Join us in welcoming Jazz at Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Sean Mason leading his own ensemble at Caramoor. A sought-after sideman, he has performed and toured with jazz legends including Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, and Herlin Riley, among many others, and is noted for his ability to switch fluently between many different styles of music. Mason will be joined by the stellar members of his quintet in performances of his original music.
Sean Mason, pianist/bandleader
Tony Glausi, trumpet
Domo Branch, drums
Corentin Le Hir, bass
Christopher McBride, alto sax
Sean Mason is a jazz pianist and composer based in New York City, quickly emerging as one of the premier talents of his generation. Born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, Mason took to the piano at age 13, teaching himself to play by ear the music of his upbringing: gospel, R&B, and soul, which quickly evolved into a highly original jazz style.
As a bandleader, Mason leads two groups: the Sean Mason Trio based in Charlotte, and the Sean Mason Quintet based in New York. Both groups play Mason’s original music, which has been described as highly melodic, swinging, gospel jazz. Folk music, stride piano, and the style of Mason’s early hero, Ray Charles, are the main ingredients in a stew that is greater than the sum of its parts.
When studying at the University Of North Carolina-Greensboro, Mason met jazz legend Branford Marsalis, who was immediately taken with the young student and recommended he apply to the Juilliard School. Upon arrival in New York, Mason hit the ground running, quickly securing residencies for his groups at some of the more prestigious jazz clubs such as Smoke Jazz Club and Smalls Jazz Club, as well as sideman work with such luminaries as Wynton Marsalis, Catherine Russell, Herlin Riley, Joel Ross, Charles Turner, Russell Hall, and more (al while completing his Juilliard studies).
A major stepping stone occurred when NPR’s influential multimedia show Jazz Night In America spotlighted Mason, among five musicians, on its “Youngbloods” series. Mason was also featured on Branford Marsalis’ film score to the highly acclaimed Netflix production of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Mason’s debut record will be released in early 2023 on Blue Engine Records, the label of Jazz At Lincoln Center. Produced by Branford Marsalis,the album is composed of original compositions for the Sean Mason Quintet, featuring a lineup of young all-stars: Tony Galusi (trumpet), Chris Lewis (tenor saxophone), Felix Moseholm (bass), Domo Branch (drums), and Mason leading at the piano. Early reviews cite the record’s impressive display of maturity from such burgeoning talents. As Mason continues touring the world as a bandleader and sideman, while fitting in near-constant session work, the future for him is bright.
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