Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Sunseri, James J.

Sunseri, James J., tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute.

Sunseri had private clarinet studies for four years (1956, 1957, 1960, 1961). At Wright Junior College, he was a Music Education Major ((2yrs., 1964 thru 1966). At Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University, he majored in Music Education and Music Composition (3yrs., 1966 thru 1969). He had private instrumental jazz studies on Tenor Saxophone in Chicago with Joe Daley (l year, 1966-1967). He formed his own jazz trio (tenor saxophone, guitar, drums) and played for weddings, dinners, meetings, etc. (2 year 1967, 1968). While in the Navy at Moffett Field, California, he played at various Naval functions and Veteran's hospitals with a drummer as a duo. He wrote and arranged a big band piece titled "Happygrass" that was performed by the local junior college big band at several concerts. The leader-instructor was Tom Gates. (l year, 1970). He played in a six-piece lounge band. He composed an untitled blues piece that they played in the clubs ( 2 years, 1971, 1972).

He played in a five-piece wedding band, Music Unlimited ((l6 years, 1971 thru 1986). He formed his own 16-piece big band, Jazz Unlimited Big Band and played at various clubs and concerts (7 years, 1982 thru 1988). This band was recently reactivated as The Jazz Unlimited Orchestraunder different leadership. James is still part of the saxophone section. He also played in the 11-piece rock & roll band Cantafio and the Giant killers ass part of the 5-piece horn section. He played tenor and alto saxophone. They performed at outdoor and indoor concert venues as well as weddings, dances, and VIP parties (4 years, 1987 thru 1991). He played in studio recording sessions with small groups and a 16 piece big band for vocalist Sally Richards. Sessions were tapings for her demo. He played in the 16-piece Bobby Sanders Dance Orchestra (l year). He played in The Lombardo Orchestra directed by Al Pierson. Venues included dances, concerts, and the Mississippi Riverboats American Queen and Mississippi Queen. Also played the cruise ship Westerdam (Dec.1997 to 2001) He was on the road full time with the band from June thru November of 2000.

At Present, he's playing in the 16-piece Chicago Grandstand Big Band (l2 years). He's also playing in Jazz Unlimited, a two to four piece combo that he formed to play background jazz at various functions (3 years). He's also playing in The Jazz Unlimited Orchestra, a 16-piece big band led by two friends, Rodney Clark and Joel Sears. Venues include various dances, private parties and downtown clubs. He's also playing with the Mike Louie Trio (early 2001 thru present). Trio consists of guitar, tenor saxophone, & upright bass. Venues include Border's Books, local suburban libraries and various clubs.

Sally Richards: Not Just Another Chick Singer (1995); Once Again For the First Time (2000)

Contact information:
6249 W. Berenice Ave.
Chicago, IL 60634-2502

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