Lee Savory Biography

Trumpet / Flugelhorn

Lee Savory Photo
"They'll be busy in the Statehouse, the boxing ring, the Museum of Art, St. John Arena, jazz venues and elsewhere. Keep an eye on these folks."

Man With a Horn

When you're hot, you're hot. Jazz trumpeter Lee Savory has been around for quite a while, since his days of doing "Script Ohio" with The Ohio State University Marching Band in the '60s. But for some reason, the moonlighting jazz career of this software specialist from AT&T Bell Labs has been taking off. Maybe it's just that he's so good.

Since his old group, Ibada, cooled, he's been playing with Greg Pearson and The Governor.

He's formed a trad brass quintet mostly of AT&T employees called CBrass.

He's been showing up at Rigsby's with Richard Lopez and has done time with both Hank Marr and Gene Walker this fall. And when he has an evening to spare, he drives to Cleveland to play with the Dave Thomas Quartet in the Warehouse district.

Ray Eubanks recently tapped him to sit in with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra for the first concert series of the season, where his solos fired the audience the first time he took the stage. (Next CJO appearance for Savory - the Buddy DeFranco concert mid February.) Savory says he grabbed at the opportunity to play with guys who have developed such a tight ensemble style they're "like a single mind."

"I'm privileged and blessed," Lee Savory says modestly. He's also, not incidentally, a damn fine trumpeter.

The "People to Watch in 1995" Editors
Columbus Monthly - January 1995


Lee Savory PhotoLee is a computer systems analyst and a prominent jazz soloist with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. Born in Columbus, Ohio in the mid 40's, Lee started his professional music career with the Sammy Hopkins Big Band at the elegant Southern Hotel Victorian Ballroom in the mid-60's. He also traveled extensively with the ever-present Dave Workman Blues Band. He did an R&B stint with popular soul groups The Four Mints and The O'Jays in the 70's. Lee was a core member of the very famous groups Wright Mood Band (featuring vocalist Alice Bryant) and The Seeds of Fullfillment (starring Jeanette Williams on vocals) in the 80's. The Seeds, as they were called, produced a self-titled album of critical acclaim in 1981 with original works by Lee. In the early 90's, Lee was a charter member of The Governor, led by drummer Greg Pearson and anchored by saxophonist Pete Mills, known for its progressive jazz arrangements.

Lee has played with such great vocalists as Mary McClendon, Jackie Jones, the late Marie Walker, Kelly Crum-Delavaris, Betty Williams, Jeanette Williams-Brewer, Tia Harris, Chicago's Ingrid Wallace, Louise Salvador, Alice Bryant and Jennifer Price; saxophonists Paul Causer, Charles "Cookie" Cook (who taught him the art of lyracism and aesthetics), New York's George Coleman (who taught him how to circular-breathe), Randy Mather (now seen with Kim Pensyl), Mike Olsheski and his son Bryan Olsheski, Gene Walker, Joe Crump, and Andrew Waters; trumpeters Pharez Whitted, Detroit's Marcus Belgrave, Doc Severinsen and Columbus' own Bobby Alston (Lee's high school classmate); bassists Doug Richeson (a Tony Bennett protégé), Roger Hines (Diane Schuur's musical director), Terry Binns, and Andy Woodson (look for Lee on Andy's Scioto CD); drummers Matt Wagoner, Reggie Jackson, Louis Tsamous, Jim Rupp, and Joe Ong; organists Bobby Shaw, Alvin Valentine, Yogi Cowan, Tom Collins, John "Skip" Anderson (now touring with Luther Vandross), Jim Manerie with Alias, Bootsy and Jimmy Carter, and Italian stud Tony Monaco; and pianists Bobby Floyd, Geoff Tyus, Harold Mayburn (musical director for Hubert Laws), gospel giant Vernon Hairston, Dayton's own Ken Khalid Moss, Joe Hunter, Kenny Banks, Dan Kelly, Chilean Andres Sylleros, latino artist Richard Lopez, Dave Powers (the walking jukebox), Ed Moed, Mary Daniels (Lee was often guest artist with her all-female band Moxie), Mark Flugie, Bill Mason and the incomparable Hank Marr over his career.

