Born and raised in Lima, Perú, Lucia Sarmiento has been influenced by classic jazz players like Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, as well as modern players such as Chris Potter and Michael Brecker.
After graduating high school, Lucia moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina to study at the Conservatorio Manuel de Falla, where she studied jazz performance.
Wanting to fulfill her lifelong dream of learning jazz music from its origins and pursuing a music career in the United States, Lucia moved to Minneapolis, MN after winning the Women in Music scholarship at McNally Smith College of Music in 2013. She studied there with Pete Whitman, graduating in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Saxophone Performance.
During her first years in Minneapolis, Lucia was mentored by Eric Kamau Gravatt (Drummer for Weather Report, McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson) as a permanent member of his Jazz Quintet, Source Code.
In 2016, she joined funk/fusion band New Sound Underground, with whom she has played countless shows around the country.
In recent years, Lucia has gained a massive social media following posting videos showing her charisma and skills as a saxophone and EWI player.
Lucia has worked as an ambassador for brands like Yamaha, Akai, BG, Jean-Paul USA, Syos, Key Leaves among others.
Besides performing, Lucia is very passionate about providing affordable and accessible music education in Spanish and English. She regularly posts saxophone/jazz educational videos on her YouTube channel and for the past year, she has built a bilingual community of saxophone players on her Patreon, where she offers private lessons and more in-depth tutorials and practice guides.
In October 2020, Lucia released her first single “Escape” and is currently working on a full original album coming out in 2021.
We talked about:
- How she takes risks and goes all in
- What led her to playing saxophone
- What Lucia identifies as her strengths & weaknesses
- Playing a melody using a major scale
- Mentors that shaped her playing while growing up
- How she adapted to playing a genre she wasn’t used to
- Tips on landing that ‘big gig’
- Bonus content! What it’s like being a woman on tour with PitBull in Saudi Arabia
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Just when I thought I couldn’t love one of your guest any more than a prior one, along comes Lucia! Love, love her! She is so real, so honest about music and her progress. While she had some classical guitar training, today she comes across as a free spirit willing to take on any musical role. Excellent episode and inspirational! I am looking forward to hearing more of her music!
Lucia was so much fun to talk to. She loved when I said “pedal to the metal” and now uses that term for herself…which is exactly how she approaches things.