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Sean Nowell


Jared GoldFirewerks

Sean Nowell - tenor sax
Travis Sullivan - alto sax
Art Hirahara - piano
Danny Zanker - bass
Joe Abbatantuono - drums

Sean Nowell is a tenor saxophonist and composer from Birmingham, Alabama steeped in the southern traditions of blues, gospel, jazz, and funk fused with the complex harmonic and world rhythmic concepts that permeate the music of New York City. While in Alabama, he sang in cathedrals with a nationally touring a cappella choir and was exposed to vocal music from Germany, Eastern Europe, and Africa. He received a BA in Composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston in Jazz Composition, where he studied with Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, and Ed Tomassi, and a MA from Manhattan School of Music in New York in Performance where he studied with Mark Turner, Dick Oatts, and Rich Perry.

He has composed and improvised film scores, music for ballet and theatre, 20th century classical music, big band and small jazz ensembles, and has pushed the timbral boundaries of the saxophone, flute, bass clarinet, and Udu (Nigerian clay pot drum) by integrating electronic effects pedals with those acoustic instruments. He has traveled and collaborated with dancers, actors, painters, stilt walkers, and acrobats on multiple tours of CHINA, BULGARIA, KOSOVO, MACEDONIA, BOSNIA, SERBIA, ROMANIA, HUNGARY, COLOMBIA, VENEZUELA, SINGAPORE, BELGIUM, FRANCE, GERMANY and the United States as Musical Director for Bond Street Theatre and the Shinbone Alley Stilt Band (6 piece brass band on STILTS) over the past 9 years.

He’s participated in uniting clashing religious and ethnic groups in Kosovo through music and performed for thousands of Albanians at outdoor concerts by collaborating with Macedonian musicians he met while on tour. He has been proud to serve as an unofficial artistic ambassador for the United States for the past 9 years by exchanging social and artistic ideas and holding master classes in these countries on American Jazz, learning the folk music of the regions, and then incorporating it into his compositional and improvisational style. Sean has been a motivating force in the New York City jazz community for the past 10 years by hosting weekly jazz composers forums in Manhattan clubs that consistently showcase the freshest and most cutting edge jazz in the city, as well as collaborating and recording with the next generation of jazz, funk, and avant-garde masters.


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