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Sean Nowell

About Me

Sean Nowell is a tenor saxophonist and composer from Birmingham, Alabama steeped in the southern traditions of blues, gospel, jazz, and funk fused with the complex harmonic and world rhythmic concepts that permeate the music of New York City. While in Alabama, he sang in cathedrals with a national touring a cappella choir and was exposed to vocal music from Germany, Eastern Europe, and Africa. He received a BA in Composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston in Jazz Composition and a MA from Manhattan School of Music in New York in Performance. He has composed and improvised film scores, music for ballet and theatre, 20th century classical music, big band, and small jazz ensembles and has pushed the timbral boundaries of the saxophone, flute, bass clarinet, and Udu (Nigerian clay pot drum) by integrating electronic effects pedals with those acoustic instruments. He has traveled and collaborated with dancers, actors, painters, stilt walkers, and acrobats on multiple tours of Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia, Romania, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Colombia, Venezuela, Singapore and the United States as Musical Director for Bond Street Theatre over the past 9 years. He’s participated in united clashing religious and ethnic groups in Kosovo through music and had the opportunity to perform for thousands of Albanians at a giant outdoor concert by collaborating with Macedonian musicians he met while on tour. He has been proud to serve as an unofficial artistic ambassador for the United States for the past 9 years by exchanging social and artistic ideas and holding master classes in these countries on American Jazz, learning the folk music of the regions, and then incorporating it into his compositional and improvisational style. Sean has been extremely active in the New York City jazz community by hosting weekly jazz composers forums at various clubs that showcases the freshest music being produced and collaborating and recording with the next generation of jazz masters as well as the veterans that started it all. He is currently part of some of the most creative, forward thinking bands in New York, including Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, a touring all Bjork 18 piece jazz-tronica big band and Justin Mullens’ Delphian Jazz Orchestra, a multimedia jazz chamber ensemble that blurs the lines between Ellington, Gil Evans, and Bartok. He has had multiple tours with his fx driven funk band, MonAtomic, and performs regularly in some of the top jazz clubs in New York including the Blue Note, Smalls, BB Kings, and the 55 Bar with some of the best musicians in the world.