Sam Newsome Trio

Thursday, November 29, 2018 @ 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Free RSVP Watch Online 2018-11-29 7 p.m. 2018-11-29 9 p.m. America/New_York Sam Newsome Trio 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212 Alphabet City

Join us for an evening of jazz with the Sam Newsome Trio!

The Sam Newsome Trio was formed in the fall of 2017 by soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome, initially to perform as a part of the 2017 Arts of Art Series. Newsome says that the chemistry was so strong, he knew this collaboration needed to be explored further. This inspired him to book several gigs around New York with the trio.

The trio performs all improvised music, often taking visual and sound oriented musical cues from Newsome on the soprano saxophone, coming from any number of his prepared and extended saxophones techniques—ranging from hanging chimes from his horn, balloons, tube extensions, and various sound manipulations such multi-phonics and unconventional tonguing techniques. As far the music, Newsome says, “Our goal is to the listener on a sonic journey. There will pretty moments and ugly moments. But we all come out on the other side having experienced something very magical.”


Featured Musicians:

New York-based saxophonist and composer Sam Newsome works primarily in the medium of solo saxophone, an approach through which he gained world-wide critical acclaim with the release of his 2009 recording Blue Soliloquy: Solo Works for Soprano Saxophone, which received a five-star review in Downbeat magazine.

Many of the notes and sounds that comprise his compositions and improvisations are derived from his own personal sound palette of extended techniques: multi-phonics, flutter tonguing, percussive slap tonguing, soprano saxophone specific micro-tones, air sounds, key clicks, air hisses, acoustic sound manipulation, Tartini tones, and various forms of oral cavity manipulation. Newsome sees himself more along the lines of a visual artist who paints with notes and sounds rather than shapes and colors. “My music, “ says Newsome, “is a type of improvisatory art music in which jazz functions more as a resource than a musical genre to be interpreted with stylistic specificity.

Even though Newsome’s approach is unorthodox, it has proven very fruitful—musically and critically.

Below are a few of his accolades:

2018 – Received the New Music USA Grant
2018 – Received The Alpert/Ragdale Prize in Music Composition
2018 – Nominee for Soprano Saxophonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association
2017 – Nominated for the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts
2016 – Received the NYFA Artist’s Fellowship for the Music/Sound category 2016 – Nominee for Soprano Saxophonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association
2014 – Voted Soprano Saxophonist of the Year by the Seventh Annual International Critics Poll

Newsome has also released six critically acclaimed solo saxophone CDs including Sopranoville: Works for Prepared and Non-Prepared Saxophone (2017); The Straight Horn of Africa (2014); The Solo Concert: Sam Newsome Plays Monk and Ellington (2013); and The Art of the Soprano, Vol. 1 (2012). Jazz writer Ed Enright, from Downbeat Magazine, wrote that Mr. Newsome’s The Straight Horn of Africa cd was “a modern masterpiece.”

As a performer, Newsome often performs solo saxophone concerts around New York and across the country as well as leading his own trio with bassist Hilliard Greene and drummer Reggie Nicholson. Newsome is also a frequent collaborator with drummer Andrew Cyrille, vocalist Fay Victor, pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, saxophonist David Liebman, and pianist Ethan Iverson.

Lastly, Newsome is an associate professor of music at the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University, where he is the music program coordinator, and teaches courses in jazz improvisation, music theory, and directs the University’s jazz ensemble.


Hilliard Greene has been an important mainstay on the New York City jazz scene for over forty years. The intense musical training he received at the University of Northern Iowa and the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass, prepared him to become one of the most sought after bassist on today’s music scene.

From 1995 to 2013, Greene performed and recorded with the late Jimmy Scott for 20 plus years, serving as his musical director, serving as his musical director. He was also the concertmaster for Cecil Taylor’s group Phtongos. Greene has and continues to perform collaborate with some of the most creative and forward thinking musicians on the New York scene: Rashied Ali, Barry Altschul, Billy Bang, Kenny Barron, David Berger, Karl Berger, Cindy Blackman, T.K. Blue, Dougie Bowen, Joanne Brackeen, Charles Gayle, Jon Hendricks, John Hicks, Don Pullen and many others.

In addition to being a sought after side person, Greene conducts master classes and performs solo bass recitals throughout the US and abroad.


Reggie Nicholson received his bachelor’s degree in percussion performance at Chicago State University afterwards becoming a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians in 1979, working early in his career with Ed Wilkerson. In the 1980s he played with Chicago-based notables such as Amina Claudine Myers, Henry Threadgill, and Ernest Dawkins. In 1988, Nicholson relocated to New York City, continuing his association with Threadgill and Dawkins, and also began with working with a who’s who list of experimental and free jazz pioneers:

Myra Melford, Michael Marcus, Roy Campbell, Wilber Morris, Don Pullen, Billy Bang, Charles Gayle, Leroy Jenkins, Thomas Chapin, Reuben Wilson, Jim Nolet, including a ten-year stint with Muhal Richard Abrams,

Event Details

November 29, 2018 @ 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

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