Sean Sonderegger grew up in Los Angeles playing music in an eclectic atmosphere with musicians like Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner, Kamasi Washington, and Brandon Coleman. His first experience with free improvisation, at age 12, was from an unlikely source, Buddy Collette, a saxophonist and flautist well known for his work as a studio musican and his classic 1950s West Coast jazz albums (as well as his associations with Charles Mingus and Eric Dolphy). Playing completely free music with Collette and such a diverse group of musicians (including Basie sideman Jackie Kelso, and future members of the LA band Ozomatli) was a formative experience for him, and showed him early on the vast possibilities of trans-idiomatic creation that improvised music supported. Moving to NYC in 2002 to pursue further opportunities playing creative music, Sonderegger was able to find musicians with similarly expansive visions in New York City’s Downtown (and Brooklyn) music scenes.
He has performed and recorded with many luminaries of jazz and creative music, including performing on various woodwinds with John Zorn, Debbie Harry, Yusef Lateef, Butch Morris’ NuBlu Orchestra, Karl Berger, Adam Rudolph’s Go Organic Orchestra, Curtis Fowlkes’ Catfish Corner, The Jazz Passengers, Roy Nathanson’s Sotto Voce, Bill Ware, Anthony Coleman, Brad Jones, and Mark Taylor (French Horn). Sonderegger’s group Magically Inclined is made up of musicians with similarly eclectic approaches and resumes, many of whom he reconnected with during his time performing in Butch Morris’ ensembles.
Sonderegger also performs regularly in and composes for the collaborative large ensemble Brooklyn Infinity Orchestra, featuring Thomas Heberer, Michaël Attias, David Bindman, Andrew Drury, Jen Baker, and many other excellent creative musicians active in the Brooklyn music scene.
Members of Magically Inclined have performed in groups led by Charlie Haden, Henry Threadgill, Charlie Hunter, Bill Frisell, Karl Berger, John Zorn, Adam Rudolph, Tigran Hamasyan, Butch Morris, Talea Ensemble, Bang on A Can All-Stars, Wet Ink Ensemble, and the Dave Crowell Ensemble.