"Mr. Sabbagh avoided direct allusions to the saxophone totems. What he is working toward, simply and effectively, is a sincerely personal vocabulary."
–Nate Chinen, New York Times
Saxophonist and composer Jerome Sabbagh was born in Paris in 1973 and has been living in New York since 1995. A prolific forward-thinking composer, as well as a musician with a deep connection to the well of the jazz tradition, he has recorded six albums as a leader. Jerome Sabbagh was one of Paul Motian's last saxophone players. After one gig together, shortly before he passed, the legendary drummer asked him to play for a week at the Village Vanguard, in his "New Trio" with guitarist Ben Monder, in September 2011.
Jerome Sabbagh’s longstanding quartet with Ben Monder, Joe Martin and Ted Poor, a band which has been together since 2004, has released three albums, the critically acclaimed North, Pogo and The Turn.
Jerome has recorded an album exclusively devoted to standards, One Two Three, in a saxophone trio setting with Ben Street and Rodney Green. I Will Follow You is a freer project featuring European drum legend Daniel Humair and Ben Monder. Plugged In, sparked by a CMA/FACE grant, is an electric project co-led with Belgian keyboardist Jozef Dumoulin, with Patrice Blanchard and Rudy Royston.
Most Sundays, when he is in town, Jerome Sabbagh can be found at Grassroots Tavern in the East Village, playing with Adam Kolker, Jeremy Stratton and George Schuller, in what has become known as the Grassroots Jazz Effort.
Jerome Sabbagh has shared the stage with Victor Lewis, Bill Stewart, Jeff Ballard, Greg Hutchinson, Billy Drummond, Justin Brown, Eliot Zigmund, Andrew Cyrille, Damion Reid, Reggie Workman, Vicente Archer, Matt Penman, Joe Sanders, Steve Cardenas, Lage Lund, Mike Moreno, Gilad Hekselman, Dan Tepfer, Pete Rende and Jean-Michel Pilc, among others.
As a sideman, Jerome has been involved most notably with pianist Laurent Coq's quartet, Guillermo Klein's Los Guachos and the Marta Sanchez Quintet.
He has played in some of the world's most famous festivals, including Newport, San Francisco, Paris, Tokyo and Medellin. In 2011, DownBeat included him in their "Rising Stars" list for tenor saxophone.