Guitarist JJ Sansaverino is an outstanding performer who has a “take no prisoners” performance attitude. His musical style is a mix of Smooth Jazz, R&B, World Music, and Fusion, “a la Santana meets Benson.” He has reached millions with his music, touring the world for the past 25 years. He has worked with the best in the business in a wide range of idioms, including live and in the studio appearing on hundreds of recordings. Now with the release of his sophomore CD, Waiting For You, from Innervision Records, JJ puts forward a stunning selection of original compositions. With the help of a stellar array of musicians, producers, and special guests, his singles “Back Talk” and “Gravy Train” have climbed many of the top radio charts, including Billboard.
An accomplished composer, arranger and musical director, JJ was playing trumpet and violin by the age of eleven and the guitar by thirteen. Growing up in and around New York, JJ’s diverse influences of Santana and Hendrix, as well as Jazz, Motown and Doo-Wop, helped mold his unique guitar style. After performing locally in NYC during the late 80s, JJ embarked on his first European tour with the popular alternative rock band Heads Up. Upon returning to the States, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston to study Commercial Arranging and Big Band, returning to NYC almost every weekend to perform his original music. During his studies at Berklee, JJ was the first and only artist to write an original piece for the well-known Singer’s Showcase (an all-cover music revue). In his senior year he arranged a medley of Sting’s music, which was performed for Sting, Nancy Wilson, and the graduating class at Berklee’s 1994 commencement ceremonies. JJ graduated cum laude and won the prestigious 1994 Writing Award of the Year.
After his Berklee experience, it was time to get to work. He returned to NYC and began performing nightly, quickly earning a reputation as one of the hardest working musicians on the scene. It wasn’t long before he started appearing and recording with artists such as George Clinton, Kelly Price, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Mary Mary, Super Cat, Shabba Ranks, Monty Alexander, the Jungle Brothers, and the Marley family. He continued recording TV jingles for numerous clients including Mercedes Benz, 1-800-Flowers, and Citibank.
He eventually settled in as lead guitarist for Maxi Priest in 2000, immediately embarking on the first of several world tours. In 2002 JJ had the prestigious honor of performing at Sir Paul McCartney’s wedding to Heather Mills. Returning to home he became a regular on NBC’s Today show, in addition to performances on Good Morning America and other popular morning shows. He also performed at several notable venues, such as Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, The Beacon Theater, and The Kennedy Center for President Bush in Washington D.C.
In 2005, JJ teamed up with powerhouse producers Alex Valenti (NYC) and Zé Luis Oliveira (Rio de Janeiro) to form ALZEJO Music. By fusing urban beats and Brazilian flavor with fresh horn arrangements and JJ’s unique guitar style, his debut CD Sunshine After Midnight was created. Featuring many of NYC’s finest musicians, Sunshine AfterMidnight presents a diverse showcase of all original music with a radio-friendly and street-savvy sound. JJ quickly starting performing his new music and selling out the legendary Blue Note Jazz Club numerous times.
A few years later in 2012, JJ signed to record label Innervision Records, releasing his first single “Swing Easy”. After distributing his CD worldwide, he started performing with Jazz greats such as Ricky Lawson, Victor Bailey and more. In early 2014 he released his Sophomore CD, Waiting For You, featuring the hit radio singles “Gravy Train and “Back Talk”. Shortly there after, he signed endorsement deals with ESP Guitars and Fuchs Amplifiers.
JJ continues to perform worldwide with reggae legends Maxi Priest and Shaggy, while simultaneously touring with his own band. Collaborating with different artists and producers on his current project, JJ is excited about his next CD, the untitled third release. With a diverse showcase of new music, it delivers a continuous array of colorful mood provoking music with many surprise guest appearances, a perfect follow up to Waiting For You.