Born: July 14, 1979 Primary Instrument: Sax, baritone
Grammy award winning saxophonist Lauren Sevian has been performing professionally since the age of 12, first on the piano, then on the saxophone. At the age of 16 she won the Count Basie Invitational soloing competition, which led to a feature performance with the Basie Band. By the age of 17 she had already performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, & the Village Vanguard.
In the fall of 1997, Lauren came to NYC to attend the prestigious Manhattan School of Music where she studied privately with Mark Turner, Donny McCaslin, Steve Slagle, Joe Temperley, and Mike Abene. Upon entering her senior year of college, Lauren was given the chance to go on tour with the critically acclaimed big band Diva. After returning from the Diva tour, Lauren returned to MSM and graduated in the spring of 2001 with a bachelor of music degree.
Some highlights of Sevian’s career: in 2003 she became a regular member of the Mingus Big Band and has performed with them throughout the US and internationally; she was in the movie Mona Lisa Smile which starred Julia Roberts; in 2006 she recorded with Greg Osby for Joan Osbourne’s “Breakfast in Bed”; in 2007 she performed Charles Mingus’ “Epitaph” with the Mingus Epitaph Orchestra in several concert halls across the US; in the summer of 2007, she joined the Litchfield Jazz Camp faculty as a teaching artist; in 2008 she was invited to adjudicate & perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival’s “Next Generation” Festival, where she performed with Christian McBride, Terry-Lynn Carrington, George Duke, Billy Harper, Ron Westray, and many others. In 2009, 2010, & 2011 she toured with the Rescue Me Comedy Tour featuring Dennis Leary and appears in the Comedy Central special “Douchebags & Donuts”. In October 2009 she was invited to perform as a special guest in Ireland and with the Nikki Iles Quintet at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. In 2009 & 2010 she toured France with the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra led by songstress Tamar-kali. In 2012 she had the pleasure of performing with vocalist Jane Monheit as part of the group “Jane Monheit and the Ladies of Jazz” assembled by promoter Mike Gow. She has received numerous awards throughout the years, nominated from 2008-present for the Downbeat Critics Poll “rising star” baritone saxophone, a SESAC jazz award for “Blueprint”, and is now a Grammy award winner for the Mingus Big Band’s “Live at the Jazz Standard.” (2011)
Lauren has two quartets, the “LSQ” (bari, piano, bass & drums) & the “Eb Quartet” (bari, alto, bass, & drums). Musicians that have performed in either group include: George Colligan, Helen Sung, Adam Burnbaum, Boris Kozlov, Brad Jones, Marcos Varela, Johnathan Blake, Jeff Davis, E.J. Strickland, Curtis Torian, & Mike DiRubbo. Another recent project is the “Buffet Sax trio” which was put together by Buffet-Crampon USA, featuring Lauren, Jacob Yoffee (tenor), and Russell Kirk (alto) as the front line. She has performed as a leader at clubs such as the Kitano, Smoke, Jazz Gallery, Mattatuck Museum, and Fat Cat. The “LSQ”, released “Blueprint” in December 2008 on Greg Osby’s label Inner Circle Music. “Blueprint” spent many weeks in the top 20 on the Jazzweek chart, and has also been included in numerous best of 2009 lists, receiving a national performance activity award from SESAC in 2010, “best of 2009” list by All About Jazz, and received rave reviews by DownBeat, Cadence Magazine, Amazon, and All About Jazz. She has also done countless radio interviews following the release of Blueprint. Other publications she has been featured in: Saxophone Journal, The Sax (Japan), Hothouse, Jazz Inside, Boston Globe, Newsday, allaboutjazz.com, bestsaxophonewebsiteever.com, montereyjazzfest.org, soufflez.net, and George Colligan’s “Jazz Truth”.
