Recommended if You Like
Bill Frisell John Scofield Medeski, Martin & Wood

Genres You Will Love
Moods: Type: Improvisational Jazz: Jazz-Funk Jazz: Jazz-Rock Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Jazz: Post-Bop

By Location
United States - North Carolina

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Scott Sawyer

"It’s perfectly understandable why connoisseurs of fine music often refer to Scott Sawyer as a jazz guitarist. It’s because he does the jazz thing so well. He’s an expert at breathing new life into that old graveyard of American Popular Song. By artfully reinvestigating this body of familiar melodies and picking through the harmonic bones, Dr. Scott has resuscitated many a standard.

Jazz, however, is merely one of the many tools within his gig bag. He fingers the blues electric with the authenticity of someone who has lived them. That’s not all. With country-boy affability, he strums and twangs. Chicken-picks. Shucks. Jives. Funks it up. And then breaks your heart with that one poignant love note that’s soft as an angel’s wing.

Like his better-known contemporaries John Scofield & Bill Frisell, Sawyer was weaned on the Beatles, the blues & ‘Bird’. You can hear it in everything he plays, a new kind of guitarspeak comprised of pop, improv and sounds never before heard. It is a language Sawyer uses with authority." – Joe Vanderford

Scott Sawyer displays his musical diversity like a badge of honor, re-visiting his blues & rock roots while continuing to explore the jazz tradition & beyond. Since 1980, he's performed at countless venues here and abroad (Asia, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Europe, the Middle East); including prestigious festivals & concert halls, music clubs and beer-soaked dives.

Born in Chicago, Sawyer eventually settled in North Carolina. Early exposure to jazz via his father's record collection eventually influenced his growing interest in the genre.

Sawyer has toured extensively with jazz singer Nnenna Freelon and was a member of the 1992 Philip Morris Superband; which featured jazz icons Phil Woods, Jimmy Heath, Kenny Barron and Bob Cranshaw, as well as rising stars Joshua Redman and Christian McBride. Other tours include Central America with vibraphonist Jon Metzger (USIA, Arts America Program). Sawyer has shared the stage and/or recorded with many notable artists; including Charlie Byrd, David Murray, Marie-Christine Mouis, Willie Pickens, Ed Thigpen, Buster Williams, Oteil Burbridge, Jon Lucien, Melissa Reaves, Tony Williamson, Kate McGarry; to name a few.

Sawyer's new album Dreamers will be released in October 2013. His previous album Go There (2007) charted on XM Radio. Numerous recording credits include Keith Water's "Carolina Tracks" (2012; guitar and Associate Producer); Bruce Piephoff's "Still Looking Up at the Stars" (2012, guitars and Producer); Dave Fox's "The Meldavians-Farewell to Arigemon" (2012); Nnenna Freelon's "Homefree" (2010) plus her 1997 Grammy-Nominated "Shaking Free", “Live” (at the Kennedy Center; 2003) and "Listen" (1993); Lois Deloatch's “Roots: Jazz, Blues Spirituals” (2010; guitar and Co-Producer); Gary Brunotte's “Manic Moments” (2007) and Bill Anschell's “a different note all together” (1998). He arranged & recorded “The Glory Of Love” w/ Danny Aiello; as featured in the Cinecom film "Once

Sawyer is an Adjunct Teaching Instructor in the School of Music at East Carolina University (Applied Jazz Guitar; Jazz Chamber), as well as Adjunct Lecturer of Jazz Guitar at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He continues to offer private instruction at his home studio, and group instruction at the Durham Jazz Workshop.