Primary Instrument: Trombone
Trombonist/composer/conductor JC Sanford is a musician of rare breadth, deeply rooted in the traditions of Jazz and Classical music, yet constantly pushing at their boundaries. Equally at home in many roles, Sanford works regularly as a composer, performer, arranger and conductor.
As a trombonist, Mr. Sanford has performed with many of the jazz world's leading figures, such as Matt Wilson, Danilo Perez, and John McNeil. His improvisational trio Triocracy - with saxophonists Andy Laster and Chris Bacas - serves as an outlet for his unique compositions and improvisational concepts. As co-leader of My Band Foot Foot (along with John McNeil and Andrew Green), Sanford has helped breed a mad science project exploring and recreating music of The Shaggs. An interest in film has led to several projects, including recordings with Danilo Perez for the soundtrack of Hugo Pool - directed by Robert Downey.
JC Sanford's original works often defy labels such as 'Jazz' or 'Classical'. While he originally built a reputation through big band writing, Mr. Sanford has forayed into many other areas - composing for solo piano, wind and brass formations and various mixed chamber ensembles. A founding member of the composers' federation Pulse, JC was a member of the BMI Jazz Composers' Workshop led by Jim McNeely and Mike Abene for 5 years. His works have been performed by John Abercrombie, Lew Soloff, Dave Liebman, Danilo Perez, and a number of universities and high schools across the United States.
Founder and co-conductor of the Schumacher/Sanford Sound Assembly, whose CD Edge of the Mind was released in 2009 to high reviews, JC is in increasing demand as a conductor. He regularly conducts the Grammy-nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, the Chris Jentsch Group Large, the Alan Ferber Nonet with Strings, and the Alice Coltrane Orchestra featuring Ravi Coltrane, Jack DeJohnette, and Charlie Haden. He now leads the JC Sanford Orchestra and is also curating the Size Matters large ensemble series at the Tea Lounge in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Currently on faculty at Long Island University and the Center for Preparatory Studies at Queens College, JC is the recipient of a D.M.A. in Jazz Studies from New England Conservatory of Music. At NEC, he studied with Bob Brookmeyer and conducted the NEC Little Big Band. A Minnesota native, Sanford's undergraduate years were spent at the University of Northern Iowa where he was mentored by reputed jazz pedagogue Bob Washut.
--Marc Medwin, Dusted Reviews on John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble recording Eternal Interlude
Co-led by composers David Schumacher and JC Sanford, this dynamic 17- piece jazz orchestra delivers heady, modernist fare ranging from the dissonant, surging 'Breaking Point' to the majestic sweep of 'Edge of the Window,' the sly, Thad Jones-inspired 'Chuck 'n' Jinx,' the formidable 'Rhythm of the Mind' and the gentle, rubato ballad 'Ives, Eyes.'
--Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes on Sound Assembly's Edge of the Mind
?hese are in essence thought-provoking works that commands one's unwavering awareness and consideration. If due diligence is given, the rewards can be sizable...It's an ample meal...easily digested by epicures.
--Jack Bowers, All About Jazz on Sound Assembly's Edge of the Mind
Taking the angular bravado of Charles Mingus and re- imagining it for the 21st century, this 17-piece jazz orchestra from New York brings it full-force on their album of original, unique compositions. With stab-tone sectionals and blazing solos, 'Edge of the Mind' displays an energetic big band who has evolved to a place where they can make musical violence sound romantic
I put on this Sound Assembly track (Slide Therapy)...The slippery trombone bends and similar sliding guitar notes combine to surreal effect. The tension builds as more and more horns join the cascade of flowing notes (now moving in both directions). The suspense is finally broken by a groove that slowly takes shape. From there on in, the horns build to a frenzy that's sliced up by some snarling guitar and a few start-&-stop passages that lead us into a pensive fadeout. I can guarantee your reaction to this music will not be 'Eh, Whatever.' Rating: 92/100
--Mark Saleski, Jazz.com
[Trumpeter Russ} Johnson and then Sanford . . . built an indelibly nocturnal tableau.
--Lucid Culture on Andrew Green's Narrow Margin CD release gig