The Music of John Sawoski
Keyboardist / Composer / Producer / Musical Director
John Sawoski, born in Philadelphia, has been a Los Angeles-based multi-keyboardist, composer, and musical director since 1985. Besides serving as principal keyboardist for The Riverside County Philharmonic and The Capistrano Valley Symphony (which he has also guest conducted), he has performed with The Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, The Pageant of the Masters Orchestra, The Pasadena Pops, The Long Beach Symphony, The San Bernardino Symphony, The Redlands Symphony, The California Pops, The Golden State Pops, and The Orange County Four Seasons Orchestra. He has played for American Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox, for the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards (televised on KCET), Les Miserables, Wicked, Avenue Q, The Color Purple, Legally Blonde, Rock of Ages, 9 to 5, Seussical, Spamalot, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, A Chorus Line, Both Barrels: A Salvo of John Forster Songs, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Disney's Beauty and The Beast, The Secret Garden, Cathy Rigby's Peter Pan, The Mark Taper Forum, The Pageant of the Masters, and Disney's Candlelight Concert. He has also accompanied Frank Sinatra Jr., Michael Feinstein, Michael Crawford, Dale Kristien, Rachel York, Lisa Vroman, Monica Yunus, Davis Gaines, Sam Harris, Lucie Arnaz, Jim Carrey, Seth MacFarlane, Johnny Crawford, Bobby Burgess, Mable King, Audra McDonald, Regis Philbin, Susan Lucci, Jack Imel, Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, Jr., Taylor Hicks, and many others. Aside from performing throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, Mr. Sawoski has created hundreds of orchestrations and arrangements for singers for whom he has accompanied and music directed, including The Leading Ladies, Gregg Marx, Leslie Zemeckis, Dennis McNeil, Rodney Gilfry, Yma Sumac, and Marnie Breckenridge. His arrangements and orchestrations have been performed by the Philly Pops (arrangement only), Stockton Symphony, The Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the Boca Pops, The Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra, the Capistrano Valley Symphony, the Jerry Lewis Telethon orchestra, and many orchestras and ensembles at Hollywood recording sessions. He has composed, arranged, and recorded for numerous film and TV scores including The Starter Wife, ShowBoy, Winning Ugly: Twenty Years Later (for the Chicago White Sox), The Woman Chaser, Day of Atonement, and Lemo (for Finnish composer Tuomas Kantelinen); composed music for three musicals performed at Stanford University (his alma mater); orchestrated and arranged for Ed Begley's new musical César and Rubén; arranged and done keyboard-programming for workshop presentations of the new musical An Officer and A Gentleman (which ran in Australia Spring 2012); and has played on camera on Walk Hard, Rumor Has It, Las Vegas, Will & Grace, Veronica's Closet, LA Confidential, The Wedding Singer, Frasier, Man on the Moon, and HBO's Live From Baghdad. Mr. Sawoski played on and recorded flutist Zachary Valenzuela's recent album, Masterworks for Flute, as well as playing and arranging on Peter Sheridan’s low flute album Below (Move Records, Australia). His other recording credits include playing keyboards for Robert Drasnin’s album Voodoo II (Dionysus Records), The Adam Yurman Project (Crown Records, Tokyo), jazz musician Carl Rigoli's albums, and for Saylor Shin (Korean vocalist and #1 hit songwriter). He is currently involved with numerous arranging, orchestrating, composing, and recording projects in Los Angeles.
Please click the links at the left for performances and news, music clips, and more information about John Sawoski and his distinguished colleagues. And don't forget to bookmark this page and join John's email list.
Bernadette Peters, Riverside Phil, 2013 Pageant of the Masters, and more
New Vocal/Orchestral CD arranged and produced by John Sawoski - Shmueli's "Believe" on iTunes - for more info click here
New Solo CD - Cinema Amore on iTunes, Spotify, Rhapsody, and Amazon
Click here for Album Notes. Preview below or click here to buy physical CD.
|Press Reviews & Quotes |
"delightful"– Palos Verdes Peninsula News
"Among the other highlights of the evening were fine solo sections... a magical moment in "Lieutenant Kije" when the orchestra sounded like a music box led by keyboardist John Sawoski on celesta" - Riverside Press-Enterprise
"aroused astonishment..." - Corsair, Santa Monica
"provided imaginative and effective arrangements" - Cabaret Scenes Magazine, January 2012
"enormously entertaining... Sawoski’s seamless segues transported the singer smoothly from one song to the next, and kept the audience involved and delighted. [A] brilliant pianist, John Sawoski supported [the singer] at every turn with sensitivity and style." - Mountain News
"A phenomenal find." - Drama-logue
"We feel really lucky to have found our musical director, John Sawoski. He’s a fabulous pianist and his arrangements are so wonderful!
" - The Leading Ladies
"... FABULOUS ... JOHN SAWOSKI is a superb keyboard artist..." - Big Bear Life and the Grizzly
"I greatly enjoyed your mastery of the art of accompaniment" - Steve Allen
"... Very entertaining..." - Dr.Demento, on the air
"To paraphrase a familiar lyric by Alan Jay Lerner, I could have listened all night." – Rick Rogers, The Daily Oklahoman
"Extraordinary… truly magic... swept the audience along." – Lee Miller, Producer, 2004 Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon
"captivating... pure elegant fun!" - Peter Jaffe, Music Director & Conductor, the Stockton Symphony
"...a huge hit in San Francisco's 'Help is on the Way for the Holidays'...totally enthralled the audience and left them screaming for more." – Ken Henderson, Executive Director, Richmond-Ermet AIDS Foundation, San Francisco
"Magnificent ... brought glamour and grace to the event." - Katherine Moore, Jewish Vocational Service Diamond Anniversary Gala
"a dream to work with! The best Musical Director I've ever had the pleasure of knowing." - Evelyn Rudie, Artistic Director, Santa Monica Playhouse
"the six-member ensemble [of Funny, You Don't Look Like A Grandmother], beautifully balanced under John Sawoski's fine musical direction, generates the largest pleasures." IN/LA Magazine
"Your own arrangements and treatment of those (Japanese) songs made them more contemporary and interesting. I like what you did..." - Lalo Schifrin
"great accompaniment" - Rhonda Fleming
"An excellent pianist and accompanist, and amazingly versatile as well." - Mabel King
"Should do a solo piano album..." - Henry Mancini
"Fantastic pianist. Sensitive, subtle... perfect for the room." - Harry Nilsson
"Really blew the people away... audience [is] still talking about the [celebrity benefit] show." - Robert Young, Chairman, Western Spaceport Museum and Science Center
"He not only looks like a dream, but he plays like a dream, which is rare - let's face it..." - Beatrice Straight
"A talented keyboard stylist... Classically trained, [he] is also great with Broadway show tunes as well as pop and rock selections." - Wally Cedar, Editor, The Regency Report
Musical Styles: Classical, Jazz, Film, TV, Musical Theater, and Easy Listening
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This entire web site and all music, unless otherwise specified, Copyright 2008 John Sawoski, PO Box 7060, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. (310) 590-6000. All rights reserved. The information and music on these pages cannot be used without the express written consent of the copyright holders.