Playing all of the saxophones and the occasional clarinet part, Anders got his start in music taking piano lessons, singing in church choirs and playing saxophone and piano in the public school bands. In 1991 Anders graduated from Luther College and in 1994 he completed his Masters Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the mid 1990s Anders studied with Frank Morgan while Frank lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “Frank taught me everything about the saxophone, especially the importance of sound.” Another key component to Anders’ post-graduate education was his meetings with multi-instrumentalist and composer Roscoe Mitchell. Since 2001 Anders has played and recorded with Roscoe in various contexts ranging from duos to large ensembles.
As a member of the Transatlantic Art Ensemble, The Roscoe Mitchell Big Band, and a guest with Roscoe Mitchell’s Note Factory, Anders has performed with a “who’s-who” in the jazz/contemporary improvised music scene: Evan Parker, Corey Wilkes, Craig Taborn, Philipp Wachsmann, John Rangecroft, Neil Metcalfe, Nils Bultmann, Marcio Mattos, Jaribu Shahid, Barry Guy, Tani Tabbal, Paul Lytton, Vijay Iyer, Ari Brown, Mwata Bowden, Spencer Barefield, Gerald Cleaver and many others.
Anders has also performed with The Cab Calloway Orchestra, Greg Abate, Jon Irabagon and the award winning Tony Castañeda Latin Jazz Sextet.
In 2007 The Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University published Anders’ book on bebop saxophonist, Sonny Red, in its “Annual Review of Jazz Studies 13.” “Bluesville: The Journey of Sonny Red” was a 10 year project focusing on the virtually unknown, but very unique, saxophonist from Detroit. The book includes transcriptions, a discography, and an oral history which includes interviews from: Curtis Fuller, Kiane Zawadi, Tommy Flanagan, Frank Foster, Charles McPherson, Louis Hayes, Jimmy Heath, Talibe Kibwe, Cedar Walton, Yusef Lateef, many more musicians and family members.
Anders is currently teaching saxophone and the Improvisation Ensemble at Beloit College. He is also the curator of Sonny Red Music.