Michael Sarin

Over the last twenty-seven years, drummer Michael Sarin has been at the center of New York City’s genre bending jazz and improvisation community. His versatility and musical wit helped forge long associations with forward-looking artists Thomas Chapin, Dave Douglas, Myra Melford, Ben Allison, and David Krakauer. 

Born in 1965, Michael was raised on Bainbridge Island, WA—a ferryboat ride from Seattle. His interest in music and the drums came early, nourished by both the record collections of his parents and older sister, and by the AM radio he received at age seven. 

His formal music education began during high school with drummer Dave Coleman, Sr. He went on to study with Tom Collier at the University of Washington, and later with master drummer, Jerry Granelli.

Since moving to New York in 1989, Michael’s unique style and approach to the drum set has been highly sought after by NYC and European musicians looking to expand the definitions of jazz and improvised music. He has contributed to recordings by the aforementioned artists as well as those of Frank Carlberg, Anthony Coleman, Mark Dresser, Marty Ehrlich, Mark Helias, Denman Maroney, Simon Nabatov, Mario Pavone, Ned Rothenberg, and Fred Wesley--recordings found on numerous music critics’ Top Ten CD year-end lists. 

Along the way, Michael has performed and/or recorded with musicians who color a broad spectrum of jazz and improvised music including Julian Priester, Lee Konitz, Fred Hersch, John Zorn, Fred Hopkins, Jay Clayton, Mark Helias, Chucho Valdez, Ray Anderson, John Medeski, Chris Wood, Baikida Carroll, Bobby Previte, Steve Swallow, Mamadou Diabate, Badal Roy, Kenny Wessel, Brad Shepik, Rez Abbasi, Steven Bernstein, Michael Blake, Ted Nash, Ron Horton, John Hebert, Drew Gress, Potato Valdez, Michael Formanek, Tony Malaby, Andy Laster, Ernst Reijseger, David Tronzo, Tim Berne, Bobby Bradford, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Aruan Ortiz, Frank Kimbrough, Fay Victor...

Michael performs all over the world--in major and minor festivals; concert halls famous and infamous, big and small. He has appeared as a soloist with the WDR Rundfunk Orchestra (Cologne, Germany); Jazz Sinfonica Orchestra (Sao Paulo, Brazil); Metropolis Ensemble (NYC); and Chamber Music Northwest (Portland, Oregon). He can be heard on recent recordings of Frank Carlberg, Mark Dresser, Joe Fiedler, Erik Friedlander, David Krakauer, and Leslie Pintchik.

As an educator, Michael has been on the faculty of the Maine Jazz Camp since 1999. He has taught drum set master classes at universities in the United States, and co-led jazz ensemble master classes in the U.S., Brazil, Namibia, India, and Europe. He is currently on staff of the Count Basie Theatre Performing Arts Academy; is a member of the teaching faculty of the New York Jazz Workshop; and is an Artist-In-Residence at Project Write Now. He continues to teach privately.

His work can be found at http://www.michaelsarin.com/