Sharel Cassity

Sharel Cassity's Biography

Saxophonist, Composer, and Educator Sharel Cassity is a nationally acclaimed saxophonist prominent on the New York and Chicago jazz scenes. Named "Rising Star Alto Saxophone" of 2023 and having a cover story in Downbeat Magazine, Sharel has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, The Colbert Show, is in the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, and is a recipient of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award. Sharel has worked with Multi-Grammy Award-winning artists Jennifer Hudson, Natalie Merchant, Aretha Franklin, Vanessa Williams, & Trisha Yearwood, among others. She has also performed alongside NEA Jazz Masters and Grammy Award winning artists Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jimmy Heath, and Christian McBride, and additionally has been a featured guest soloist with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. As a bandleader, Sharel's five albums have received top-rated reviews in publications like The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, JazzTimes, Jazziz, Downbeat, and American Indian News, with a cover feature in Saxophone Journal. Sharel earned a master’s degree under full scholarship at Juilliard in NYC and is a professor at DePaul University and Elgin Community College near Chicago, IL. Currently, Sharel is a member of the Dizzy Gillespie Afro Latin Experience, Nicholas Payton's Television Studio Orchestra, and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band. Residing near Chicago, Sharel records for her record label Relsha Music, among others, and is the director of her non-profit educational program Jazz Up!. Sharel is a proud Yamaha and Vandoren Performing Artist, exclusively playing Yamaha instruments and Vandoren equipment.

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