broder holds a Bachelor's degree from the Eastman School of Music, and a Master's from the Manhattan School of Music.


Co-leader Ethan Helm is a virtuoso on the saxophone. He played lead alto in Eastman's award-winning New Jazz Ensemble, and was featured in Ryan Truesdell's internationally recognized Gil Evans Project at the 2012 Umbria Jazz Festival (Italy). In 2014, he was again featured by the Gil Evans Project, this time at New York's prestigious SubCulture, recreating the role of Cannonball Adderley in a tribute to the 1958 recording New Bottle Old Wine. Ethan has shared the stage with notable jazz professionals such as Jon Crowley, Cecilia Coleman, Charles Pillow, Nathan Parker Smith, and Colin Huggins. As an arranger and composer, his works are featured by Cowboys & Frenchmen, and by other accomplished ensembles and singer-songwriters. Ethan holds a B.M. from Eastman School of Music ('12) and a Master's from NYU.


The winner of the 2011 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, Chris Ziemba is already receiving widespread critical acclaim. Consistently performing along side New York's top musicians, Chris is featured on Jazz at Lincoln Center saxophonist Ted Nash's big band release, Chakra, and appeared with Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Project at the Elmhurst Jazz Festival in February of 2014. Chris has performed at premier venues such as the Kennedy Center and Blue Note Jazz Club, and is often featured at New York City's top jazz venues, including Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Kitano, Smalls, and many others. Chris received a B.M. In Jazz Studies and Music Education ('08) as well as his Master's ('11) from the Eastman School if Music. He holds an Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School ('13).


Ethan O'Reilly, bassist, is a progressive, innovative musician, who's rock-solid patterns kick up the playing level of his fellow musicians. His early training began in the New Kersey Performing Arts Center's Jazz for Teens program studying with musicians like Mike Leone and Don Braden. He continued in the notable New Jersey Governor's School of the Arts program and William Paterson University, where he was awarded a jazz scholarship and received his Bachelor's degree ('10). Ethan was a member of the elite William Paterson jazz orchestra that toured China, performing and teaching in Nanjing and Hangzhou. An active musician, Ethan has performed with Mulgrew Miller, Jimmy Heath, Freddy Cole, and Steve Wilson among others. He received his Masters from Manhattan School of Music ('13).


Matt Honor, drummer, is a powerful, steady hand in the rhythm section. His wide range, from the most restrained to an all-out stampede, brings excitement to the stage. Trained originally as a classical percussionist, he has a mastery of both jazz and improvised music, bringing a fresh, multi-genre approach to his performances. Matt was featured at the Umbria Jazz Festival with the Eastman Gil Evans Project - a large ensemble that performs recently discovered works of jazz legend Gil Evans. He also plays with numerous jazz ensembles throughout the NY jazz scene. Matt holds a B.M. from Eastman School of Music ('12), and a Master's from the Manhattan School of Music.


Headshot photography by Jordan David Albright