Born in Colon, Panama attended the Panama Conservatory of Music and the University of Panama. He received a Bachelor of Science in Music from the State University of New York College at New Paltz in 1981. A unique innovator in the idiom of creative music, Sylvester sound is reminiscent of another time in jazz history when artists like Dolphy and Ornette were exploding on the scene and experimenting with concepts that would ultimately revolutionize music at large. A throwback to the future, Mr. Sylvester has been on the cutting edge of that scene since 1980 when he first came to New York City. His blend of African-Caribbean Rhythms with new music is what gives Sylvester his distinguished voice. An impressive composer and arranger,his music moves, entices and stirs the imagination, as visual as it is physical, his ability to transform colors into sounds and sounds into textures place him in the company of the great expressionist painters.
By age 14, Jorge was fronting his own Caribbean dance band and writing his own arrangements and compositions. He studied privately with saxophonist,Euclides Hall, who took him along on gigs to observe from the bandstand in the old school style. When Jorge professor at the conservatory, Efrain Castro, sent him to sub for him in a band led by the great Panamanian pianist Victor Boa, Jorge was taken on as a regular.
Heading for Europe in his early twenties, Sylvester spent ten years touring and recording with his ensembles and as a freelancer. Upon his arrival to New York, he studied with Dave Holland, Oliver Lake, Steve Lacy, Ramsey Ameen, Marion Brown and many others at vibraphonist Karl Berger's Creative Music Studio in Woodstock. Since that time, Sylvester has performed with such notables as Stefon Harris, Rodney Kendrick, Karl Berger, David Murray Big Band, Sekou Sundiata, the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra, the Oliver Lake Big Band, Kuumba Frank Lacy's Vibe Tribe, the Next Legacy Orchestra, Joe Bowie's Defunkt Big Band and most recently with Nora McCarthy with whom he co-leads several groups, namely: The ConceptualMotion Orchestra, A Small Dream In Red (voice and saxophone duet) and The ACE(Afro-Caribbean Experimental) Collective all of which also include spoken word and poetry contributed by McCarthy. The ConceptualMotion Orchestra,conducted and orchestrated by Sylvester,is a 20-piece all original music orchestra with compositions contributed by both he and McCarthy,opened the renowned avant garde VISION FESTIVAL X in New York City,June, 2005. Also in 2005, a CD entitled A Small Dream In Red, was released on the Sundown label and is a live performance of the voice and saxophone duo recorded in March, 2003 at Cleveland State University Drinko Hall In the Spring of 2006, Jorge Sylvester toured Europe and Israel with the World Saxophone Quartet filling the chair formerly occupied by founding father Julius Hemphill, Arthur Blythe, James Spaulding, Eric Person, John Purcell and Bruce Williams. Mr. Sylvester performed alongside luminaries David Murray, Oliver Lake and Hammiet Bluiett.