College of Fine Arts and Communication
Faculty & Staff Directory
Scott Sawyer displays his musical diversity like a badge of honor, re-visiting his blues and rock roots while continuing to explore the jazz tradition and beyond. Since 1980, he has performed at countless venues here and abroad (Asia, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Europe, the Middle East); including prestigious festivals and concert halls, music clubs and beer-soaked dives.
Born in Chicago, Sawyer eventually settled in North Carolina and since 1984 has been a major contributor 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 toured extensively with Freelon and was a member of the 1992 Philip Morris Superband which featured jazz icons Phil Woods, Jimmy Heath, Kenny Barron and Bob Cranshaw, as well as rising stars Joshua Redman and Christian McBride. Other tours include Central America with vibraphonist Jon Metzger (USIA, Arts America Program). Sawyer has shared the stage and/or recorded with many notable artists including Charlie Byrd, David Murray, Marie-Christine Mouis, Willie Pickens, Ed Thigpen, Oteil Burbridge, Jon Lucien, Melissa Reaves, Tony Williamson and Kate McGarry, to name a few.
Sawyer's latest album Dreamers was released in November 2013. His previous album Go There (2007) charted on XM Radio. 30+ recording credits include Bruce Piephoff's "Soft Soap Purrings" (2014; guitars and Producer); Keith Water's "Carolina Tracks" (NC Jazz Scholarship Project, 2012; guitar and Associate Producer); Nnenna Freelon's "Homefree" (2010); her 1997 Grammy-Nominated "Shaking Free"; "Live" (at the Kennedy Center, 2003) and "Listen" (1993) and Bill Anschell's "a different note all together" (1998). He arranged and recorded "The Glory Of Love" w/ Danny Aiello; as featured in the Cinecom film "Once Around."
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