Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Cion, Sarah Jane

Cion, Sarah Jane, pianist and composer; b. Boston, MA, 5 May 1967. Her mother is Elizabeth Heller, born in Willimantic, CT on 2/21/40. Her father is Maurice C. Cion, born in Jersey City, NJ on 3/16/37. Her brother is Peter E. Cion, born in Boston MA on 11/26/64. She graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music with honors and distinction in performance (1990). She also performed undergraduate studies at Tufts University (1985) and was in the Eastman University Summer Program in Jazz Studies. At the Banff School of the Arts in Canada, she did the Summer Jazz Workshop (1988, 1991). Her principal teachers Mike Longo (2000), Kenny Werner (1999), Fred Hersch (1998), Richie Beirach (1992), Charlie Banacos (1989-91), Donald Brown (1988) and Joanne Brackeen (1986).

Sarah Jane Cion graduated from the New England Conservatory in 1990 with honors and distinction in composition and performance.  Cion was the recipient of the 1988 Boston Jazz Society Award, and she was chosen as one of four pianists to attend the Banff School For the Arts in 1991 with an all-star faculty of Steve Coleman, Rufus Reid, Kevin Eubanks of the 'Tonight Show' orchestra, Marvin 'Smitty' Smith, Kenny Wheeler and Dave Holland.

Cion's trio performed in Japan at the prestigious Fukuoka Blue Note for the month of January in 2000 and Sarah appeared on the Nationally syndicated NPR radio show 'Piano Jazz' with Marian McPartland on February 8th, 2000.
Sarah has performed with young and older jazz legends such as Clark Terry, Al Gray, Etta Jones, Dave Leibman, Ron McClure, Dennis Irwin, Elliot Zigmund, Dr. Lynn Christie, Della Griffin, Ralph Lalama, Don Braden, Santi
Debriano, Alan Harris, Philip Harper, Alvester Garnett, Lonnie Plaxico, and many others. She is often found performing with New York City mainstay big bands such as the Lew Anderson Big Band at Birdland and The Spirit Of Life Ensemble at Sweet Basil and is currently performing with bestselling author and tenorman James McBride.

The Sarah Jane Cion Trio was the opening act for the George Coleman Quartet at the Mellon Jazz Festival in Pittsburgh in June of 98, and her quartet was featured in the JVC Jazz Festival in New York City later that summer. In May of 1999, her trio headlined at the Kennedy Center for the prestigious Women In Jazz Festival.  The trio also performed at the Freihofer's Jazz Festival in June of 2000, the Indy Jazz Festival in July, and Cion was featured as a solo pianist at the DuMaurier Atlantic Jazz Fest in Nova Scotia, Canada later that month.  The Sarah Jane Cion Trio was presented in concert by Savannah On Stage in March of 2001, and at the Smithsonian Institute-Voice of America Stage in Washington D.C. in May of 2001.

Cion has toured Israel, Portugal, Japan and Germany, and in July of 1996 Sarah worked side by side with Monty Alexander in his jazz workshop in Verbier Switzerland to assist and perform during the course of the week. Sarah's original song, It's Christmas Time, Once Again, was a finalist in the internationally acclaimed 1997 John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Sarah's music is currently being featured on the WABC TV soap All My Children in the Valley Inn Dining Room.  Her entry of the CD release It Could Happen to You with the Herve Jeanne Trio was a Jazz Podium winner, and Sarah was flown over to perform five concerts in Northern Germany in October of 1998, and May of 2001.
Sarah's Jazz Piano instruction manual "Modern Jazz Piano Revealed: The Musician's Guide to Jazz Piano" is published by Hal Leonard Music and is currently being used as the primary text at several college jazz programs including The Westminster Conservatory at Rider University in New Jersey.

She is married to bassist Phil Palombi and they have a child.

Indeed! (1998); Moon Song (2000);Summer Night (2001); Jazziz Compilation CD (July 2001)

As sideperson:
George Gee and his Make-Believe Ballroom Orchestra: Swingin' Live! (1997); Eva Mayerhofer: Into the Light (1997);  Brent Stanton Group: The Sign of the Kiwi (1998); Phil Palombi Group: 80 East (1999); Vinnie Cutro's NYC Soundscape: Abberation (1999); Jeff Rihab and the BMI Jazz Orchestra: (2000); Gary Guzio Quartet: I've Got a Secret (2002); James McBride Big Band: The Process (2003)

Radio and television broadcasts:
Marian Mcpartland's "Piano Jazz" National Public Radio Broadcast October 1999;
Joey Reynolds Show, WOR Radio (Syndicated) December 2002;
KSFR, 90.7RM Santa Fe Community Supported Public Radio: April 3rd, 2002 'Good Morning Jazz' Women in Jazz featuring Sarah Jane Cion;
"Voice of America," Smithsonian Institue, Washington D.C. May 2001;
WJCT Jacksonville Florida, Live Interview November 13th, 1999 1pm;
Kennedy Center Women in Jazz Festival : JazzSet with Branford Marsalis May 1999

