Biography

George Saenz is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and educator originally from the U.S.-Mexico border town of Laredo, Texas. Primarily a trombonist, he also plays keyboard, guitar, bass, accordian, and percussion. He grew up listening to many different genres of music, including the music of his Mexican-American heritage. When he was fifteen years old, his family took a vacation to New Orleans, where George bought his first jazz album -- Miles Davis's "Walkin'" -- and heard J.J. Johnson for the first time. He had already been playing the trombone in school, but hearing J.J. Johnson opened up the possibilities of what the trombone could sound like. He was first chair bass trombonist and a Texas All-State musician in high school; and soon after, he was touring the southwest United States and recording a live album with Tejano vocalist Ram Herrera. George attended the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) for two years, where he played in the wind ensemble, orchestra, jazz big band, jazz combo, and UTSA Mariachi Ensemble.

In May 2005, he moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, where he would begin studying brass performance and jazz composition. As the first call bass trombone player at Berklee, he was called upon to perform with Phil Wilson's Rainbow Band, Greg Hopkin's Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra, the Classical Brass Quintet led by Charlie Lewis, the Faculty Jazz Educator's Orchestra led by Brian Lewis, the Berklee Salsa Ensemble, and the Jazz Composition Dept Co-op Big Band. His path also led him to work with the Berklee Yo Team, with which he performed at the 2007 Berklee commencement ceremony with Gloria Estefan and The Edge, Singer's Showcase, and Singer's Night 2006-2007. George also shared the stage with Ruben Blades during the 2005 Hispanic Heritage Week, performed in the Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra with Bob Mintzer (2006), as well as played a concert with Brian Lewis and his Jazz Educator's Faculty Orchestra. He also represented Berklee College of Music throughout the city of Boston in performances with Eddie Palmieri and The Harvard Jazz Big Band led by Tom Everett, The Beantown Sqing Orchestra, The Ryles Club Big Band, and the Eguie Castrillo Latin Jazz band. In November 2007, he performed with Maria Schnieder and The Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra, and at the Beantown Jazz Festival with Phil Wilson's Rainbow Band.

Aside from playing the bass trombone, George is a talented composer and arranger. In January 2008, his arrangement of "Well, You Needn't" debuted at Ryles Jazz Club, performed by Eguie Castrillo's Latin Jazz Band. George currently resides in New York City, where he works as a performer and arranger.