With six consecutive appearances on Downbeat’s Rising Star Alto Saxophone list, Sharel (pron. shah-Relle) Cassity has been touring the world performing with her quintet as well as her latest project Elektra. She has shared the stage with legendary artists Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove & James Moody to name a few. Having released three albums as a leader, Sharel also maintains an impressive sideman roster of Cyrus Chestnut, the Dizzy Gillespie Afro Cuban Experience, Jimmy Heath’s Big Band and many other elite New York City based ensembles—where she has resided since 2000. With a passion for her art and an unwavering will to evolve, Sharel continues to write and perform music that is constantly pushing boundaries and surprising her listeners. Originally from the small town of Yukon, Oklahoma Sharel was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2011 and graduated from the Juilliard Jazz program under full scholarship with a Masters degree in 2007. She also attended the prestigious Ravinia at Steans Institute and Betty Carter Jazz Ahead programs 2007 & 2006, and graduated from the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music under scholarship with her BFA in 2005.