Born: May 3, 1973 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
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 national 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 and a MA from Manhattan School of Music in New York in Performance. 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, France, Germany, Hungary, Holland, Belgium, Colombia, Venezuela, Singapore and the United States as Musical Director for Bond Street Theatre over the past decade. He’s participated in united clashing religious and ethnic groups in Kosovo through music and has been proud to serve as an unofficial artistic ambassador for the United States 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. He has had performances with Reeves Gabrels (guitarist, David Bowie Tin Machine), Tim Lefebvre (bass, Rudder, Saturday Night Live, Chris Botti), Donny McCaslin (sax, Dave Douglas), Anton Fig (drums, David Letterman, everyone else from the past 25 years!). He also recorded with Stanley Clarke and George Duke for the movie Soul Men starring Bernie Mac and Samuel Jackson and co-wrote the score for the Nick Nolte movie Off the Black....
Tenor Saxophonist/Composer Sean Nowell fuses introspective melodies, darkly hued harmonies and angular rhythmic structures to create a sound that has succeeded at melding, morphing and mixing the best of Blue Note-era small group nirvana with the Headhunters’ pocket and vibe, evolving it to Right Now.” - All About Jazz
“Cerebral music, but played with soul and feeling; ballads that somehow build into frenetic climaxes.” - the Manhattan Times
“Nowell's first solo shows his big-tenor influences and up-to-the minute chops, punctuated by tasteful over- blowing running perfectly counter to the gutbucket jam, then growing Brecker-esquely dense.” - All About Jazz
“…building to a deft, robust tenor sax solo by Sean Nowell” - The Boston Globe
“Nowell plays with a mellow tone, swings hard, and sidles up to Coltranian heights….” -the Manhattan Times
The Seeker (Positone 2009)
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Willing to teach:
currently teaching alot in connecticut. i have 10 years of private student experience and a bunch of excited students.