In April 2016 Sam Braysher London sax player travelled to New York to record his debut album as a leader, a duo with the celebrated American pianist Michael Kanan. Released in 2017 on Fresh Sound New Talent, "Golden Earrings" features pieces by Jerome Kern, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Victor Young, Duke Ellington and Tadd Dameron, as well as one original composition.
To coincide with the release of the album Sam has invited Michael Kanan over to the UK from New York City. Kanan is a real master with an exquisite touch, a world class interpreter of jazz standards who has collaborated extensively with jazz royalty including Jane Monheit, Jimmy Scott, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Peter Bernstein. Expect a fresh and intimate approach to the timeless material of the Great American Songbook from these wonderfully melodic improvisers in an intimate and conversational duo setting at Seven Arts
Pianist Michael Kanan hails from Boston, Massachusetts where he first began to play the piano at age 7. He started improvising at the keyboard early on, and by age 10 he was listening to jazz. His first instructor was pianist Harvey Diamond, a student of jazz innovator Lennie Tristano. During his years at Boston College, Michael had the opportunity to perform with several jazz greats including Tal Farlow, Lee Konitz, Al Cohn, and Alan Dawson. After graduating college and doing some freelance work around Boston, he moved to New York in 1991 to study with another Tristano student, the pianist Sal Mosca. He established himself in New York, playing and recording with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, and Jorge Rossy, among others. He also developed a growing reputation as a vocal accompanist. In 1996, he joined the band of legendary singer Jimmy Scott, touring the US, Europe, and Japan and recording 4 CDs. In 2001, Michael became the accompanist and arranger for one of today's most celebrated vocalists, Jane Monheit. With Ms. Monheit's group, he has toured all over the world, recorded several CDs and DVDs, and made many TV appearances, including The David Letterman Show and The Conan O'Brien Show.
When not on the road with the Monheit band, Michael performs and records with his own groups. He has made two trio recordings for Barcelona's Fresh Sound New Talent label: "Convergence" and "The Gentleman Is A Dope", both featuring bassist Ben Street and drummer Tim Pleasant. He has also recorded a duet with his longtime collaborator, alto saxophonist Nat Su, entitled "Dreams And Reflections". He can be heard around New York with his trio featuring guitarist Greg Ruggiero and bassist Neal Miner.
Saxman Sam Braysher studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, graduating in 2011 with a First Class Honours degree before becoming the jazz department’s Guildhall Artist Fellow for two years.
Based in East London, he now maintains a busy freelance career playing saxophone and clarinet across a wide variety of music, including early jazz and swing, straight-ahead and more contemporary styles of jazz. Since graduating he has performed with musicians including Jorge Rossy, Barry Green, Pete Hurt, John Warren Nonet, Mark Nightingale, Steve Fishwick, Gareth Lockrane, and Will Arnold-Forster (with whose quartet he won GSMD’s Chartered Surveyors’ Jazz Prize), and bands such as the London Jazz Orchestra, the London City Big Band and Alex Mendham & His Orchestra (an authentic 1920s/‘30s dance band which holds a residency at the Savoy Hotel). He has played at venues including Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza Express Jazz Club, the Vortex, the 606 Club, the Barbican Hall, Kings Place and Royal Festival Hall.
When leading his own trio or quartet (an early edition of which won the 2010 UK Jazz Radio Young Performers’ Award) he takes a particular interest in exploring lesser-known material from the American Songbook and jazz canon.
'In the overcrowded and competitive pit of new 'young lions', Sam Braysher's retro futuristic poise brings a sweet balm to sore ears.' Alex Garnett
‘[e]mbellished lines full of trills and twirls… a young crowd came out to dig Braysher’s reworked classics’ Jazzwise
"...Sterling solo work from pianist Michael Kanan..." LA Times
Sam Braysher and Michael Kanan are in concert @Seven Arts Leeds Sunday 10 Sept, 1.30pm. £10/8 concessions NUS £5 kids under 16 free