Duo parabolique et d’ivoire was founded in 2004 by composer/pianist/organist J. Ryan Garber and saxophonist Richard Scruggs. The genesis of their collaboration began with, naturally, a composition by Garber for Scruggs, Parabolisms, for saxophone and piano. It intrigued Garber that early saxophones were parabolic, not conical as modern ones, and composed a work exploring unique aspects of the sound and expressive possibilities of these instruments. The idea was born to explore new musical aspects of this combination through performances of both established and newer works in the saxophone & piano repertoire.

J. Ryan Garber has performed in a variety of recital and concert venues as a pianist, organist, and bassoonist. Currently organist/choirmaster and composer-in-residence at All Saints’ Episcopal Church (Morristown, TN), he also teaches music courses at Walters State Community College. Previously he taught (music composition/theory, organ, bassoon) at Carson-Newman College for eight years where he was an associate professor and recipient of the excellence in teaching/leadership and creativity awards. As a composer he has received recognition from multiple organizations including the “Composer of the Year” award from the Tennessee Music Teachers Association. Garber’s music covers most genres and is performed regularly in the US and Europe. His composition “Another Twist” was written for the eminent baritone saxophonist Linda Bangs who recorded it on the Bella Musica/Antes label.

Richard Scruggs has performed widely in America, Germany, Sweden, Poland and the Netherlands as soloist and chamber musician in concert venues and festivals such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (New York City), the Alte Oper (Frankfurt), Sophiensaal (Munich), the Internationale-Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Darmstadt), and the Festival der Seltenen Besetzungen (Ludwigsburg). Several gifted composers have dedicated saxophone works to Scruggs, including Werner Wolf Glaser, Cristian Marina, Ryan Garber, Mark Alan Taggart, Alan Theisen, and Michael Sidney Timpson. He was for several years a student of the eminent saxophone soloist and pedagogue Sigurd Raschèr and in 1992 earned the Doctor of Music Degree from Florida State University. From 1993-2001 he was the saxophone instructor of the Tübinger Musikschule in Germany. He is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee. Scruggs plays a parabolic saxophone built in 1927 according to the original acoustical design of the inventor, Adolphe Sax.