GRAMMY AWARD WINNING BASSIST GEOFF SAUNDERS IS A VERSATILE PERFORMER AND COMPOSER WHO IS EXPERIENCED IN A WIDE RANGE OF STYLES AND GENRES. THIS IS WHAT INITIALLY DREW HIM TO THE INSTRUMENT; THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONNECT AND COLLABORATE WITH PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD THROUGH MUSIC AND THE BASS.
Originally from Simsbury, CT, Geoff has received degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BM 2009, Jazz Bass Performance) and the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami (MM 2013, Jazz Pedagogy, DMA 2017, Jazz Studies). While at the Frost School he was a Teaching Assistant and member of the award-winning Concert Jazz Band. He was also a fellow at the Henry Mancini Institute where he worked closely and performed with such notable artists as Mark O’Connor, Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, Gloria Estefan, Steve Miller, Larry Rosen, Phil Ramone, Dave Grusin, Terence Blanchard, and James Newton Howard. Geoff can be heard on the CD/DVD PBS special Jazz & The Philharmonic (2014) featuring many of these artists. He can also be heard on the Grammy nominated recording of All My Tomorrows by arranger Jeremy Fox featuring Kate McGarry on the album With Love (2014).
While living in Miami, Geoff connected and collaborated with many local artists and musicians. He is a founding member of two folk-inspired ensembles, Avocado Estate and The Wynwoods, that performed around the Miami area in 2009-15. In 2013 he teamed up with local artist Shira Abergel to compose for and perform in the multi-media piece Appalachian Squall which premiered at the Miami Light Project and was performed again in 2014 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Geoff was also chosen to premier two pieces composed and conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas with the New World Symphony. Both featured electric bass and chamber ensemble, Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind (2016) and Lope (2017). Geoff went on to perform Playthings again with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2018.
In 2015 Geoff began to tour full-time with the O’Connor Band with Mark O’Connor who’s debut album Coming Home (2016) received a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2017. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Album charts and remained in the top ten for several weeks. In 2018 the Mark O’Connor Band opened for Zac Brown Band on their summer tour which allowed Geoff to perform at arenas and sheds, most notably at Fenway Park for two sold-out shows. Geoff has served as faculty member at the Mark O’Connor Method Camp for four years running. He also recorded on O’Connor’s America On Strings (2015) album featuring orchestral arrangements of popular American songs.
Since moving to Nashville in 2016, Geoff has been busy freelancing and can be heard playing live and in recording sessions all across town. He has recorded at local studios such as Blackbird, House of Blues, and Southern Ground. He frequently collaborates with notable musicians and bands in the local music scene including Billy Contreras, Mark Thorton, Kate Lee & Forrest O’Connor, The Hit Points, East Nash Grass, and 432 Sessions. He subbed for Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder in 2019. Currently, Geoff can be seen on tour with Sierra Hull, a phenomenal young mandolin talent, and has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry with Sierra in 2019.