“Mr. Sabbagh avoided direct allusions to the saxophone totems. What he is working toward, simply and effectively, is a sincerely personal vocabulary."
- New York Times
Saxophonist and composer Jerome Sabbagh was born in Paris in 1973 and has been living in New York since 1995. He became an American citizen in 2014.
Jerome Sabbagh was one of Paul Motian's last saxophone players. After one gig together, the legendary drummer asked him to play for a week at the Village Vanguard, in his "New Trio" with guitarist Ben Monder, in September 2011. A prolific forward-thinking composer, as well as a musician with a deep connection to the well of the jazz tradition, he has been leading a few bands over the last few years.
His longstanding quartet of ten years with Ben Monder, Joe Martin and Ted Poor has released three critically acclaimed albums, including "The Turn” (Sunnyside Records), which was selected in the best releases of 2014 by the Boston Globe, L.A. Times among others. His most recent release is “No Filter”, co-led with Greg Tuohey, with Joe Martin and Kush Abadey (Sunnyside, 2018).
Jerome has also recorded an album exclusively devoted to standards, "One Two Three", in a saxophone trio setting with Ben Street and Rodney Green.
"I Will Follow You" is a freer project featuring European drum legend Daniel Humair and Ben Monder. "Plugged In", sparked by a CMA/FACE grant, is an electric project co-led with Belgian keyboardist Jozef Dumoulin, with Patrice Blanchard and Rudy Royston. Jerome Sabbagh also performs duet with Danny Grissett.
Jerome Sabbagh has shared the stage with Victor Lewis, Bill Stewart, Greg Hutchinson, Billy Drummond, Nasheet Waits, Eric McPherson, Johnathan Blake, Eliot Zigmund, Andrew Cyrille, Damion Reid, Daniel Humair, Mark Turner, Chris Cheek, Reggie Workman, Matt Penman, Joe Sanders, Lage Lund, Guillermo Klein, Mike Moreno, Laurent Coq and Jean-Michel Pilc.
He has played in some of the world's most famous festivals, including Newport, San Francisco, Paris, Tokyo and Medellin. In 2011, 2017, 2018 and 2019, DownBeat selected him as a rising star. He was one of the only European- born musicians on the list.
2008: CMA/FACE grant for French-American jazz
projects for a new trio
project with Ben Street and
2005: "choc de l'année" (CD of the year) for North
from the readers
of French monthly