Sam Blakeslee is a trombonist/composer residing in Cleveland, OH. In his few years on the scene, he has played with artists Sean Jones, Jiggs Whigham, Aretha Franklin, Dominick Farinacci, Dennis Mackrel, Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson, and Derrick Gardner. Sam holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies from Youngstown State University and a Master’s Degree in Classical Performance from Universtiy of Akron. Sam has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Banff Centre, as well as famous jazz clubs in New York City such as 55 Bar, Shapeshifter Lab, and Whynot Jazz Room. He has also participated in some of the world’s most illustrious workshops and residencies including The Steans Institute for the Young Artist at Ravinia, Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead at the Kennedy Center, and the Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Centre. As an active educator, Sam is currently the Director of the Jazz Prep Program and After School Band Program at Cuyahoga Community College, as well as the Instructor of Improvisation at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
While Sam leads many of his own projects, The Sam Blakeslee Large Group is his unique signature. The ensemble is a high-energy 17-piece contemporary jazz orchestra that features original music of his or other members of the group. Its repertoire is an exciting mix of hip-hop, contemporary classical music, as well as hard-swinging traditional jazz styles. The members of the group are some of the most creative and innovative players and composers in the Northeast Ohio area. One of the goals of the group is to also create a larger regional network of musicians by bringing in artists from Detroit, Pittsburgh, and NYC.
Join us every “first Thursday” of the month to experience the thriving sounds of our Northeast Ohio jazz scene!