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Sasha Berliner Group
Sasha Berliner Group

Fri, May 24


Sam First

Sasha Berliner Group

Vibraphonist Sasha Berliner is a genre-defying musicians/composer and one of the premiere vibraphonists of her generation with credits that include Christian McBride, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Nicholas Payton.

May 24, 2024, 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM

Sam First, 6171 W Century Blvd #180, Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA

Sasha Berliner (vibraphone), Band TBA

Sasha Berliner is a musician, composer, producer, and band leader from San Francisco, CA. A rock drummer turned vibraphonist, Sasha was first introduced to the instrument through her high school Oakland School for the Arts as part of the jazz program. While she had multi-faceted interests throughout her adolescence that spanned academia and the arts, the vibraphone swept the lead in becoming her life passion.

She moved to New York City in 2016 to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and study under acclaimed vibraphonist Stefon Harris, who was recommended to him personally when trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire heard her at Stanford Jazz Workshop in high school. Harris’ influence on Sasha, in particular with regard to harmony, is something that she felt was “nearly prophetic” in helping her liberate her unique style on the instrument.

Sasha got her major start on the NYC scene when she debuted at NYC Winter Jazz Fest in 2018, followed soon after by Atlanta Jazz Fest and Burlington Jazz Fest in the same year, all before age 20. Sasha was the also first US recipient of the LetterOne “Rising Stars” Jazz Award in 2019, where she headlined 10 reputable jazz festival throughout the U.S. and Canada. This gave Sasha her her first official foray in to touring as a band leader and facilitated the creation of her debut album.

The alternative jazz album, “Azalea” (2019), was subsequently nominated for JazzTimes 2019 Readers’ Poll’s “Best New Release” and has been described as “shimmering and thoughtful” (Kassel, TIDAL), “gleefully exploring various genres and headspaces” (Tremblay, CTEBCM). The record takes on a trans-genre, politically charged, jazz-alternative sound, employing digital effects, synths, audio speech samples, and strings in the soundscape, a product of her diverse musical background and influences melded in to one.

Shortly after, Sasha was named the 2020 Downbeat Critics’ Poll winner of the “Rising Star - Vibraphone” category. She was both the first woman, and at 21, was the youngest individual in the poll’s history to be granted the win. She was voted in the top ten vibraphonists for the 2021 and 2022 Downbeat Reader’s Polls, sharing a list with vibraphonists such as Joe Locke, Stefon Harris, and Joel Ross. Sasha has commissioned works for Modern Marimba (Sarasota, FL) and the SWR NewJAZZ Meeting (Baden-Baden, Germany) as artist in residence for fall 2021, which resulted in her suite of music entitled “Tabula Rasa” to be released as a live CD in May 2023.

Sasha’s music work remains primarily based in both New York City and Los Angeles. She has gone on to headline international venues like Newport Jazz Festival, The Blue Note, Montreal Jazz Festival, and Monterey Jazz Festival.

In addition to performing with her own band, her recent notable performances and recordings have been with musicians such as Tyshawn Sorey, Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, and Cecile Mclorin Salvant. She is an endorsing artist for Marimba One and Vater Drumsticks. She has been a guest lecturer at esteemed universities and programs like University of Champaign-Illinois, UC San Diego, Stanford Jazz Workshop, and Berklee College of Music, and is currently a Professor of Jazz and Jazz Composition at UC Irvine.

Sasha has been awarded grants from NYFA, Musicares, and The Louis Armstrong Foundation to fund her ongoing artistic endeavors. These grants facilitated the compositions on her sophomore album, “Onyx” (2022), which was released on JMI Recordings alongside Jimmy Fallon/The Roots music producer “Suga” Steve Mandel and Grammy award winning engineer Ben Kane. A fiery, dense, winding, yet thoughtful 43 minute musical development that gestated in just four days, the album features all-star musicians Marcus Gilmore, Burniss Travis II, James Francies, Thana Alexa, and Jaleel Shaw, and was tracked entirely analog to tape. The album was #1 on Jazzwise’s “Charting the Jazz Message” chart and Bandcamp Daily for best jazz albums of November 2022, Editor’s Pick for Jazzis, and voted one of the best jazz albums of the year by UK Vibe, Textura, Jazz Vinyl Collector, the 17th Annual Francis Davis Jazz Poll, and Jazzis (honorable mention).

Sasha’s next projects include a quintet and septet album, “Axial”, capturing the electronic-acoustic hybrid music scenes in Los Angeles and New York that she has been an equal part of. The album will feature fellow Bay Area musicians such as Taylor Eigsti and Harish Raghavan, and is slated to be released in September 2024. Additionally, she looks forward to debuting her first large chamber-jazz ensemble debut in a project entitled “Inventionism”, dedicated to the legendary life of her great-great grandfather, inventor Emil Berliner, in the next few years.

All shows at Sam First are 21+ (no one under the age of 21 will be permitted)

Show Times: 7:30pm & 9:30pm, and a separate ticket is required for each show.

Notice of Recording: Sam First live streams and records all concerts. By entering Sam First, you understand that your image and/or voice might be included in those recordings. Sam First reserves the right to use any photography, video or audio recording taken at this event, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video.


  • 1st set ticket (7:30pm)

    One ticket is good for one set of music only. Student discount code : SAM1STUDENT

  • 2nd set ticket (9:30pm)

    One ticket is good for one set of music only. Student discount code : SAM1STUDENT

  • 1st set STREAM ONLY (7:30pm)

    This ticket is for live-streaming only.

  • 2nd set STREAM ONLY (9:30pm)

    This ticket is for live-streaming only.




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