In addition to performing, Ms. Sevian is a teacher, clinician, conductor, and adjudicator. Highlights include the summer of 2007, she joined the Litchfield Jazz Camp faculty as a teaching artist. In April 2008 she was invited to adjudicate & perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival’s “Next Generation” Festival. In 2011 she was the guest artist/conductor for the Westchester All-County Jazz Ensemble. In 2012, she was a featured artist & adjudicator with the UMSL (University of Missouri St. Louis) jazz ensemble as part of the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival. As an artist for Buffet-Crampon she has given numerous clinics & performances around the country, most recently at the JEN conference in New Orleans, and at Saxquest in St. Louis, MO. She has also taught at New School and teaches for the Brooklyn Conservatory’s “Music Partners”.
Lauren Sevian endorses Buffet-Crampon saxophones, RPC mouthpieces, and Rico Reeds.
Awards:SESAC jazz award 2010
2008-present Downbeat rising star baritone saxophone nominee
2008 30th Annual Jazz Poll - Clube de jazz "revelacao" (new talent)
“Baritone saxist LAUREN SEVIAN, sustaining member of the Mingus Big Band, leads her debut session on BLUEPRINT (Inner Circle 4), wielding her big horn with confident panache through a recital of originals which include dedications to Cecil Payne (“One For C. Payne”) and John Stubblefield (“For Mr. Stubb”). Husband, Mike DiRubbo, plays alto on one track. The rhythm team steams—George Colligan, p; Boris Kozlov, b; Johnathan Blake, d. Lovely, flowingly unfettered Bebop.” -Alan Bargeburh, ©Cadence Magazine 2011
“Lauren Sevian holds down the low end of the arrangements with an exuberance that earns her a believable place in the strong Mingus lineage of tenor players like Booker Ervin. Wait for her to be let loose on “Moanin” – it is well worth it” -Robin Margolis, Audiophile Audition (review of Mingus Big Band’s “Live at the Jazz Standard”)
“In 2009 there aren’t too many jobs that can’t be held down by a woman. One that comes to mind might be the baritone saxophone chair in the Mingus Big Band. But that’s exactly where Lauren Sevian cut her teeth and earned the accolades that led to Blueprint, her debut recording on Greg Osby’s label. Sevian’s tone is full and authoritative on the big horn. Her straightahead compositions (ten originals; one cowritten with guest altoist Mike DiRubbo) are rendered with graceful precision by her working quartet (particularly pianist George Colligan). Sevian’s long, fluid lines run counter to most contemporary baritone styles, which tend to lean toward the avant garde, supplementing and sometimes replacing lyricism with overblowing or other flashy effects. On Blueprint Sevian is no-nonsense and establishes herself as a fresh and important new voice on an underappreciated often intimidating instrument.”–Jeff Stockton, All About Jazz, review of “Blueprint”
“…The title track opens the album and from the git-go one realizes Sevian can get around on the large horn with style. Her sound is full and rich, evoking memories of Nick Brignola. The baritone is a gas in capable hands and that ability to ‘get around’ on the horn and explore its registers is an element of the instrument’s appeal. Sevian displays a convincing and exhilarating capacity to both tell a lively story through her solos and explore the range of her instrument without hesitation…”–Rick Erben, amazon.com, review of “Blueprint”
“For the past few years Lauren Sevian has been a “rising star” on the New York jazz scene, particularly in her role as the baritone saxophonist in the Mingus Big Band. Lauren’s debut CD, filled with original compositions performed by a stellar quartet, is further proof that she is becoming an important voice on her instrument.”–Bob Bernotas, host of “Just Jazz” WNTI 91.9 FM/wnti.org (review of “Blueprint”)
“Baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian improvised over the fast section, issuing rhythmically robust lines that had a Coltrane-like angularity here, a Bird-like warmth there.”—Zan Stewart, The Star Ledger (review of Mingus Big Band)
“…One of the nights high points in Baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian’s “Moanin’” that really left folks staring in amazement.”–Glen Creason, Cerritos Ink