Digital Cable Audio:
Music Choice; Digital Music EXP; Discover Music; Network PRI; Local NPR; Internet; AEI; PBS/NPR

Film documentaries:
James McBride's "The Process" 2002-03

WABC TV's All My Children "Valley Inn" Scenes Solo Piano and piano composed and performed by Sarah Jane Cion (2002/03)

Magazine Articles:
South Florida Friends of Jazz presents RIM SHOTS Volume 7, Number 1 Winter 2002 "Jazz at the Mangrove Winter Concert Series"
Florida Sun-Sentinal January 22, 2002 CRITICS CHOICE "Jazz Pianist Laces old Favorites with her own works" by Matt Schudel
CityLink Magazine January 9-15, 2002 MUSIC "Down and out at the top of her game: Rave reviews, endorsements from jazz ledgends, loft chart action...What's a young jazz artist like Sarah Jane Cion gotta do to get paid?" by
Bob Weinberg
Jazz Podium April 2001 "Die Kunstlerin bei der Arbeit und im Alltag: Sarah Jane Cion" by Lucius Mitchell (translation: "The Artist at Work and in her
everyday life")
Die Rheinpfalz,  March 5th, 2001 "Beeindruckendes Jazz-Talent  - Pianistin Sarh J. Cion bereichert Kulturreihe am Eiswoog bei Ramson" by Jorg Schiferstein  (Impressive Jazz-Talent- Pianist Sarah J. Cion enriches cultural series at Eiswog)
CDNOW Januray 2001 "'Pianist Sarah Jane Cion is making her name as one of the most engaging composers and performers on today's scene" by Drew Wheeler, CDNOW Senior Editor, Jazz
Downbeat Magazine, July 2000  New Pianos In Town-feature by Thomas Conrad
Prime Time Sunday, Sunday May 14th, 2000 "Pianist Making Mark in the World of Jazz" by Don DiIorio
Worcester Magazine March 15-21, 2000 A&E Sounds "'Moon Song at Noon - For award-winning jazz pianist Cion, it's in the bag" by Chet Williamson
The Riverdale Press  Vol. 50, No. 48 Thursday January 20th, 2000 "Breakthrough Album Launches Jazz Pianist"  by Alexi Friedman
Correspondent Nate Guidry reports Thurs. April 20, 2000 9:34am EDT "Pianist Sarah Jane Cion is Coming on Strong and Sweet/Winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition has new CD, Moon Song"
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Tuesday May 4th, 1999 "Women In Jazz Festival trumpets mix of veterans and rookies" -Nate Guidry
Jazz Times Magazine, December 1999 Hearsay by David Zych
Downbeat Jazz.com NEWS November 20, 1999 "Cion Wins Jacksonville Piano Competition"
Riverdale Press, Thursday November 25th, 1999 Accent on People "Jazz pianist Sarah Jane Cion wins competition in Florida"
The Florida Times-Union Friday November 12th, 1999 "Young Female Pianist Steals the show at jazz competition as judges quickly crown New Yorker" by John Carter
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Weekend Magazine  "For the Record" 1999 by Nate Guidry
The Herald, Sharon, PA Thursday March 11th, 1999 ENTERTAINMENT "Pianist's reward for sticking with it is a career in jazz" by Joe Pinchot
The Washington Post Saturday May 8th, 1999 Style "Eloquent Sets From Women in Jazz" by Mike Joyce
Jazz Szene Hannover: Eine Publikation der jazzmusiker-initiaitive hannover 1998 (Sarah Jane Cion -cover photo)
Tribune-Review June 13th, 1998 "Jazz-Ma-Tazz: Coleman, Cion turn fest into study of contrasts" by Bob Karlovitz
Hannoversches Wochenblatt May 20th, 1998 "New Yorker-Jazz-Pianistin im Marlene"
Hannoversche Allgemeine : " Gast in Hannover-Die Ispirierte" (Translation: The Inspired One as Guest in Hannover) by Martin Wolf  May 1998
Lippische Landes-Zeitung, Nr. 238 Dienstag, October 14, 1997 "Mayerhofer-Konzert ohne Mayerhofer-Sarah Jane Cion hat spontan zugesagt" (Translation: Mayerhofer  Concert without Mayerhofer - Sarah Jane Cion accepts spontaneously)
5/4 Magazine February 1996 "Face the Music" by Steve Robinson
The Riverdale Press Thursday, February 24th, 1994 Better Living "Her music is lush, dense and muscular...but is it any way to make a living?" by Jason Chervokas

Websites containing interviews/profiles:

First Place Winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition 1999
Second Place Winner - 4th Biennial American Jazz Piano Competition 1998
Top 10 Finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest - Children's Category 1997
Third Place Winner - 3rd Biennial American Jazz Piano Competition. 1996
Semi-Finalist - 2nd Biennial American Jazz Piano Competition. 1994
National Endowment for the Arts Study Grant - 1992, 1991, 1990
Boston Jazz Society Award - 1988

Contact information:

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