Originally from Columbus, OH, Sam Blakeslee is a New York City based trombonist and composer. Sam holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Studies from Youngstown State University as well as a Master of Music in Classical Performance from the University of Akron. As a former resident of the Cleveland & Akron, OH area from 2013-2017, he worked extensively in Jazz Education and served as the Instructor of Jazz Trombone at Youngstown State University from 2013-2014, Director of the Jazz Prep Program at Cuyahoga Community College from 2015-2017, as well as the Instructor of Improvisation at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
During his time at the University of Akron, he was a member and composer for the Jazz Trombone Group, which won first place in the International Trombone Association’s Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition. In June of 2013, he traveled Columbus, GA to play his original music at the International Trombone Festival with the University of Akron Jazz Trombone Group. He is also well versed in classical music and was a 2013 recipient of a Tuesday Musical Scholarship in Brass.
Sam has performed at multiple jazz festivals across the world such as the Fano Jazz Festival, Mosciano San Angelo Jazz Festival, and Parma Jazz Festival in Italy as well as the Deutsche Musikfest in Chemnitz, Germany. While at Youngstown State, Sam was selected one of fifteen people nationwide to attend The Steans Institute for the Young Artist at Ravinia where he studied with Curtis Fuller, Rufus Reid, Dr. Nathan Davis, and Dr. David Baker. He also attended Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead at the Kennedy Center which is a two week residency where his original music was broadcasted to worldwide audience. In May 2014, Sam attended the International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Centre where he studied with Vjiay Iyer, Ambrose Akinmusire, Steve Lehman, Tyshawn Sorey, Nir Felder, Warren Wolf, among others. Sam is also very busy as a freelancer, and he has played with artists Joe Lovano, Sean Jones, Jiggs Whigham, Aretha Franklin, Dominick Farinacci, Bernard Purdie, Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson, and Derrick Gardner.
Sam leads two main projects including his “Sam Blakeslee Large Group” which is a 17-piece contemporary jazz orchestra that features original compositions and arrangements in a variety of styles and moods. The Large Group held a monthly residency at BLU Jazz+ in Akron, OH from January 2016-July 2017. BLU Jazz+ was recently voted one of the “Worlds Best Jazz Clubs” by Downbeat Magazine. Through the BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation, the group featured many special guest artists including Akron-guitar virtuoso Dan Wilson (and member of the Joey DeFrancesco’s Trio and Christian McBride’s Tip City), Dominick Farinacci, NYC jazz artists Dan Pugach, Nicole Zuraitis, Dave Smith, as well as renowned pianist and composer Bill Dobbins. One of the artistic missions of the Large Group is to constantly be expanding the repertoire of the music across many styles, leaving both the audience and band members guessing what each concert will hold. The Sam Blakeslee Quintet features some of NYC’s most in demand jazz musicians including Jorn Swart (piano), Cory Todd (bass), Dan Pugach (drums), as well as Cincinnati-based guitarist Brandon Coleman. In its short existence since February 2016, the group has done several tours of the Midwest and East Coast. In September 2016, the quintet recorded at Systems Two Studios in Brooklyn to record Sam’s debut album “Selective Coverage” which will be released on 10/1/2017.
Join us at BLU as we give Sam a warm welcome back to the Rubber City – get your tickets now for this special show!
|BLU Jazz+ was named one of the "Best Jazz Venues in the World" by DownBeat Magazine (2016, 2017, 2018)|
|Committed to the preservation of America's treasured art form of jazz, BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation (BJMF) is a new program developed by the founders of BLU Jazz+ Akron that brings “front-row” jazz education performance & mentorship opportunities to student musicians and art lovers alike through an ongoing series of special events throughout the year.|