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date: 10 August 2020

Newsome, Sam locked

  • Lara Pellegrinelli


(b Salisbury, MA, April 28, 1965). American soprano and tenor saxophonist and composer. He took up alto saxophone at the age of nine and played the tenor instrument while at high school in Hampton, Virginia, and in a neighborhood funk band. Later he attended the Berklee College of Music (1983–7), where he studied with Billy Pierce, George Garzone, and Andy McGhee and earned a degree in jazz composition and arranging; among his classmates were Danilo Pérez, Javon Jackson, Mark Whitfield, Delfeayo Marsalis, and Antonio Hart. Shortly after touring Europe with Donald Byrd (summer 1987) he moved to New York. As a member of Terence Blanchard’s group from around 1991 to 1993, Newsome toured North America, Europe, Japan, and South America; during the same period he made his first recording as a leader, Sam I Am (1990), a straightforward bop album. In 1995 he took up soprano saxophone, and he soon began to play this instrument exclusively. He then formed the trio Motivik Development, which fused elements of jazz and world music; Yosuke Inoue and Matt Wilson were early members of the group. Over time Motivik Development took a new name, Global Unity; it changed membership and expanded (to at least a quintet) and commonly involved ...

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Jazz Times (Washington, 1980-)