Saxophonist, multi-reedist and composer SAM SADIGURSKY is one of the most versatile musicians of his generation, equally comfortable in a variety of stylistic and improvisational landscapes. His critically-lauded first recording, The Words Project, hailed as “an impressive debut” by the New York Times, was given a four star review by Time Out New York, who also named it one of the Top Ten Albums of 2007. Noted music critic Steve Smith called it “that rare anomaly: a jazz-and-poetry record that sounds utterly natural and convincing.” And his 2008 follow-up, Words Project II, released on New Amsterdam Records “may even surpass the first one” as reviewed byjazzchicago.net. Words Project III, a collection of 18 chamber miniatures released in 2010, garnered similar acclaim from All About Jazz, who wrote “Jazz and poetry never really became a movement. Over the past 90 years or so, the hybrid form has had a few peak periods and some embarrassing lows. On the strength of Sam Sadigursky’s work, we may be at one of the peaks.” His unique sound and sense of lyricism has been noted by Cadence Magazine for its “subtlety and restraint, combined with power and purpose.”
Sadigursky was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the first-generation son of classical musicians from the Soviet Union. He started taking piano lessons from his mother at an early age and later studied with famed saxophone teacher Vince Trombetta, who also taught legendary saxophonist Michael Brecker. While still in high school, performed with jazz legends Brad Mehldau, Milt Hinton and Ray Brown and was the recipient of a grant from the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts (NFAA). It was also alongside Brown that Sadigursky had his first recording session at age nineteen. During this time, he also toured Japan as a representative of the Monterey Jazz Festival and was awarded the John Coltrane Young Artist Award by the Coltrane Foundation. As a sought-after sideman, Sam has performed with, among others, the Mingus Orchestra, ECM recording artist Anat Fort, Grammy-nominated Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, and Gabriel Kahane. He appears on numerous recordings for labels such as Fresh Sound/New Talent, Playscape Recordings, Chonta Records, and World Culture Music and is featured on saxophone and flute on the score to the film Seeing Other People. He has played at the Kennedy Center and the Newport Jazz Festival as well as New York venues such as Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, Joe’s Pub, and Lincoln Center.
As a composer whose works show a deep knowledge and fascination with classical harmony and instrumentation, he has been commissioned by vocal groups, film directors, and has collaborated with modern dance choreographers in live performance of their works. He is a three-time winner of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award and more recently recipient of a prestigious Chamber Music America/French American Cultural Exchange Grant involving an ongoing collaboration with French pianist/composer Laurent Coq in Paris, which will also include a CD of their work which will be released by Sunnyside Records in 2012. Sam has also published two books of original clarinet etudes, which combine traditional and contemporary styles and have been widely reviewed in the clarinet world.