I’m selling my 1996 “Ken Hoover era” Zion guitar (“Primera”, serial #018)

*If you’re interested or want more details on what follows, please e-mail me ss@scottsawyer.net or phone 919-423-4853 and leave a message. Sorry for any inconvenience, but I no longer reply to messages on Facebook.

Ok, it’s OFFICIAL. I’m selling my “Ken Hoover era” Zion Primera, Serial # 018 purchased brand-new from Ken Hoover and Jim Gray in April 1996.

I played 6 or 7 Primera’s and this one stood out, for it’s resonance, balance (not neck-heavy) and tonal balance. It looks great, too. There’s a Fralin humbucker in the neck position, and a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge. Push/pull pots split either or both pickups. Sperzel locking tuners.

The guitar is in very good condition, but it does show some signs of wear, as I performed with it onstage and in studios regularly until 2013 or so. I’ve toured with it here and abroad (Europe, Brasil, Canada, Norway), and had it in my hands at the 2003 Monterey Jazz Festival, when I performed on the stage where Jimi burned his guitar.

This was my main guitar until about 3 years ago. I have no idea how many hours this instrument has been in my hands…countless performances and lessons, and many recording sessions, It’s a very versatile instrument, and I used it for a wide variety of music including quiet jazz, loud jazz, blues, roots, funk fusion, solo guitar, pop.

Time marches on, and things change….I’m now more comfortable with a larger neck profile. I don’t know what the specs are on the Primera, but it’s not as comfortable in my hands 20 years after acquiring it; I’ve rarely played the guitar since 2014…and this beautiful  instrument deserves to be played.

If you’ve seen me perform live from 1996-2014, chances are you’ve seen and heard this guitar. I recorded with it a lot, including the following commercially released albums:

Scott Sawyer “Dreamers”; Doll Records 2013 (3 Grammy ballot nominations)

Scott Sawyer “Go There”; Doll Records 2007 (w/ Oteil and Kofi Burbridge)

as a sideman…

Stephen Anderson – 360° Jazz Initiative “Distracted Society” Summit Records 2015

Bruce Piephoff   “Soft Soap Purrings”, Speranza 2014

Keith Waters “Carolina Tracks”, 2012

The Meldavians  “Farewell Arigemon”, 2012

Bruce Piephoff  “Still Looking Up at the Stars”; Speranza, 2012

Lois Deloatch “Roots: Jazz, Blues & Spirituals”, 2010

Nnenna Freelon “Homefree”; Concord Records, 2010

Lois Deloatch  “Hymn To Freedom”; Improv Media, 2008

Gary Brunotte  “Manic Moments“, 2007

Lois Deloatch “Closure”; Myriad Publishing Inc., 2005

Nnenna Freelon  Nnenna Freelon “Live”; Concord Records, 2003

Ghezzi  “Clearing”; Doll Records, 1999

Lois Dawson (Deloatch-Gomes)  “Sunrise”; Myriad Publishing Inc., 1998

Ed Paolantonio “Dad’s Blues”; Paolo Productions, 1998

Bill Anschell  “a different note all together”; Accurate Records, 1998

Bill Anschell & Blowhard: Jazz Player Magazine “play-along” CD, 1997

Ghezzi  “Taking No Prisoners”; Doll Records, 1997

I’m just starting to get the word out, to see what the market will bear and BEFORE I consider listing it on reverb.com. “Unofficial bidding” starts at $2600 for guitar and gig bag (nothing fancy). Insured shipping will be paid by the buyer, or local pickup can be arranged.

*I’m currently shopping for a Tele (not necessarily Fender; will consider Nash and other builders) and a smaller combo amp (a single 12″ Carr Sportsman recently caught my ear). I might be interested in a Comins GCS-1 guitar. Will consider trades and trade/cash offers, too.

Will post current pictures in a couple of weeks (or upon request as time allows).

*For more information: ss@scottsawyer DOT net or 919-423-4853. Again, NO Facebook Messenger messages…I will NOT respond! ~  SS  11/26/2017


Monterey Jazz Festival; 2003


Nnenna Freelon and Scott Sawyer, a RARE duo performance on Oct 22…

Nnenna and I go back to the late 1980’s…

Brother Yusuf Salim was the connection. For several years we performed regularly as a duo, as well as with other musicians. When Nnenna signed with Columbia, I was there for the Blue Note showcase in NYC and subsequent Philip Morris Superband World Tour. On and off, I’ve continued through the years to record, perform and tour with her, here and abroad.

