Sean Haefeli is an innovative pianist-vocalist and lyricist-composer, distinctively modern and yet, traditionally skilled. He represents a new breed, schooled in jazz, soul and hip-hop, able to execute with an emcee’s sense of flow, a crooner’s melodic sensibility, and a jazz pianist’s deft improvisations.
Since 2002, Sean has self-produced and released three albums, each taking the listener on an eclectic and personal journey. His debut, Natural Hunger, triggered a range of references, from the Last Poets, to Roberta Flack, and Michael Franti. Sean’s second album, Sound Strategy, balances live elements with subtle electronics, mixing urban edge and soul with a jazz ethos. The album integrates metric shape-shifting, adept lyricism, deceptive melodies, and harmonic intricacies, counterbalancing these elements with passion, flow and groove.
With his new release, RISE, Sean continues to explore the seamless interplay between jazz and hip-hop, employing melodic and densely poetic lyricism. The poet-reviewer, Kalamu ya Salaam, describes his sound as: “a cross between Ezra Pound in the metro and some alternative spoken word down by the Green Mill in Chicago...he takes unexpected twists and turns, puts lyrics you have to listen to at least thrice in order to decipher the deeptitudes being discussed. Sometimes it swings, sometimes it grooves but there is always something emotionally moving going on.”
Embodying the struggle, contradiction, and beautiful complexities of life, Sean’s music reflects a commitment to craft and artistic vision, while preserving the organic and raw edginess which gives the music its strength.
Beyond his life as a musician, Sean’s image has been used by fashion brands, such as Nike, Louis Vuitton, Jockey, Somewhere (FR), as well as being featured in commercial and radio campaigns across the United States.