Quartet of Happiness
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Quartet of Happiness

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz Comedy


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Jerry Bergonzi"

"The Quartet of Happiness is a visual and audio experience. They are creative, entertaining and full of surprise. You have to check them out!"

- internationally acclaimed saxophonist

"Chris Mertz"

"You guys were fantastic!" - director of Jazz Studies, University of Northern Iowa

"Steve Shanley"

"Thanks again for playing at Washington. The kids and I had a great time and learned a lot." - director of bands, Cedar Rapids Washington High School

"The Boston Herald"

Unlike 95 percent of living jazz players, Quartet of Happiness doesn’t act like culture stopped evolving in 1959. The Boston-based modern jazz band is like Coltrane’s quartet had Coltrane lived to embrace Monty Python, Japanese horror movies and the X-Men (and swap out McCoy Tyner for a second sax). - Jed Gottlieb

"The Phoenix"

There are times at tonight’s QUARTET OF HAPPINESS show that you might be tempted to shout, “Shut up and play!” Which wouldn’t be true if the quartet (two saxophones, bass, drums) didn’t play so well. Their collages of spoken-word satires, stylistic pastiches, and agit-prop assaults cover everything from the state of radio (AM talk and FM jazz) to jazz intellectuals and the schoolyard bully. The music is a technically daunting blend of spot-on bebop, rock and funk rhythms, and fiendish avant-skronk arrangements that require air-tight precision. If these guys just talked to talk, it wouldn’t matter — but they execute! - Will Spitz

"The Boston Globe"

Happiness is...a quartet - June Wulff

"Leonardo Digital Reviews"

Watching Roberge and Stone act out their skits with the help of the occasional monster mask or lame prop while playing saxophones is a bizarre experience at first, a bit like being a part of someone’s manic episode, but once you go with it, you’ll be taken on a journey where anything is possible....... If the zany antics of The Quartet of Happiness can open the world of music and theatre to our children and inspire their teachers then it is indeed a welcome change.
- Kathryn Adams

"Dream Magazine"

The alto and tenor saxophonists duel or harmonize quite well. The band combines a playful mix of improvisation and carefully rehearsed material. There are surreal/comical multi-part dialogue sections with costume changes, funny hats and masks. - George Parsons


"Quartet of Happiness 2006"



Quartet of Happiness has made it its mission to take jazz out of the ivory tower and make it accessible to a wide-ranging audience. Playing games, wearing costumes, and engaging the audience with their antics, the Quartet of Happiness’ performances are at times reminiscent of a cross between an improv comedy show and a theater of the bizarre. It’s part jazz, part performance art, and all of it the child of insane wit.

The architects of Quartet of Happiness are saxophonists Kelly Roberge and Rick Stone. The pair met while each pursued a Master’s Degree at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Frustrated by the role of modern jazz as the province of intellectual wonkery, Roberge and Stone shared the inspiration to put the sense of pure, childish fun back in jazz.

The seeds of this quirky quartet were sown in 2003, while Roberge and Stone were on tour in Japan with a big band during the summer after their graduation from conservatory. They’d been on tour for a solid month, playing the same compositions day after day. To keep themselves amused (and freak out the audience), they began to act out. They’d storm the audience during a solo, and perform various other shenanigans to the chagrin of the demure Japanese bandleader. It wasn’t long, though, before the bandleader succumbed to the effect that the pair’s antics had on everyone and eventually embraced the behavior as part of the performance.

Armed with this new encouragement, Stone and Roberge began to take their ideas further, and thus the Quartet of Happiness was born. The band appeared in various incarnations before the more cohesive present lineup, which now includes one of the most formidable rhythm sections in Boston: bassist and fellow NEC alum Kendall Eddy, and drummer Austin McMahon. Now a veritable quartet of four kindred, goofy souls, the Quartet of Happiness has toured the Northeast, Midwest, equally at home playing in a downtown New York club and schools in the middle of Iowa. An important part of the band’s ethos is reaching out to younger audiences in schools and clinics.

Some notables that members of the quartet of happiness have collectively performed and/or recorded with include Billy Hart, Bob Brookmeyer, George Garzone, the Either/Orchestra, Steve Lacy, David Liebman, Ira Sullivan, and the band “Boston.”