“From the first unaccompanied notes of Lauren Sevian’s baritone saxophone it was clear that the Mingus Big Band was in powerful, energetic form, both as the highlight of this year’s Jazz Weekend at the Bath International Music Festival and at the midpoint of their current British tour.” –Alyn Shipton, Times Online
“Mingus Big Band gave a tyically rollicking show for a sold out audience on the Saturday night with baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian setting the tone with her barnstorming solo on the opener, ‘Moanin’.” –Stephen Graham, Jazzwise Magazine
“Then the band…ripped into Mingus’s rapid-fire blues ”Boogie Stop Shuffle.”…Lauren Sevian soloed fluidly on the unwieldy baritone saxophone, building to a honking finish as the trumpets shrieked.” –Kevin Lowenthal, Boston Globe correspondent (review of Mingus Big Band @ Regatta Bar, September 2nd 2005)
“Opening with a rousing version of “E’s Flat, Ah’s Flat Too” we wasted no time in launching into some serious and extended solos. First up was Lauren Sevian giving us a blistering baritone sax solo taking time to dip into the delicious lower register of this instrument.” –Dave Barnes “The Live Music Report” (review of Mingus Big Band @ Toronto Jazz Festival)
“The basement’s acoustics, coupled with the band’s tremendous sound, helped enhance the warmth and softness of baritonist Lauren Sevian’s tone during her solo on “Diane.” The band’s personnel are known to shift from time to time, so let’s hope Sevian finds her way to town with the rest of the group.” –Minnesota Spokesman/Recorder (review of Mingus Big Band)
“This New York-based band is full of young fiery musicians who understand the spatial qualities of Bjork’s music and who delve into Sullivan’s terrific arrangements with commitment and energy. The band is rich with soloists… the fiery playing of Lauren Sevian on baritone sax…” –Alan Chase, The Wire (review of Bjorkestra cd “Enjoy”)
“Lauren Sevian and Randy Brecker began the second piece with mournful, soulful refrains, as the deep baritone sax played the slower theme and imbued it with energy and even a danceable melody.”–Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower, Roberta on the Arts (review of Mingus Big Band @ Iridium)
“Between the soloists emerge Lauren Sevian perfectly comfortable on her heavy instrument… –AllAboutJazz Italy (review of Elephunk CD “For Rent”)
As a sideman:
Mingus Big Band – Live at the Jazz Standard – Jazz Workshop Inc. & Jazz Standard (2010)
Michael Veal & Aqua Ife – Volume 1 – Nektonic Records (2010)
Thomas Barber’s Janus Bloc – Snow Road – DClef Records (2008)
Lucy Woodward – Lucy Woodward is Hot & Bothered – I love Desi Music (2008)
Joan Osbourne – Breakfast in Bed – Time Life Records (2007)
Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra – Enjoy! – Koch Records (2007)
Heather Edwards – Eclectic Energy (2007)
Ada Rovatti & the Elephunk Band – For Rent – Apria Records (2003)
Liz Winick – Sunlights Path (2001)
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Willing to teach:
Teaching saxophone (specializing in baritone), flute, beginner clarinet & piano.
$40 per 1/2 hour, $75 per 1 hour for private home instruction. Private experience for 10+ years.
Teaching credentials include: Senior teaching artist at the Litchfield Jazz Camp (since 2007), Musician's General Store, Brooklyn Conservatory, Brooklyn Music School, YMCA, outreach programs (NY pops, Brooklyn Conservatory) at various metropolitan area schools. Clinician for Buffet-Crampon saxophone company.
Jazz Interactive Session will include:
- A workshop/masterclass with teaching artist(s), class instructor & students. The teaching artist will work with the students as a group & individually on the music they have been preparing.
- Discussion on jazz music; the history of jazz, listening to jazz music, influential jazz musicians.
- Music theory: scales, chord changes. How to connect theory with improvisation.
- Improvisation: using your “ear”, and scale knowledge. How to combine the two.
- Practice methods: how to practice, how often, practicing when away from your instrument.
- Question & answer section, students are encouraged to ask questions throughout the workshop.
If time is allowed at the end, there will be a performance by the visiting clinicians.