Fred Sanders’ first recording is East of Vilbig on Leaning House Jazz, featuring the Austin, Texas based pianist/composer and special guests Roy Hargrove, Mark Whitfield and Texas tenor legend Marchel Ivery. It was in Ivery’s after-hour jam-sessions at the Green Parrot in South Dallas that Sanders first got his chops together.
Hargrove also served as a major inspiration when both musicians attended the Dallas Arts Magnet High School. Sanders was a cellist but was so inspired by hearing Hargrove’s version of “Red Clay” that he took up the piano just to play in the school’s jazz band. After high school, Sanders studied with Alvin Baptiste in Baton Rogue and then returned to Texas, playing in the Southwest Texas State jazz combo, later reuniting with Hargrove at the North Sea Jazz Festival.