Born: December 8, 1970 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
New York based tenor saxophonist/composer Seamus Blake is recognized as one of the finest and most creative young players in jazz.
John Scofield, who hired him for his “Quiet Band,” calls him “extraordinary, a total saxophonist.” In February 2002, he took first place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition in Washington D.C. As the winner, he performed with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock.
Seamus Blake was born in England and raised in Vancouver, Canada. At age 21, while still a student at Boston's prestigious Berklee College, he was asked to record with legendary drummer Victor Lewis. After graduation, he moved to New York, where he rapidly established himself on the New York jazz scene.
Seamus has released six albums on Criss Cross Records, from his 1993 debut The Call to the 1995 premiere of the Bloomdaddies, a “funky, alternative grunge jazz band”, to Way Out Willy, which was released in February 2007. He has also recorded as a leader for the Fresh Sound label. Stranger Things have Happened (now available on itunes) features Kurt Rosenwinkelas well as Jorge Rossy and FLY from the Brad Mehldau. Fresh Sound also recorded a Bloomdaddies cd, Mosh for Lovers in 2001. In 2009 the Italian label, Jazz Eyes, released Live in Italy, Seamus' most successful cd to date. It received 4 1/2 stars from Downbeat.
Blake is a long standing member of the Grammy nominated group, the Mingus Big Band, and is featured on the last six albums. He continues to play and record with the Victor Lewis Quintet, as well as with Bill Stewart and Kevin Hays. He has also performed and/or recorded with Franco Ambrosetti, Dave Douglas, Jane Monheit, Kenny Barron, Sam Yahel, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Pat Metheny, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman, Brad Meldhau, Larry Grenadier, Wayne Krantz, Jorge Rossy, Jack Dejohnette, Brian Blade, Jeremy Pelt, Eric Reed, David Kikoski, Al Foster and many others.
Most recently Seamus has been touring with the Seamus Blake Electric Band which includes Scott Kinsey, Tim Lefebvre and Jordy Rossy.