Jazz and Creative Music Ensemble Showcase

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Banff Jazz participants perform.

Photo by Jessica Wittman.

Co-Artistic Directors Vijay Iyer and Tyshawn Sorey lead world-renowned faculty and participants through an evening of jazz and creative music exploration.

Featuring Fay Victor, Ingrid Jensen, Yunior Terry, Yosvany Terry, and Liberty Ellman.


TD Bank Group is the generous lead supporter of the

Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music.

Vijay Iyer

Artistic Director

Composer-pianist VIJAY IYER (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) has carved out a unique path as an influential, prolific, and shape-shifting presence in modern music. He was described by Pitchfork as "one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today," by the Los Angeles Weekly as “a boundless and deeply important young star,” and by Minnesota Public Radio as “an American treasure.” He received a MacArthur Fellowship, a U.S. Artists Fellowship, the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and the Alpert Award in the Arts. He was recently voted the 2018 Jazz Artist of the Year in the DownBeat International Critics’ Poll (his fourth time receiving that honor), and the 2018 Artist of the Year in the JazzTimes Critics’ and Readers’ Polls. His recent releases on ECM Records include Far From Over (2017) with his sextet, A Cosmic Rhythm with

Each Stroke (2016) in duo with Wadada Leo Smith, and Break Stuff (2015) with his trio. His compositions have been premiered by International Contemporary Ensemble, Brentano Quartet, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, So Percussion, Matt Haimovitz, and Jennifer Koh. He holds a lifetime appointment as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. He is a Steinway artist. 

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Tyshawn Sorey

Co-Artistic Director

Tyshawn Sorey is a composer and musician whose music assimilates and transforms ideas from a broad spectrum of musical idioms and defies distinctions between genres, composition, and improvisation in a singular expression of contemporary music. Sorey was recently named a 2017 MacArthur Fellow and a 2018 United States Artists Fellow. The Spektral Quartet, Ojai Music Festival, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Miller Theater, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Opera Philadelphia, Carnegie Hall, and Jack Quartet, among many other ensembles and venues, have commissioned his works. He has also released six critically acclaimed recordings that feature his work as a composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist and conceptualist. As a collaborator he has performed and recorded with many leading creative music figures and contemporary/new music ensembles such as Roscoe Mitchell, Steve Coleman, Muhal Richard Abrams, Vijay Iyer, Anthony Braxton, Ensemble Intercontemporain, John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith, Butch Morris, Myra Melford, George Lewis, the Lucerne Festival Players, Ikue Mori, WildUp Ensemble, Steve Lehman, Claire Chase, and Marilyn Crispell, among many others. Sorey is an Assistant Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, specializing in creative improvised and avant-garde musical performance practices.

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Fay Victor

Voice | Composition

Brooklyn, NY based sound artist/composer Fay Victor hones a unique vision for the vocalist’s role in jazz and improvised music regarding repertoire, improvisation and composition. Her ‘everything is everything’ aesthetic permeates her work in performance where a standard can lead to free improvisation...and back again. Victor's released nine critically acclaimed albums as a leader, performed with luminaries such as Randy Weston, Archie Schepp, Gary Bartz, Nicole Mitchell, and Marc Ribot. Victor’s latest release is Wet Robots (ESP Disk, July 2018) with her SoundNoiseFUNK project. Wet Robots received 4.5 stars in Downbeat Magazine and placed #4 in the Jazz Vocal Category for NPR’s Jazz Critic’s Poll 2018.

Quote: “She’s essentially invented her own hybrid of song and spoken word, a scat style for today’s avant-garde.”
-Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times

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Yunior Terry

Bass | Percussion | Composition

Regarded as one of New York City’s most sought after bass players, Yunior Terry is recognized for his big sound, versatility and contagious rhythm. As the youngest son of one of Cuba’s most gifted musical families “Los Terrys”, Yunior began his musical training at age seven, graduating in 1994 from the prestigious National School of Art (ENA) in Havana with a double major in violin and bass. Soon after graduation he joined the National Philharmonic Orchestra, performing works of European and Cuban composers at the Havana National Theater.

