Lee Savory 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.