For years, Jon has taught at the MDW University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna,
Vienna International School as well as the Main Music School of St. Pölten.
A new University position began in October 2022. Jon received the job teaching tuba, specializing in Jazz and Popular music at the JAM LAB MUSIC UNIVERSITY.
It is perhaps the first international University level position of its kind (see below).
I currently offer Jazz and Popular music instruction specializing in Tuba at the JAM MUSIC LAB PRIVATE UNIVERSITY in Vienna, Austria. Such a position specializing in Jazz is rare for a tuba player. The program is excellent for tuba players and teachers who want to enhance their educational profile and provide diversity to their skill base. The school offers opportunities to those who desire only private instruction, which is online and particularly beneficial to professional and amateur musicians! Jam Lab University provides an open door for tubists around the world.
The JAM LAB has a growing number of international students who can combine online instruction with the required physical presence in Vienna. The Jam Music Lab offers a curriculum for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees also pre-college studies.
This is a new trio with two fantastic musicians.
The new CD under the group name Orange Sun has a new sound!
Tuba, guitar and vocals. Orange Sun’s extraordinary instrumentation
opens up new worlds of sound, the trio creates an organic connection between
Jon has been invited to create the music for the theatre piece Iphigenie written by Angelika Messner. Since its premiere, last November in the TAG theatre the piece has received great reviews and continues today.
“Nichtsdestoweniger ein kluger, stark gespielter Abend, der schon allein wegen
Jazz-Tubist Jon Sass, der mit seinem Spiel der Sprache Rhythmus und Struktur gibt,
sehens- und hörenswert ist. (Andrea Heinz, 2.12.2022) DER STANDARD”
"Iphigenie": Schicksal für die Gegenwart
Jon Sass is well known as a true Groove Master and to be arguably one of the most creative tuba players to date! Born in New York City, Jon grew up in Harlem and started playing tuba at 14. Two weeks following his High School graduation, was the start of a professional career, he managed globe-trotting between Boston, Vienna, and New York while simultaneously completing his studies at Boston University. With opportunities blooming in Boston, Jon made a gut feeling decision to move to Vienna following his Univ. graduation.
Although rare for a tuba player, Jon has created his own niche, composing his own music and performance concepts, such as the multi-media programs "Sassified-Live" and "Sassy the Tuba". His first solo CD SASSIFIED was described as considered a milestone for the tuba and a synthesis of arts. He is uniquely versatile and is known in the German speaking world as "Der Tausendsassa der Tuba". His imitable approach and soulful sound has given him a truly unique solo career.
Before the start of the new Millennium, Jon has established himself as a solo artist featured with groups such as Major European Bigbands to Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensembles as well as many feature events. Jon can be heard on over 100 recordings. His progressive creative thinking concept called "Creative Impulse", has inspired the development of play-along books from Editions BIM-BASSLINE BOOK and TMV records-CREATIVITY SCHOOL, as well as team-building seminars- such as Corporate Groove.
Jon has played, recorded and toured worldwide with the creme de la creme of musicians and been featured together with artists such as Ivan Neville, Vince Mendoza, Peter Wolf, Ricky Ford, Bobby Shew, Steven Mead, chamber ensembles of the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic, in duo with Dave Taylor, Arkady Shilkloper, Wolfgang Puschnig, and Milagros Pinera. Other artists include Ray Anderson, Michelle Rosewoman, David Murray, Sunny Murray, Butch Morris, James Spaulding, Leon Thomas, Peter Erskine, Frank Foster, Erika Stucky, HenryThreadgill, Linda Tillery and the Heritage Cultural Choir, Howard Johnson Heavy Tuba and Vienna Art Orchestra. throughout Europe. Jon composes his own music and has arranged music for the James Brown Horns.
In a recent band called SOULUBA, Jon’s son was featured as the lead singer. His current band, THE DESTINY BAND, was created in response to the racial unrest for African Americans, in connection to the killing of George Floyd.
Jon's worldview is that "all things in our universe are connected, and music has the power to heal, move, bring different people together and provide enlightenment!"
“Sass could revolutionize the tuba.” (Edmonton Sun, Canada)
“That kinda leaves you with raised eyebrows. Tuba player did his homework, he was right on the money: tipitipi-ta-bome!” (Clark Terry – Downbeat Magazine)
“Jonathan McClain Sass, a virtuoso tuba player from Harlem who now lives in Vienna, defied the reputation of unwieldy instrument by playing exquisite trills that fluttered off into silence.” (The New York Times)
Jon developed a basis for progressive creative thinking called-Creative Impulse which has inspired the play along books from Editions BIM and TMV records, and for team-building seminars- such as The Corporate Groove.
Jon Sass, Tausendsassa an der Tuba (Ö1 18.04.2021)