At a time when more musicians are trying to be heard than ever before, rare gems like Samuel Blaser seem, paradoxically, rise above it all. Since his 2007 debut as a leader, 7th Heaven (Between the Lines), Blaser has grown at an almost incomprehensible rate, from a straight-ahead hard bopper in his mid-twenties to an innovative free player and ever-searching composer and bandleader in his early thirties - one whose improvisational strength has received high praise from media the world over.
Born and raised in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, Blaser lived in New York City for many years before relocating to Berlin, where he currently resides. He began trombone lessons at the age of 9, and his early interests ranged from Swiss folk music to American R&B and jazz. He entered the local conservatory at 14 and graduated in 2002 after being awards prizes in both the jazz and classical spheres, including the 2000 Benny Golson Prize. Participation in the heralded Vienna Art Orchestra and European Radio Big Band eventually led to a Fullbright Scholarship, facilitating studies in the United States at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music.
In his relatively short career, Blaser has worked with Swiss percussion legend Pierre Favre, pianist Hal Galper, drummer John Hollenbeck and saxophonist Michael Blake, and has worked with Grammy Award-winning producer Robert Sadin, and more recently with Daniel Humair and Michel Portal.
2018 will see Blaser touring with his trio featuring French guitarist Marc Ducret and Danish drummer Peter Bruun. Blaser is also back on the road with his original quartet to promote Early in the Morning, an homage to the Blues with Russ Lossing on piano, Masa Kamaguchi on bass, drummer Gerry Hemingway, Wallace Roney on trumpet and Oliver Lake on alto saxophone.
Photo Credit©Jean-Baptiste Millot