Marc Sabatella

Marc Sabatella is a jazz pianist based in Denver, Colorado. Whether playing with his award-winning band, in solo performance, or in partnership with other musicians, Marc emphasizes textural variety, energetic yet intelligent improvisation, and a creative sense of groove. The result is an intensely personal music that has proven to have unusually broad appeal. Marc has developed a strong reputation both within the jazz community and among musicians and audiences that would not otherwise claim an interest in jazz.

Marc's playing encompasses the entire tradition of modern jazz piano, with influences including Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, and Don Pullen. Marc is also influenced by the musical and compositional ideas of visionaries like Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, and Ornette Coleman. Marc incorporates elements of bebop, modalism, and free improvisation into his compositions and his playing, yet his music is always branded with his own instantly recognizable sound.

Marc received his MM in Composition with Jazz Emphasis from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, where he studied with Dave Hanson and Eric Gunnison. He has also studied with Bill Kennedy at Florida State University, Susan Muscarella at UC Berkeley, and Art Lande, Jerry Granelli, and Cecil Taylor at the Naropa Institute. He currently teaches Jazz Theory and Aural Skills at the University of Denver, Applied Piano Regis University, and leads an ensemble at the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts.

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Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Advanced only

Clinic/Workshop Information

Marc Sabatella is famous for his texts, A Jazz Improvisation Primer" (also published as "A Whole Approach To Jazz Improvisation Primer) and "The Harmonic Language Of Jazz Standards". Marc teaches a year-long course jazz theory at the college level and can produce a clinic on virtually any topic relating to improvisation or theory. Some possible clinics include: - Development of melodic ideas - Use of jazz scale - Learning harmony by ear


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