On Saturday Oct 22, there are two shows at the Sharp Nine Gallery, 7 and 9pm.

Ticket links are here (advance purchase recommended):

7pm show — http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2599284
9pm show — http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2599290

Our last NC duo performances were almost 25 years ago (long-time fans may recall Pyewacket, Centerfest, Cappers, more). 

The Sharp Nine Gallery (Durham, NC) is a bona fide “listening room”, and seats only 66 people…this is not just a RARE opportunity to hear our duo, it’s a rare opportunity to see and hear Nnenna Freelon up-close in an intimate club setting.

*The Sharp Nine traditionally gives away some wine by the glass – while it lasts – and offers BYOB (no corkage fee) and free parking. For these shows, there may be other perks…TBA.






nnenna liveshaking free










…a rare opportunity to see/hear JOHN ABERCROMBIE in NC!

The Legendary JOHN ABERCROMBIE returns to NC!

NEXT Friday AND Saturday – June 10 & 11 – at the Sharp Nine Gallery, 8pm both nights.

John had a blast playing with Scott Sawyer and Co. last year and welcomed an invite again this year for 2 nights. Expect some duo’s, trios and quartets throughout the evenings.

Abercrombie has been signed for his entire career to the famous ECM Record label and has over 40 records as a leader. He is absolutely one of the most influential guitarists in jazz and its a real treat to be able to bring him in from NY. His 2012 recording “Within A Song” with Joe Lovano/Joey Barron/Drew Gress is just incredible. One of my all time fav’s. – Dave Finucane

BUY NOW, don’t wait. Tickets are still available, but LIMITED. Shows are at 8pm , $40 general, $30 students. BYOB.

***John will present a masterclass on Saturday afternoon (6/11); 3-4:30pm ($40 general/$30 students)

John Abercrombie – guitar, Scott Sawyer – guitar, Dave Finucane – sax, Ron Brendle – bass, Dan Davis – drums

john abercrombie & scott sawyerhttp://www.durhamjazzworkshop.org/up-coming-concerts.html

Army Town Madrigal

The NEW David Childers and Bruce Piephoff album, “Army Town Madrigal” has been released. Recorded and produced by Robert Childers, this one is a departure from Bruce’s previous two releases, “Soft Soap Purrings” and “Still Looking Up at the Stars”; it’s a bare-bones, home recording with a whole lotta love and heart. I’m happy to be a part of this album, having contributed electric guitar parts to Bruce’s tunes and poetry…and the “back and forth” – a Childers tune followed by a Piephoff tune, x 6 – really works.

These are absolutely two of the finest songwriters that I’ve had the pleasure of working with (in the land?). Enjoy!

You can get a copy from David or Bruce, as follows:

send $10 to David Childers at 730 Noles Drive, Mt. Holly, NC 28120


e-mail Bruce or message Bruce on Facebook

Army Town Madrigal - front cover

Army Town Madrigal - back cover

Scott sitting in w/ The Lee Boys (excerpt)

So, I stopped in to hear The Lee Boys the other night. My good friend Bill Stevens has been touring with them and invited me to the show. They are family; (the uncle) Alvin Lee on rhythm guitar – great pocket player – and his cousins, including Roosevelt “the Dr.” Collier on pedal and lap steel guitars….the Dr. is smokin’! I hadn’t previously met them, or heard them perform live. My brother Jon did tell me about an after-party show he attended in NYC – during the most recent Allman Brothers Band Beacon Theatre run – where he heard “the Dr.” collaborating with Kofi Burbridge and others; they performed a bunch of Hendrix.

By the time I got to the club, The Lee Boys were already into their set. What a GREAT band!!! These guys are family: Alvin Lee on rhythm guitar – great pocket player – and Roosevelt “the Dr.” Collier on pedal and lap steel guitars. “The Dr.” is and he’s smokin’! It wasn’t a big audience, but there was no lack of enthusiasm and the same goes for the Lee Boys: they performed as if the house was packed, intense energy.

About an hour into it, I had moved to the edge of the stage and was taking it all in…the band was grooving, as Alvin turned in my direction, caught my eye and motioned me up to the stage. I hadn’t planned on sitting-in, but what the hell! We shook hands, introduced ourselves as the band played on; he handed me his guitar and the rest is history. BIG FUN.

As posted on Facebook, by NC Band Together‘s own Danny Rosin (thanks Danny!):

“This is what happens when The Lee Boys spontaneously pull one of NC’s native music sons on stage, Mr. Scott Sawyer.