Sean Mason, a Youngblood with deep groove and love of melody : NPR


Pianist Sean Mason, one among 5 younger jazz artists included in Jazz Night time’s inaugural class of Youngbloods.

Martina DaSilva/Amna Ijaz/NPR

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Martina DaSilva/Amna Ijaz/NPR

Pianist Sean Mason, one among 5 younger jazz artists included in Jazz Night time’s inaugural class of Youngbloods.

Martina DaSilva/Amna Ijaz/NPR

Sean Mason is in no rush. The younger pianist and composer takes his time in taking part in and composing, imagining his music as a bodily house via which to information the listener. He sees a lot of that music going down within the south, particularly North Carolina, the place he grew up taking part in piano in church. “It is one thing about … that feeling of going to that a part of the south that all the time sticks with me,” he says. “And so I am unable to actually get that out of my music.”

Mason’s music can also be exceptionally groovy – as he places it, “my goal is to play dance music,” citing ragtime stride piano as one among his best inspirations, together with early hero Ray Charles.

Mason moved to New York in 2018 to attend Juilliard, the place he related with the late pianist Frank Kimbrough, who grew to become his non-public teacher and an necessary buddy. Mason additionally caught the eye of each Wynton and Branford Marsalis, who’ve chosen him for the piano chair on some extremely prestigious gigs, from an all-Ellington program at Jazz at Lincoln Middle to the soundtrack for the movie Ma Rainey’s Black Backside.

On this version of our Youngbloods collection, we’ll hear a Sean Mason Trio efficiency at Dizzy’s Membership, in addition to Mason taking part in Ellington with bassist Endea Owens and a tune recorded in honor of Frank Kimbrough.


Sean Mason Trio: Sean Mason, piano; Butler Knowles, bass; Malcolm Charles, drums.

“Dancers in Love”: Sean Mason, piano; Endea Owens, bass

“For Jimmy G” from KIMBROUGH: Ron Horton, trumpet; Michael Blake, tenor saxophone; Sean Mason, piano; Michael Formanek, bass; Billy Drummond, drums.

Set Listing:

All music written by Sean Mason except in any other case famous

  • Sean’s Theme
  • The Lagoon 
  • Dancers in Love (Duke Ellington)
  • For Jimmy G (Frank Kimbrough)
  • Boisterous Blues 
  • Lavender/Sean’s Theme
  • Folly however Q 


Author and Producers: Alex Ariff, with Trevor Smith and Sarah Geledi; Assistant Producers: Scout Opatut and Camilo Garzón; Host: Christian McBride; Recording Engineer: Rob Macomber; Consulting Editor: Katie Simon; Episode combine: Ron Scalzo; Challenge Supervisor: Suraya Mohamed; Vice President of Visuals and Technique at NPR Music: Keith Jenkins; Govt Producers: Anya Grundmann and Gabrielle Armand.

The Jazz Night time’s Youngbloods theme was produced by Raydar Ellis.


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