SCOTT SAWYER displays his musical diversity like a badge of honor. He continues to explore the jazz tradition & beyond, but labeling Sawyer as “just jazz” is like appreciating only one color from the palette of a master painter. The deep blues shade every note Sawyer plays. He bends the strings, hesitates, surges and slurs, dipping the music into the dirty water of some mythical Delta.
Born in Chicago, Sawyer eventually settled in North Carolina and since 1984 has been a major contributer to the NC Jazz scene. He hosted and performed regularly at the legendary weekly Pyewacket Jazz Series in Chapel Hill from 1984- 1996 and has collaborated for years with many of North Carolina’s prominent jazz musicians, including Nnenna Freelon, Jon Metzger, Ron Brendle, Ed Paolantonio, and the late Brother Yusuf Salim.
Sawyer has performed extensively with jazz singer Nnenna Freelon, and was a member of the 1992 Philip Morris Superband. He’s performed and/or recorded with many notable artists including John Abercrombie, Charlie Byrd, David Murray, prima ballerina Marie-Christine Mouis, Kate McGarry, Willie Pickens, Ed Thigpen, Bob Cranshaw, Oteil Burbridge, Jon Lucien, Jon Metzger, Bruce Piephoff, Melissa Reaves, Tony Williamson…to name a few. Sawyer’s latest album “Dreamers” was released in Nov 2013 and garnered three 2014 Grammy Ballot nominations.
Scott is an Adjunct Instructor UNC-Chapel Hill and East Carolina University; group/individual instructor at the Durham Jazz Workshop, and works with a limited number of students in his home. He continues to perform frequently with his own trio/quartet, with poet-singer-songwriter Bruce Piephoff, and others.