Virtuoso saxophonist and DW Records recording artist Sharel Cassity tours the world performing creative, straight-ahead jazz to the delight of fans, critics, and herself. "This is why I am here- to be a working jazz musician. It's the reason I get up in the morning... what more could I want?" Cassity's fervor has been internationally rewarded through the IAJE Sister's In Jazz, Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead, and the 2007 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award.
Holding the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from New School University and The Juilliard School respectively, Cassity draws upon the polish and discipline of her conservatory training to augment her "beautiful, highly-personal tone" (Benny Green) and informed approach. "...this altoist's flights are positively Bird-like" (Jazziz Magazine).
As a leader, Cassity has enchanted Manhattan's notoriously discriminating audiences at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, NBC's Rainbow Room, and the legendary West Village bop stop Smalls. Cassity's experience as a sideman ranges from the big bands of DIVA, Jimmy Heath and Valery Pomanarev to the small groups of Harry Whitaker, Ingrid Jensen, Mark Whitfield and John Lee. A talented woodwind specialist, Cassity is often called to perform on clarinet, flute, alto flute and piccolo as well as soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones when necessary. Her versatility has secured concerts at the Playboy Jazz Festival, Mary Lou Williams Festival, Costa Rica Jazz Festival, Avery Fischer Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and the Ureke Symphony Orchestra.
"Serious fun, approached with absolute artistic conviction and integrity-driven grooves!" says Ingrid Jensen of "Just For You" (2008) by the Sharel Cassity Sextet. Featuring veteran rhythm players Vincent Ector and Paul Beaudry alongside young lions Adam Birdbaum (Greg Osby Quintet) and Mike Dease (Slide Hampton All-Stars), Cassity's alto saxophone floats over lush arrangements that are sure to keep your head bopping and your finger on the "rewind" button.
Currently based in New York City, Sharel Cassity is originally from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A committed educator, Cassity's private studio is in its eight year. She is also a Landmark/Coalition Jazz Foundation faculty member in the borough of Manhattan.
Sharel plays Yanagisawa saxophones and Vandoren reed