Sam Blakeslee Big Band
February 19 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
The Sam Blakeslee Large Group is an 18-piece jazz orchestra led by award-winning NYC-based trombonist and composer Sam Blakeslee. The repertoire features inventive original compositions and arrangements that feature some of the most creative voices in the NYC jazz scene. The ensemble will be recording their first studio album in Spring 2023, so come hear this great NYC band before they record!
“Composer, Sam Blakeslee, is a name to keep in mind as an upcoming creative, contemporary, and, more importantly, engaging composer, no matter the musical setting.”
-Rufus Reid, Legendary Bassist/Composer
Originally from Columbus, OH, Sam Blakeslee is a New York City based, award-winning trombonist and composer. Since his arrival in NYC in August 2017, he has performed at iconic jazz clubs such as The 55 Bar, Smalls, Birdland, Dizzy’s Club, The Jazz Gallery, Zinc Bar, and the Blue Note. He can also be found performing and recording regularly with GRAMMY-nominated large ensembles like the Dan Pugach Nonet, Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly of Shadows, Terraza Big Band, Emilio Solla’s Tango Jazz Orchestra, and New York Afro-Bop Alliance Big Band, as well as Manuel Valera’s New Cuban Express Big Band and Big Heart Machine, among others. Sam is an endorsing artist for Best American Craftsman (B.A.C.) trombones, as well as an endorsing artist for Denis Wick Mouthpieces and Mutes.
As a bandleader, Sam has released 4 albums; Sam Blakeslee Quintet – Selective Coverage (2017), Sam Blakeslee & Wistful Thinking – The Long Middle (2021, Outside In Music), Sam Blakeslee Large Group – Live at Blu Jazz (2022, Golden Mean Records), and Sam Blakeslee & Wistful Thinking – Busy Body (2022, Outside In Music), as well as two singles, Sam Blakeslee & Wistful Thinking – Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming (2021, Outside In Music), and Sam Blakeslee Large Group – Another Day In Which To Excel (2021, Golden Mean Records). Selective Coverage received a glowing 4-star rating from All About Jazz, and The Long Middle and Busy Body were featured in JazzIz Magazine, Textura Magazine, Making a Scene Magazine, and the International Trombone Association Journal, among other publications.
As an active composer for large ensembles, Sam is currently a member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in NYC under the direction of Andy Farber and Alan Ferber. In 2018, he was the recipient of the David Baker Prize in Composition from Ravinia Steans Music Institute and was also a 2020 COVID-19 Commission Grant recipient from International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers. He also leads the Sam Blakeslee Large Group, which is a 18-piece jazz orchestra that features some of NYC’s most creative voices.
As an educator, he served as the Program Director of the Tri-C JazzFest Jazz Academy at Cuyahoga Community College from 2015-2017, which was an all-city high school satellite program, as well as serving on the faculty at Youngstown State University, Cuyahoga Community College, and Cleveland Institute of Music. He has also given clinics and masterclasses at Oberlin Conservatory, Youngstown State University, San Diego Performing Arts School, Jazz Arts Group, Ashland University, Lakeside Chautauqua, Lakota West High School, and will be an Artist-in-Residence at University of Akron in April 2023. Most recently, he has joined the faculty at the esteemed University of Hartford – Hartt School of Music, in the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz as Artist Teacher of Trombone.
Sam holds a Bachelor of Music – Jazz Studies from Youngstown State University and a Master of Music in Classical Brass Performance from University of Akron.