Within four years later Jon graduated from New York's Music and Art High School, presently the La Guardia School for the Performing Arts. Two weeks after graduating High School, at age 18 Jon was recommended to play that summer with Europe's premiere big band, the Vienna Art Orchestra. During this exciting venture, little did Jon know that this would be the start of a big career and life in Europe. While furthering his studies in the fall at Boston University, Jon experienced playing between New York, Vienna and Boston while working to complete his Bachelors Degree in Music by 1985. With the choices of living in Boston, New York City or Vienna, he chose the latter, where he soon found himself starting his years in Vienna playing with 4 distinct, and uniquely different international bands. Jon has soon after become one of the first call tubists in Europe.
Jon's worldview is that "all things in our universe are divinely connected, and that music has the power to heal, create positive emotions, and can provide enlightenment!" With his truly unique and soulfully penetrating sound, Jon's career has made a tremendous impact in the "Brass World," and in the music industry, as his style is like no other. His grooves are ferociously funky and dynamic! For the past several years, Jon has been an official American Cultural Representative giving workshops and in great demand for his concepts which focus on the creative aspects of making music. His first highly acclaimed solo CD Sassified has positioned him as arguably the most creative artist playing tuba, living today. Currently Jon is working as a unique solo performer who plays, composes and is architect to a dynamic and entertaining solo show where Jon connects with his audience and shows true creative strengths. Jon can also be seen playing solo programs in collaboration with other hot performers. For more info on his current programs and ensembles see Jon's new blog on his website » Link To date he has made over 70 recordings.
Currently working as a solo artist, Jon has crossed over from playing collaborations with artists and groups such as the Vienna Art Orchestra, Boston Symphony-Empire Brass, Art of Brass Vienna, Circum, Austrian Brass Connection, Ray Anderson, Peter Wolf, Ricky Ford, Erika Stucky, Sud Pool, Henry Threadgill, Michelle Rosewoman, David Murray, Sunny Murray, Butch Morris, Leon Thomas, Vince Mendoza, Peter Erskine, Linda Tillery and the Heritage Cultural Choir, Howard Johnson, Arkady Shilkloper, Gideon Kremer. Feature programs together with Bobby Shew, Ivan Neville, Hans Theessink, Millagros Pinera, Wolfgang Puschnig, Wolfram Berger, and many more. Jon has also performed solo and recorded with Several Wind Symphonies. Jon has also written arrangements for the James Brown Horns. Jon’s music: "I never considered myself a jazz or classical musician, but foremost an artist." Living in Europe - in Vienna - for many years, only increased Jon's stylistic flexibility and his ability to feel at home with and crossover between classical music, Jazz and Avantgarde.
With his early musical roots embedded in R&B, Soul, Groove, Funk and Blues, especially when it comes to his identification with singers and bass players of this type of music, Jon is best known for his distinctive, soulful sound - for example on the 3 "Heavy Tuba and Jon Sass"-recordings, to name just a few. Sassified - the new solo CD: The combination of Jon's huge musical talent with everything that ever influenced him can be enjoyed on his » new solo CD, which turned out to be a unique blend of his rich experiences in various musical formations, from duets to Big Bands and from small to big classical orchestras. His early roots go back to what we might call "the best black music ever recorded", evoking memories of James Brown, Isaac Hayes and so many others, moving to present day rap and hip hop tunes - and from there crossing effortlessly over towards an almost classical structure of music, sometimes spiced with avantgarde sounds. The result is a terrific mix of differing musical styles and timings - the longer you listen to it, the more beautiful and convincing it gets - definitely a masterpiece. Read more on Last.fm.
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