Sam Blakeslee Large Group

Nov 19, 2023
doors 6:30 pm
show: 7 pm


Sam Blakeslee – compositions/arrangements
Erica Seguine – conductor
Dave Pietro, Brian Krock, Joseph Herbst, John Lowery, Andrew Gutauskas – woodwinds
John Lake, David Neves, Jonathan Saraga, David Adewumi – trumpets
Sam Blakeslee, Nick Vayenas, John Yao, Jennifer Wharton – trombones
Olli Hirvonen – guitar
Martha Kato – piano
Matt Pavolka – bass
Lee Fish – drums
Watch trailer HERE



The Sam Blakeslee Large Group is an 18-piece contemporary jazz orchestra that features some of NYC’s finest musicians. Walking a fine line between traditional and contemporary aesthetics, each Large Group performance will leave listeners surprised and inspired. Following a sold-out debut performance at Birdland in February 2023, the Large Group recently recorded two albums of Blakeslee’s original music at Oktaven Audio in Mount Vernon, NY, both of which are in post-production.


Originally from Columbus, OH, Sam Blakeslee is a New York City based, award-winning trombonist and composer. Since his arrival in NYC in August 2017, he has performed at iconic jazz clubs such as The 55 Bar, Smalls, Birdland, Dizzy’s Club, The Jazz Gallery, Zinc Bar, Lincoln Center, and the Blue Note.
As a trombonist, Blakeslee is active in the contemporary big band scene in New York where he performs regularly with Grammy-nominated ensembles like the Remy Le Bouef’s Assembly of Shadows, Manuel Valera’s New Cuban Express Big Band, Terraza Big Band, Dan Pugach Nonet, New York Afro-Bop Alliance Big Band, and Emilio Solla’s Tango Jazz Orchestra. He has also performed with jazz artists Sean Jones, Joe Lovano, Dan Wilson, Dick Oatts, Aretha Franklin, John Clayton, Big Heart Machine, and The Jazz Gallery Composer’s Showcase directed by Miho Hazama.
As a composer, he was a recipient of the 2018 David Baker Prize in Composition from Ravinia Steans Music Institute and was also a 2020 COVID-19 Commission Grant recipient from International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers. As a bandleader, he has released 4 albums with his projects the Sam Blakeslee Quintet, Sam Blakeslee & Wistful Thinking, and the Sam Blakeslee Large Group. In May 2023, he recorded two albums of his big band music with the Sam Blakeslee Large Group in NYC, with both set to be released separately at later dates.
As an educator, he is currently on faculty at the University of Hartford – Hartt School of Music, in the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz as Director of the Hartt Big Band and Artist Teacher of Trombone. He also served as the Director of the Tri-C JazzFest Jazz Academy at Cuyahoga Community College from 2015-2017, as well as having served on the faculty at Youngstown State University, Cuyahoga Community College, and Cleveland Institute of Music.