Murl Allen Sanders with Warren Rand

Originally published in Earshot Jazz October 2012

Murl Allen Sanders describes his music as “zyfusico” – a fusion of jazz, pop and zydeco. He sings and performs on accordion, piano, and harmonica. Joining him are Seattle bassist Clipper Anderson, Tacoma drummer Mark Ivester and Portland saxophonist Warren Rand. “This is a high energy ensemble combining modern and traditional aesthetics,” Sanders says
Sanders’ accordion repertoire stretches across many musical genres – Latin, swing, funk, even orchestral. His “Accordion Concerto No. 1” premiered in 2003 at University of Washington’s Meany Hall. A grant from Seattle’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs supported his “Accordion Concerto No. 2” that premiered in 2007. The program for this festival performance won’t include an orchestra, but will include original material, straight-ahead jazz and some blues.

As a student, Sanders played jazz piano at Nathan Hale High School and Seattle Community College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education at the University of Washington. Now he teaches privately, performs publicly, records movie soundtracks and has won awards for his compositions.

Sanders derives satisfaction from “playing with excellent musicians for an appreciative audience, providing enjoyment for people and myself.” He draws on the “communicative loop” between artist and audience. “I like to evoke different emotions and responses from the audience, my fellow musicians and myself.” He finds it challenging to be “listening and responding in the moment and always being aware of what my fellow musicians are doing as I pay attention to my own sound and the overall sound in the room.”

Sanders says, “If you haven't heard jazz accordion, come to this show!

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