Trumpet Art Don't be surprised to find Lee in central Florida with the dynamic and vivacious Jackie Jones, whose vocal demand has sent her on tours to Russia and across the USA. Lee has also been found in the Orlando and Sarasota areas with guitarist/bassist/pianist Nathan Page, who enjoyed national exposure with the likes of Jimmy Smith and Roberta Flack and is now producing several CDs under his own Hugo Music label. Lee has also done time with Cleveland's Holland Tunnel Project consisting of pianist Dave Thomas, bassist Cedric Napolean (Pieces of a Dream), drummer Noah King and the exciting saxophonist Eddie Baccus, Jr. (Pieces of a Dream) to packed audiences in the widely known downtown jazz club, Sixth Street Under. Lee has also spent time with internationally known pianist / bassist / vocalist / song writer / gospel artist Milton Ruffin.

Lee has graced the outdoor stage to record crowds annually at the Columbus Jazz & Rib Festival, Columbus Art Festival, Columbus Community Fest, Olde Town East Festival, Shaker Heights Jazz Festival, Lancaster Festival, the Newport Beach Jazz Fest, and Rollins College Martin Luther King Celebration in Winter Park, Florida.

Recently, Lee can be seen with the fusion / funk band Ibada, led by drummer Roger Myers and guitarist Robert Kraut, at the 501 Club in Columbus' famous Arena district. He also holds first chair with the classical African American Brass Ensemble, led by the prestigious Dr. Theodore H. Turner. Ted Turner's jazz compositions and trumpet improvisations have propelled him to national prominence among jazz educators. Lee also rocks the house at huge venues with Dave Powers' rock / pop band, Powerhouse.

Lee participated on a CD and video project with Columbus vocal sensation Dwight Lenox, and often can be seen soaring high in his mini big band, the Lenox Avenue Express. Having toured in Europe and shared the Columbus Jazz Orchestra stage with saxophonists Benny Carter, Norris Turney and James Moody, pianist Monty Alexander, and vocalist Carmen Bradford to name a few, Lee stays in high demand for his virtuoso trumpet work.

From 2001 to 2007, Lee Savory joined the Urban Jazz Coalition, one of the hottest contemporary jazz groups to emerge on the scene in years, as their first trumpet player.

With over 750 "live" club, concert, and festival performances to their credit during those 7 years, this exciting group has developed a strong national following via their energizing performances as opening act for a variety of international smooth jazz artists including The Rippingtons, Larry Carlton, Rick Braun, Spyro Gyra, Norman Brown, Will Downing, Pieces Of A Dream, Jonathan Butler, Marion Meadows, Ken Navarro, Roy Ayers, and Al Jarreau.
"San Juan Nights", Urban Jazz Coalition's lead single from the 2001 release, "Into The Night", reached the #53 position on the Gavin Smooth Jazz Airplay Chart and continues to remain in rotation at many top smooth jazz stations around the country. "Contempo", the band's summer 2002 release, yielded another top radio single, "After Dusk", and was listed on the Jazz Week Chart bound Album List during the spring of 2003. Urban Jazz Coalition also reached the #45 position on the Smoothjazz.com Album Airplay Chart and was recently listed at #2 on the Music Choice "Top 10" Digital Airplay Chart.
"Long Street" promised to be UJC's best album to date & chock full of delicious grooves, and filled to the brim with a unique blend of radio-friendly Jazz, R&B, and Latin music. Your listeners will love it!
Amazon.com Editorial Review