In 1998, Terry moved to California to attend The California Institute of Arts where he received a B.A. with honors in 2002. It was at CalArts where he continued to expand his musical horizon under Charlie Haden, Derek Oles (Poland), Rajeev Taranath (India) and Alfred Ladzekpo (Ghana) by exposing him to a wide variety of music and traditions from around the world. In 2009, Yunior Terry won the Van Lier Fellowship, awarded by Meet The Composer to support the creation of new musical work and community engagement. Since 2017, he has been an Assistant Professor at New York University teaching Cuban music and culture.

Yunior Terry has performed with Steve Coleman, Jerry Gonzales and Fort Apache, Lila Downs, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Eddie Palmieri, the late Hilton Ruiz, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Steve Turre, Jane Bunnett and his brother Yosvany Terry among many others. In addition to his occupied schedule as a sideman, Terry leads his own band “Son de Altura”, created to innovate as well as preserve the legacy of Cuban music; releasing his first album "Mi Bajo Danzón" published by Palo Santo Music.

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Ingrid Jensen

Trumpet | Composition

Ingrid Jensen has been hailed as one of the most gifted improvising trumpeters of her generation. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1989, Jensen became Bruckner Conservatory’s youngest professor. After three years, she returned to the United States where she is a sought-out teacher, collaborator, and soloist. Ingrid has recorded six CDs as a leader or co-leader and has been featured prominently on three Grammy-winning discs and numerous Juno-awarded albums, including her own CD, Vernal Fields.

Ingrid continues to compose, arrange, and lead her own groups, as well as perform with cutting-edge bands such as Terri-Lyne Carrington’s Mosaic Project, the Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra, and Darcy James and Secret Society.

Though born in Canada, Jensen has made New York her home for over twenty years. More about Ingrid Jensen can be found on her website.

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Liberty Ellman

Guitar | Audio Production | Composition

Guitarist Liberty Ellman has worked with a number of standout creative artists. Some credits include: Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Greg Osby, Joe Lovano,, Steve Lehman, Myra Melford, Wadada Leo Smith, JD Allen, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, Nicole Mitchell, Mike Ladd, Nels Cline, Mary Halvorson, Stephan Crump, Jonathan Finlayson, Okkyung Lee, Marty Erlich, Mat and Joe Maneri, and Ches Smith. Mr. Ellman is perhaps best known for his work with Henry Threadgill’s groundbreaking ensemble Zooid. Their most recent recording “In For a Penny, In For a Pound” was awarded a Pulitzer prize in 2016.

As a composer and bandleader Mr. Ellman has released four critically acclaimed recordings: Orthodoxy (Red Giant Records, 1998), Tactiles (Pi Recordings, 2003), Ophiuchus Butterfly (Pi Recordings, 2006) and Radiate (Pi Recordings, 2016). Ellman’s compositional style has been described as "At once highly controlled and recklessly inventive,” and “quite original and subtle." Ben Ratliff of the New York Times wrote: “Mr. Ellman's ballads are special, exotic things: their melodies are memorable.” Quote from the Wall Street Journal: “Along with his contemporaries, Mr. Ellman is helping define the sound of jazz in the 21st century.” Mr. Ellman was voted #1 Rising Star Guitarist in the 2016 Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll.

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Yosvany Terry

Saxophone | Percussion | Composition

Since his arrival in New York in 1999, Cuban saxophonist/percussionist/composer Yosvany Terry’s has been making a difference in contemporary music. His innovative work, a unique confluence of Cuban roots music and jazz, “has helped redefine Latin jazz as a complex new idiom,“ The New York Times.

Born into a musical family in Camaguey, Cuba, Yosvany went on to classical music training in Havana at the prestigious National School of Arts (ENA) and Amadeo Roldan Conservatory. After graduating, Yosvany worked with major figures in every realm of Cuban music including pianists Chucho Valdes, and Frank Emilio and the celebrated nueva trova singer/guitarist Silvio Rodriguez. From his earliest days in New York, Yosvany has been welcomed by the jazz and contemporary music community; playing with Branford Marsalis, Dave Douglas, Steve Coleman, Roy Hargrove, Jeff “Tain” Watts, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba.