Professional Bio

  • M.M., Composition, University of Denver
  • M.S., Computer Science, University of California
  • B.S., Mathematics and Computer Science, Florida State University
Denver jazz pianist Marc Sabatella teaches applied and jazz piano at Regis. Sabatella received an M.M. in Composition (Jazz Emphasis) from the University of Denver, where he also teaches jazz theory.

For two years, Marc could be heard leading the band every Friday night at Denver's most famous jazz club, El Chapultepec, and he was the house pianist there for six years in all. He has also headlined at virtually all other Denver area jazz clubs over the years, including Dazzle, Vartan Jazz, Trios, and Sambuca. Marc has worked with the area's top players such as Keith Oxman, Fred Hess, Ron Miles, Art Lande, and Hugh Ragin, as well as jazz greats Delfeayo Marsalis, Charles McPherson, Bobby Shew, John Fedchock, Allan Harris, Greg Abate, Red Holloway, Pete Christlieb, Marcus Printup, Wessell Anderson, Javon Jackson, Chico Freeman, Mel Martin, Sunny Wilkinson, and others.

Marc has released several recordings as a leader in addition to appearing as a sideman on several CDs by Fred Hess and by Hugh Ragin. Marc's latest release is Determination, a quartet session. 

Marc received an MM in Composition (Jazz Emphasis) from the University of Denver.  He currently teaches Jazz Theory and Aural Skills at DU, and he teaches jazz piano and other topics at Regis University.  Marc also teaches and leads ensembles for Colorado Jazz Workshop, and he has taught for The Gift of Jazz and for the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts as well.

Marc is recognized internationally as the author of A Jazz Improvisation Primer. This work is perhaps the oldest and best known online jazz reference in the world. It has been translated into several other languages and is published in printed form as A Whole Approach To Jazz Improvisation. Marc has also published The Harmonic Language of Jazz Standards, and he has worked as an arranger and editor on the acclaimed Real Book series from Hal Leonard. 

Marc is a technical contributor to MuseScore, the free and open source music notation software.  He is the author of the comprehensive guide Mastering MuseScore. He is the founder of the Accessible Music Notation Project, which seeks to make it easier for blind musicians to read and write music through the use of innovative software tools.

Creative & Professional Work

Recordings as a leader: 

The Spanish Inquisition, Golden Horn Productions 

Second Course, Cadence Jazz Records 

Falling Grace, Outside Shore Music 

Determination, Outside Shore Music 


Selected recordings as co-leader or sideman: 

Hugh Ragin, Back to Saturn, Black Saint 

Fred Hess, Right at Home, Tapestry