SAUCE: Sessions at National Sawdust
ESS SEE, VGM Collective, and Robbie Lee's open jazz session
Founded by Max Boiko in 2014, VGM Collective is an organization and 6-piece band dedicated to bringing relevance to the huge impact that 20th century video game music and its respective composers had on young musicians and people alike.
Born in the desert terrain of Tucson, Arizona, Robbie Lee is a pianist, vocalist, saxophonist, and composer that brings his amicable personality to his music. Throughout the years Lee has had the opportunity to play with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Candido Camero, Charles McPherson, Ray Drummond, and Brice Winston. He has played in numerous jazz festivals across the globe, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Umbria Jazz Festival, and the Montreux Jazz Festival. He has received awards in performance and composition from DownBeat Magazine, YoungArts, the Essentially Ellington Festival and Competition, and the Next Generation Jazz Festival.
Lee has been inspired and mentored by world-class musicians such as Scott Black, Doug Tidaback, Brice Winston, Mike Kocour, Ted Rosenthal, Jeremy Manasia, and Phil Markowitz. Growing up in Tucson, Lee was exposed to a broad range of jazz, from traditional to post-bop styles. As he gathered information from this plethora of music, Lee was encouraged to develop his own voice and keep an open mind. He is commonly regarded as a first-rate pianist/vocalist who draws musical inspiration from Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, and many others. While he mostly performs songs of the Great American Songbook and the jazz idiom, Lee also enjoys composing new works featuring himself and his peers. Every Friday night, Lee leads a trio that showcases these avenues of music, and hosts a jam session at Cleopatra’s Needle. The trio itself features Danish bassist Felix Moseholm and Floridian drummer Charlie Steiner. Moving forward, Lee hopes to captivate audiences through his music, spreading joy and compassion to all corners of the globe. Robbie just recently completed his bachelor’s degree in jazz piano performance at the Manhattan School of Music this past spring. This coming fall, Lee will be attending Juilliard as part of the Artist Diploma program in the Jazz Department.
ESS SEE is Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Sarah Cobb. Cobb began producing her electro-pop demos in 2009 alone in her bedroom at night — honing in on uniquely addictive and seductive melodies, often featuring themes dealing with identity, intimacy, and femininity. Embracing lyrical influences St. Vincent, Emily Haines, Carole King, and Garbage, ESS SEE delivers a heightened sense of vulnerability and intimacy in her songwriting. Her rich, often theatrical live performances engage audiences with eye-popping costumes, humor, and an electric presence. Her debut EP Ordinary Woman was released in 2017, and her first full-length album will be available in 2019.