The real base of Smooth Jazz are those artists which are constantly performing on hundreds of gigs and regularly releasing new albums. UJC is one of these groups and it is always a pleasure to review their records. Their newest project is "Long Street" showcasing the following members: Brandon Howard (piano & keyboards), Ben Sherburne (saxophones, flute, keyboards), Lee Savory (trumpet & flugelhorn), Joe Gothard (guitar), Phil Raney (bass), Jim Bridges (drums) and Hector Maldonado (percussion).
The album starts with Rising Park. Lead instrument is the sax. No wonder Ben Sherburne has written this title. It reminds on tunes of "The Rippingtons", especially those together with Brandon Fields.
Momma's Eyes is a funky and hooking song. Savory (trumpet) and Sherburne (sax) have a brassy duet with solos of both. The funky tone is delivered by Joe Gothard's guitar with short touches. Also impressing the keyboards in the background.
Just Believe showcases anew UJC's brass power. Savory's and Sherburne's solos are intensive but always smooth and accommodating.
Something for the peaceful moment offers Intimate Journey. Brandon Howard on piano shows his brilliance.
Pleasure Seeker, the title song of Paul Taylor's album from 1997, is already a classic. Covered by UJC this song gets an absolute refinement. Especially real drums and percussion level this tune upwards. Remarkable the guitar part with echoes.
Nowadays Latin flavor is very popular. Luquillo Beach has a nice Bossa attitude.
We Fall Down is the first vocal song on the album. Friends of gospel music will like it. The song was written by Kyle Matthews. Kyle is a great writer of gospels which are performed by The Martins, Across The Sky, Avalon, Bob Carlisle, Gary Chapman and more. Most of you will know this song by Gerald Albright's album "Groovology". On Gerald's album this song is mainly performed by a female vocal. Here is the lead singer and tenor Quan Howell who is known by his work with Jon Secada and Sounds of Blackness ("Time For Healing"). This version shows more the original gospel character of this song as intended by Kyle.
Deeper into funk with Long Street. Average-White-Band-feeling and some timbales from Santana.
Jamocha is a good example for UJC's sophistical arrangements.
People Make The World Go 'Round was originally performed by The Stylistics on their debut album (1971), then by Michael Jackson for the movie track of "Ben" (1972). Since that time the song became a classic covered by Angela Bofill, Walter Beasley, Bob Baldwin, Ramsey Lewis, Joe McBride, Bill McGee, Marcus Miller, Phil Upchurch and hundreds more. I think this version is the longest one (11:37).
UJC, thanks for the new album. I had a lot of fun listening to it. — A smoothjazz.com Review

Back In The Ville, the first single from Urban Jazz Coalition's brand new CD, Down To Get Up, kicks off an outstanding album by one of the hottest groups to emerge on the contemporary jazz scene in some time. The single is a reflection of the entire project, which is chock full of rhythmic gems, seamless interplay between horn and rhythm sections, and undeniably head-bobbing grooves! Material from the new CD has already been road-tested and is receiving a resounding response from music lovers across the country during the band's Summer 2006 Tour. Thousands of smooth jazz fans, coast-to-coast, have grooved to UJC's high-energy sound, which has been called a unique blend of smooth jazz textures and fiery funk.
by JAZZIZ Magazine

The Urban Jazz Coalition strikes pay dirt again with their fifth release, DOWN TO GET UP (2006). It's hot stuff, with an aggressive approach to contemporary jazz that's totally fresh and invigorating. As I mentioned in my review of 2003's "Long Street," the UJC sound is in the tradition of the great fusion groups Yellowjackets and Spyro Gyra, but with their own signature sound... very "now," very high-style. These guys are talented, the production's strong, and if you're into non-formula real contemporary jazz, then you'll definitely dig this one. One change in personnel to note from their last project if you want to get your scorecards ready: Now playing tenor sax and flute... the incredibly talented Keith Newton. Ben Sherburne does guest on this date, though, playing soprano sax and flute. Another special guest of note here is guitarist Nils, who's done incredibly well on the charts this year with his solo project, PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY. Ten out of the dozen tracks on this CD are originals from the group; two are covers, including Toto's "Georgy Porgy" and the Bill Meyers/Maurice White tune "On the Radio," from the Urban Knights songbook. So, what are our favorites? In addition to the hot new first radio single, "Back in the 'Ville," we're especially digging "True Love," Keith Newton's "Groove 4U" and the beautiful ballad, "Intimate Journey." UJC's DOWN TO GET UP is high-quality, dynamic fusion jazz, with compelling compositions, killer performances, and that indefinable vibe that says "winner." This one belongs in your library!
by Scott O'Brien of SmoothJazz.com (Sandy Shore)

Lee Savory and UJC have electrified audiences across North America performing their unique blend of Urban Jazz/R&B at many of the nation’s top jazz festival and concert venues including The Seabreeze Jazz Festival, Jazz Fest West, The Columbus Jazz Fest, Las Vegas City of Lights Jazz Fest, The Detroit Taste, The Detroit 98.7FM Smooth Jazz Fest, The Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, The Jacksonville Jazz Festival, The Asbury Park Jazz Fest, The Modesto Summer Jazz Festival, The Carlsbad Summer Fest, Palm Springs Jazz Fest, Atlanta's Powder Springs Pavilion, Dayton's Fraze Pavilion, Gahanna Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival and numerous other venues around the country.

Tell your friends about Lee Savory! — Smooth Savory Sounds to Soothe Your Soul
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