Born in 1972, David Sauzay began playing the saxophone at the age of 8 in Roger Michel-Frederic's class.
In 1988, it was during an exchange with the Doncaster School of Music in England, directed by John Ellis, that he decided to become a jazz musician.
He went on to study at the Lyon Conservatoire, ENM Villeurbanne with Gilbert Dojat and at AIMRA with Jacques Helmus.
Sauzay worked with Mulgrew Miller, Tete Montoliu, John Abercrombie, Tim Ries, Albert Mangelsdorf and Carla Bley's big bands.
In 1994, he became an active member of Collectif MU, founded the same year. This collective of musicians got together to play every night in a cellar in Mâcon (France), which later became the Crescent Jazz Club, with Francois Gallix, Eric Prost, Philippe Garcia, Gael Horellou, Laurent Sarrien, Laurent Courthaliac, Jean-louis Bonneton, Emmanuel Borghi, Fabien Marcoz...
This collective won 1st prize in the 1995 International Jazz à Vienne competition and 1st prize in the 1996 Concours de la Défense.
At the same time, Sauzay played with the Grenoble ORJ led by Gilles Lachenal and the Simon Goubert Quintet with Michel Grallier. In 1997, he formed his own quintet with Gaël Horellou, Laurent Courthaliac, Clovis Nicolas and Philipe Garcia, with whom he recorded in Spain for Fresh Sound Records (Jordi Pujol). 1998 saw him join the Nuits blanches collective at Le Petit Opportun in Paris, play in Laurent Courthaliac's quintet with Olivier Témime, in Pierre Drevet's sextet and take part in the recording of Charles Aznavour's album, Jazznavour.
In 1999, he joined the Belmondo-Dal Sasso big band, playing with Manuel Rocheman alongside Kyle Eastwood to promote his album in France.
In 2001, the Banneville-Sauzay Quartet invited Mino Cinelu to perform several concerts at the Coutances Festival.
A much-in-demand sideman, Sauzay plays with the big bands of Christian Escoudé, Gérard Badini, Yvan Julien, Michel Delage and Jean-Pierre Derouard, the Laurent Marode sextet…
He also accompanies international vocalists such as Lauren Kinhan and Peter Eldridge (New York Voices), Maurey Richards, Manu Leprince, Rosemary Philips, Margault Lampley…
Curious about new things, he also takes part in contemporary music projects with Laurent Dewilde electro sextet and Cosmik Connection.
From 2006 to 2012, he was a finalist in the Jazz à Juan-les-Pins competition.
He recorded Jean Musy's music for the TV films C'était ça la vie and Le temps du silence with Lio for France2.
With Thierry Lalo, he takes part in the Quartet de Jazz et Chœur d'enfants on Le joueur de flûte d'Hamelin and Boulevard du swing in collaboration with CREA.
On November 30, 2011, he recorded Meeting Harold Mabern with the New York rhythm section Harold Mabern (piano), Joe Farnsworth (drums), John Webber (bass).
2012-2014: ciné-concert project on Ascenseur pour l'échafaud with guest trio; creation of a jazz opera on Pinocchio by Thierry Lalo and Somewhere with CREA; ciné-concert project on John Cassavetes' Shadows; ciné-concert on Charlie Chaplin's The Cure and Buster Keaton's Three Ages.
From 2014 to 2016, Sauzay played with saxophonist Luigi Grasso's octet. As leader, Playing with David Sauzay, All stars Sextets with Fabien Mary, Alain Jean-Marie…
Sauzay has recorded with Laurent Courthaliac, Octet Music from Woody Allen movies, and on the album Nice & Easy with Italian singer Walter Ricci (European tour).
From 2018 to 2022, he is sideman with Sarah Mc Kenzie Sextet, where he can be heard on tenor, transverse flute and flute in G.
He also performed with David Sauzay-Fabien Mary quintet, Mourad Benhammou and the Soulful Drums, Dameronia with Jim Rotondi, Steve Davis, Dick Oats, Bern Reiter.
Become a composer for a film is an educational project with Laurent Marode. Sauzay performed and recorded with Fabien Mary and the Vintage Orchestra, Too short (2021), Fabien Mary Octet, Left Arm Blues (2018), with the Voice Messengers in Comme le temps passe (2021), Joyride (2023), with the Vintage Orchestra, Reload (2023), David Sauzay New quartet, Featuring, (2023.
Sauzay is also involved in the creation of an educational YouTube channel, Jazz et Improvisation, with over 3,500 subscribers and more than a hundred videos.
He is the author of teaching methods and documents, and organizes jazz workshops and master classes.
As a sideman, he has taken part in over forty albums (discography on www.davidsauzay.com).
Sauzay has played with Steve Grossman, Alain Jean-Marie, Michel Ausser, Philippe Soirat, Luigi Trussardi, Kenny Wheeler, Jean-Philippe Viret, Charles Bellonzi, Peter King, Maurice Vander, Antonio Farao,Michel Graillier, Michel Zénino, Emmanuel Bex, André Ceccarelli, Christian Escoudé…
Photo credit: Martin Stahl