Dylan Cramer (born January 21, 1958, in Vancouver, British Columbia), is a Canadian alto saxophonist and jazz musician.
Cramer took up the saxophone at age 13, after the sudden death of his Father to suicide. Four years later in 1977, Cramer heard a recording of alto sax legend Sonny Criss and was so taken with Sonny's playing that he traveled from Canada to Los Angeles to study with him. After developing a close relationship with Criss that lasted only eight months, Sonny Criss committed suicide. Cramer was devastated by the loss, later remarking that he had felt as close to Sonny as he had to his own Father. After briefly attending the Dick Grove School of Music in Los Angeles (1977–79), Cramer was recommended by Grove to study privately with Phil Sobel, one of L.A.’s finest studio musicians. This was a monumental turning point in Cramer's life. "Phil totally changed my life and thinking and if it wasn't for his dedication to me and my saxophone playing, I don't know where I would've ended up," Cramer recalls. Cramer worked with Sobel from 1978 until Sobel's death in 2008. "While Sonny gave me passionate, honest lessons about what jazz playing and life was about, Phil took me apart from the inside out and remade me as a saxophonist and a person," Cramer says. "The combination of Sonny's heartfelt lessons, his dedication to jazz and his alto, along with Phil's insistent relentlessness that I play the saxophone at the highest level possible, was perfect for me, and without those two, I would be nowhere, both as a man and as an artist," Cramer concludes.
In 1997, 20 years after Sonny's death, Cramer decided to do an album in his honor. For that recording, "Remembering Sonny Criss," he hired jazz legend and friend of Sonny, Leroy Vinnegar, on bass. "Leroy truly made the session special," Cramer recalls. "He loved Sonny so much, and he really dug what we were doing with the record. He gave his heart and soul to the recording, and it remains my proudest record to date," says Cramer. In 2011, Nagel Heyer Records from Hamburg released the tribute worldwide. In 1998, Cramer recorded a classic album, "All Night Long," which was received with critical acclaim worldwide and was a top seller on Amazon.com for many months. In 2003, Cramer recorded his third album, "Bumpin' On Sunset," which continued Cramer's masterly interpretations of movie themes, latin tunes, and bluesy ballads. 2009 marked the release of Cramer's fourth album, "Alto," released on his own record label, Casa Records. Currently, Cramer is working on his fifth recording and teaching saxophone in Vancouver, Canada.