Sean Sullivan

From blues to bossa to ballads to swing to latin to folk to funk to reggae to bebop, singer-songwriter-guitarist Sean Sullivan always serves up a savory gumbo of grooves from his own distinctive melting pot. He believes that his musical talents are influenced by his family’s heritage and surroundings. My mother is of Cherokee and French descent. Her father was a Nazarene minister and her grandfather was a bible-totin’ circuit rider (c.c.rider). “In a sense, it feels like I carry on the preaching tradition as a performer.” Mix in some rural rouille with a bit of island spice and a cup urban bohemia. When I was a kid, we moved to the Bahamas and then to Manhattan’s upper west side. They were both freelance writers, but my mother was a Martha Graham dancer, was an activist, a poet, and my father hosted a jazz radio station and was an avid artist. The apartment was filled full of music and art. My first performances were at home parties attended by celebrities and hipster friends. I would be marched out in my pajamas by them to imitate pop, rock and jazz icons. My father was a New Yorker, Jesuit-educated, and from “bootleggers” background. He was born in Brooklyn, and had a mob lawyer father. Growing up in a flamboyant home environment had its ups as well as downs. But, ultimately, I’m grateful for the emphasis of creativity, the arts and liberal education.” Sullivan started playing guitar and singing with the school choir. At Wesleyan University, Sullivan was able to earn a degree as an English Literature scholar and continue his musical studies. “With the Wesleyan Singers, I performed Gregorian chants and madrigals. One track had us banging on junkyard music and making nonsense sounds. Wesleyan was the first to create the global music scene. I felt a ‘global village,’ with a wide variety of concerts and teachers that could challenge even the most jaded of western minds. Sullivan began playing professionally in Boston after college while studying jazz at Berklee College of Music, and classical guitar at The New England Conservatory. After a few solo gigs throughout the United States and Puerto Rico he returned to New York. “Arnie Lawrence from the New School saw a demo tape that I had made and invited me to come down to study jazz. When I arrived at the New School, Jon Hendricks was telling stories to his class. I was shocked. His music had been my favorite since I was a child. “Gimme That Wine”, “Cloudburst”, and all the Lambert, Hendricks songs

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