Originally from Columbus, OH, Sam Blakeslee is a New York City based trombonist and composer. Sam holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Studies from Youngstown State as well as a Master of Music in Classical Performance from the University of Akron. As a former resident of the Cleveland & Akron, OH area from 2013-2017, he worked extensively in Jazz Education and served as the Instructor of Jazz Trombone at Youngstown State University from 2013-2014, Director of the Jazz Prep Program at Cuyahoga Community College from 2014-2017, as well as the Instructor of Improvisation at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
During his time at the University of Akron, he was a member and composer for the Jazz Trombone Group, which won first place in the International Trombone Association’s Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition. In June of 2013, he traveled Columbus, GA to play his original music at the International Trombone Festival with the University of Akron Jazz Trombone Group. He is also well versed in classical music and was a 2013 recipient of a Tuesday Musical Scholarship in Brass.
Sam has performed at multiple jazz festivals across the world such as the Fano Jazz Festival, Mosciano San Angelo Jazz Festival, and Parma Jazz Festival in Italy as well as the Deutsche Musikfest in Chemnitz, Germany. While at Youngstown State, Sam was selected one of fifteen people nationwide to attend The Steans Institute for the Young Artist at Ravinia where he studied with Curtis Fuller, Rufus Reid, Dr. Nathan Davis, and Dr. David Baker. He also attended Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead at the Kennedy Center which is a two week residency where his original music was broadcasted to worldwide audience. In May 2014, Sam attended the International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Centre where he studied with Vjiay Iyer, Ambrose Akinmusire, Steve Lehman, Tyshawn Sorey, Nir Felder, Warren Wolf, among others. Sam is also very busy as a freelancer, and he has played with artists Joe Lovano, Sean Jones, Jiggs Whigham, Aretha Franklin, Dominick Farinacci, Bernard Purdie, Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson, and Derrick Gardner.
Sam Blakeslee – trombone/compositions
Brandon Coleman – guitar
Michael Orenstein – piano
Leo Sherman – bass
Dan Pugach – drums