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in Colon, Panama, in 1954, Jorge Sylvester's cultural roots include a
Jamaican grandfather, a Panamanian mother, and a father from Belize.
Recalling his early exposure to music, he notes "my father owned a lot
of records and I listened to a lot of Sonny Stitt and John Coltrane."
By age 14, Sylvester was leading his own salsa band and going to gigs
with older musicians. An alumnus of the Panama Conservatory of Music,
he moved to Madrid, Spain, at age 22, working there for the next 10
years and touring throughout Europe. Most notably, he was co‑leader of
a quintet and sextet with bassist Miguel Chastang, with whom he
recorded two albums, and opened concerts for such stellar musicians as
Miles Davis, Jackie McLean, and Joe Henderson.
Relocating to the United States in the early $0's, Sylvester studied
music at The State University of New York at New Paltz, where he
joined a cooperative program with Karl Berger's Creative Music
Program in Woodstock, New York, which was under the artistic direction
of Omette Coleman. There, the saxophonist studied with such
musicians as Oliver Lake, Dave Holland, and Steve
In recent years, Sylvester has been living in New York City and
working with his own quintet, which includes Monte Croft, Gene
Jackson, Marvin Sewell, and bassist Jeff Carney.