The York Quartet

The York Quartet


Hottest all-female jazz ensemble”, Jennifer York, keyboardist Alexandra Caselli, Sax Soprano Carol Chaikin and drummer Suzanne Morissette, have been performing at jazz clubs and festivals for over 17 years.


Early rising Los Angelenos may know Jennifer York best as having been KTLA's effervescent Skycam diva, having reported each morning from high above the Southland for over 15 years. Local jazz musicians, however, know that her truest passions emerge in the hours long before morning, when the talented bassist leads her group at any of L.A.’s local hot spots. Proclaimed by local publications like the Pasadena Weekly to be “L.A.’s hottest all-female jazz ensemble”, Jennifer York, keyboardist Alexandra Caselli, sax soprano Carol Chaikin and drummer Suzanne Morissette, have been performing at jazz clubs and festivals for over 17 years.

“The chemistry we share comes from having worked together all these years. We know each other intuitively both as friends and fellow musicians” York states. “We are not only our greatest support system, but we’ve learned the benefits of creating a band sound through each other’s uniqueness.”

Jennifer York’s dual careers as popular broadcaster and well-known jazz musician would seem to conflict more than supplement her life, but she insists it's been well worth the extraordinary hours and demands. She began to play the electric bass in Hemet, at the age of 12. But after listening to her parents’ advice, she decided to pursue a career that would “be more financially rewarding”. After graduating from UCLA with a BA in Political Science, she landed an internship, leading to a permanent job in New York at Good Morning America. She hoped to pursue a dream of news anchoring, but after 8 long years of working in television, with no musical involvement, she desperately missed that part of her life. Moving back to Los Angeles in 1987, she attended the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood. Six months later she landed her first professional gig at Disneyland playing in an all-female rock band. When the gig ended, she returned to broadcasting as a traffic reporter for KFWB (980 AM). Congruently, she started the all-women Christian rock group, “Rachel Rachel”, recording two albums on Word Records. She eventually left the group to fly for KTLA as their SKYCAM 5 reporter and study upright bass with John Clayton. It was at that time she began to lead her own jazz ensemble. She has won numerous Emmy and Golden Mike awards for her reporting for Ch. 5, but writing, producing and booking the York Quartet is Jennifer’s main focus. Most recently, she did a 5 month stint in Vegas backing Mel B. in an all women pop group at Planet Hollywood for "Peepshow" and most recently performed on the Academy Awards Moonlight Orchestra at the Governors Ball.

Drummer/percussionist Suzanne Morissette has more than 20 years of professional experience in a multitude of genres, from pop/rock to jazz. She studied various percussion instruments at the Conservatory of Music in her native country, Canada. She played drums for The Ice Capades at the Quebec Forum, traveled with the Gaelforce Dance throughout the United States, and performed for Les Folles Allies at the Montreal Spectrum. She also played in Tokyo at the 2nd annual Women’s Jazz Festival as a member of Belle Air Brass Entertainment, and continues to travel with several circuses throughout North America. Most recently, Suzanne toured with Brian Hughes, a smooth jazz guitarist from Canada.

Classically trained pianist Alexandra Caselli studied music at North Texas State University, before launching her professional career in the Reno/Tahoe area. There she played in a wide variety of musical situations ranging from solo piano bar to Top 40 groups, jazz combos, and big bands. As house pianist for Harrah’s Reno showroom, she backed many stars including Rich Little, Bobby Vinton and Charo. She has traveled worldwide playing with artists including Little Anthony (of the Imperials), Coco Lee, and Kay Starr. Alexandra spends much of her time composing and has produced two CD’s of mostly original compositions – “Still Time” and “Out The Aquarium”.

Saxophonist Carol Chaikin joined the group 8 years ago. She brings with her years of jazz knowledge and experience creating a dynamic, fresh sound to the already blazing trio. Thus, the York Trio became the York Quartet in February 2001. “The fit was absolutely magical,” says York. “We could not have found a more perfect person for the band. Her musical approach, direction and professionalism was exactly what the ensemble needed!" Thus a new sound was born.

Carol Chaikin was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She began performing in symphonies on flute and bassoon and later received her BA in music at Berklee School of Music studying sax with Joe Viola. Carol has been part of the faculty and “artist in residence” at the Aspen Music School teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation. Carol has toured extensively throughout the U.S. as well as Europe, Asia, and South America. She has recorded 2 CD’s with her own group, “Carol Chaikin” and “Lucy’s Day Off”, and has recorded with a variety of jazz groups - Maiden V


Looking Thru

Written By: Carol Chaikin

Publishing BMI

March Madness

Written By: Alexandra Caselli, Jennifer York, Suzanne Morissette

Publishing: Moonjumpers Publishing ASCAP
Hugs and Kisses Publishing ASCAP

Even Prozac Can't Help These Blues

Written By: Jennifer York

Hugs and Kisses Publishing ASCAP

L'etoile D'ennui

Written By: Jennifer York, Alexandra Caselli, Suzanne Morissette

Hugs and Kisses Publishing ASCAP
Moonjumpers Publishing ASCAP

Yes Or No

Written By: Wayne Shorter and Harry Holbert



Written By: Alexandra Caselli

Moonjumpers Publishing ASCAP

Valse Du Concorde

Written By: Luis Le Bond

Luis Le Bond

Sea Journey

Written By: Chick Corea and Neville Potter


Scrapple From The Apple

Written By: Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker


* A Tribute To Friends 2000
* Transitions 2004

The York Quartet has performed at some of the most prestigious jazz festivals, such as

* The Catalina Jazz Festival 
* The Catalina Blues Festival
* Long Beach Jazz Festival 
* Lake Tahoe's Jazz Festival
* Pasadena Playboy Jazz Festival
* Rochester Jazz Festival
* The Drum Jazz Festival in Montreal

They have opened for:

* Poncho Sanchez
* Steve Cole
* John Tesh
* Boney James
* Macy Grey
* Seal.

TV credits include performing on the "KTLA Morning News"
(Ch. 5), "Live Marathon Coverage"

(Ch. 13), and "Live in L.A." with Steve Edwards.

The York Quartet is often heard on the local jazz station in Los Angeles, KKJZ 88.1 FM and KSBR 88.5 FM in Orange County.

Set List

The York Quartet plays a set of all original songs.

* March Madness
* Even Prozac Can't Help These Blues
* Looking Thru
* L'etoile D'ennui
* Yes Or No
* Nango
* Valse Du Concorde
* Sea Journey
* Scrapple From The Apple