Desert Island Jazz
Jaz Sawyer (2008)

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What better first name for a jazz musician than "Jaz"? Jaz Sawyer was born in the musically rich San Francisco Bay Area, and began banging away on drums at age two--legend has it on the lap of legendary drummer Eddie Marshall at Glide Memorial Church. Jaz confirms this modestly, as follows. "I was no child prodigy: I just always loved playing drums. It wasn’t until I was about ten or eleven that I wanted to start taking lessons and getting serious." After beginning on trumpet and bass, he began formal studies at age 15 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music's preparatory program. Later he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The New School University Jazz & Contemporary Music Program in New York City, and a Master of Public Administration/Public Policy & Affairs from the Metropolitan College of New York. Interested in the history and evolution of jazz drumming, his ears are wide open. Back in the Bay Area after a period in New Orleans following New York City, he's performed with, among others, Wynton Marsalis, Abbey Lincoln, Phil Lesh & Friends, George Benson, and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Just 30 years old when he made his trip to the desert island, he puts his education to good use as CEO of Pursuance Records, started in NYC in 1999, and working a wide variety of music from jazz to hip hop to world music.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Paris 1958 Evidence (Bluebird)
# 2 Danny Grewen First Pitch Swinging I Concentrate on You (Pursuance)
# 3 M'Lumbo The Angel Wars 50,000 BC (Pursuance)
# 4 8-Legged Monster Live in North Beach The 8LM Theme (Pursuance)
# 5 Abbey Lincoln It's Me Runnin' Wild (Verve)
# 6 Jaz Sawyer and Irvin Mayfield 20/20: Live at the Blue Note Four (Half Note)
# 7 Bill Summers and Irvin Mayfield (Los Hombres Calientes) Vol. 4: Vodou Dance Wild Tchoupitoulas (Basin St. Records)
# 8 Horace Silver Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers The Preacher (Blue Note)
Book The autobiography of Kenny Clarke
Luxury Item Drumsticks; or a radio with one frequency: "to plug me in to 91.1."
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