Tim “Sully” Sullivan began his studies in music growing up on the upper west side of Wisconsin. At Eau Claire Memorial High School, he began gaining recognition for playing multiple woodwind instruments, including what has become his primary focus, the baritone saxophone. By his senior year, he had played in the Wisconsin All-State Honors Jazz Ensemble and won numerous soloist awards at jazz festivals around the country; including an Outstanding Soloist award at the Essentially Ellington Festival at Jazz at Lincoln Center, presented by Wynton Marsalis.
After graduating high school in 2002, Tim enrolled at the Chicago College of Performing Arts for Jazz Studies, graduating early and with honors in 2005. Both in and out of school, he closely apprenticed renowned Chicago saxophonist, Mike Smith, who contributed greatly in immersing Tim into the world of professional music and music education. In Chicago, Tim was fortunate to work with a diverse scope of artists including: Aretha Franklin, Dave Liebman Big Band, the Blues Brothers Revival Show produced by Dan Aykroyd and Judy Belushi (Broadway Chicago), the Chicago Jazz Festival (2002-2004) with the Toshiko Akiyoshi Big Band, Curtis Fuller Quintet, George Freeman Ensemble, and the live DVD taping of Umphrey’s McGee: Wrapped Around Chicago, New Years at the Riv.
After graduating from CCPA, Tim headed south to continue his pursuit in music and education, two years later graduating Summa Cum Laude with a master’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of New Orleans. At UNO, he was a member of the school’s flagship ensemble the Louis Armstrong Quintet, which provided full scholarships and living stipends to the group’s five members. Quickly becoming a sought after player and educator in the city, Tim could regularly be seen playing and teaching in the city’s most revered venues including Tipitina’s, Snug Harbor, Maple Leaf, House of Blues, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He has had the great fortune to play with New Orleans music staples including: Ellis Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Jason Marsalis, Irma Thomas, George Porter Jr., Johnny Vidacovich, Stanton Moore, Simon Lott, Alfred ‘Uganda’ Roberts, Bill Summers, Henry Butler, David Torkanowsky, Steve Masakowski, Brian Seeger, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Ernie Vincent, Treme Brass Band, Irvin Mayfield, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s Kirk Joseph, Roger Lewis, and Terrence Higgins.
Tim has performed, recorded, and toured extensively throughout the United States and overseas, having free lanced with a wide array of artists including: Fred Wesley, Roy Hargrove, Eric Krasno, Chali 2na (Jurassic 5), Robert Walter, Cab Calloway Orchestra, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Clark Terry, Ron Miles, Billy “The Buddha” Dickens, and many more.
For nearly a decade, Tim has taken a progressive role in music education. In Chicago, he served as a mentor and woodwind instructor to high school students in the Chicago Public Schools. In New Orleans, he remains a regular fixture in the schools and community through his involvement with the Tipitina’s Foundation, the International House of Blues Foundation, and the Louis Armstrong Foundation. Currently in New York City, Tim teaches for the early childhood music program, Webop! at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he is also an Education Assistant and tutor for the Middle School Jazz Academy.
“Tim Sullivan steps forward with powerful statements.” – Downbeat Magazine
“One of the baddest sax players in the world.” – Funk Legend Fred Wesley
- Filip Mitrovic – “The Elkcloner-Mozaik” (2011)
- Court 13 International – “Devin’s Watch” (2010)
- Music score commissioned for Seattle Film Fest
- Groovesect – “On The Brim” (2008)
- Featering Fred Wesley,Trombone and John Snyder, Producer
- Jason Steele Ensemble – “Some Wonderful Moment” Ears and Eyes Records (2007)
- Featuring Ron Miles, Cornet
- Nathan J. Normand – “Grounded Go Home” Homegrown Music Network (2007)
- Gravity A – “Naissance” (2007)
- Umphrey’s McGee – “Wrapped Around Chicago: New Year’s at the Riv” SciFidelity Records (2005)
- The Official Blues Brothers Revival (2004)
- Broadway Chicago, Produced by Dan Aykroyd and Judy Belushi