Scott Sawyer displays his musical diversity like a badge of honor, re-visiting his blues & rock roots while continuing to explore the jazz tradition & beyond… – (Philip Van Vleck)
He’s performed at major festivals, concert halls, and beer-soaked dives here and abroad (Asia, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Europe, and the Middle East) including Monterey Jazz Festival (CA), Herbst Jazz Festival (Austria), St. Lucia Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz, 2002 Silde Jazz (Norway); Ottawa Jazz Festival; Detroit Jazz Festival, Berlin Chamber Music Hall (Germany); the Blue Note (NYC); Joe’s Pub (NYC); Catalina Jazz Club (LA), to name a few.
Born in Chicago, Sawyer was introduced to jazz and other music at an early age via his father’s record collection, which included recordings by John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, Lou Rawls, Nancy Wilson and others. Jimi Hendrix caught his ear and that led to blues and blues/roots influenced rock. Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Son Seals, Tim Buckley, The Doors, Tom Waits and so many others were early inspirations.
By the time he landed in Greensboro, NC as a junior in high school, Scott had lived in Texas, Maine, and Chicago-land. Already immersed in the Chicago blues, he was exposed to Southern roots/rock music and fusion. Eventually jazz became a priority. Guitarist Jim Hall caught his ear and sparked a deeper interest in jazz guitar and harmony. He landed a steady gig in Greensboro at “Sammy’s”, with vibraphonist Jon Metzger and bassist Charles Dungey that lasted a couple of years. A few lessons with John Scofield and Mick Goodrick added fuel to the fire. From 1984-1996 Sawyer’s trio and special guests performed most Wednesdays at the legendary Pyewacket (restaurant/bar) in Chapel Hill, NC.