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 Jeff Parker, Linda May Han Oh, Steph Richards, Steve Lehman, Camila Meza, and Okkyung Lee.

 

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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Jeff Parker

Guitar | Composition

Jeff Parker (b. Bridgeport, Connecticut USA, 4/4/67) is recognized as one of contemporary music’s most versatile and innovative electric guitarists and composers - creating works that exploit the contrary relationships between tradition and technology, improvisation and composition, and the familiar and the abstract.

A longtime member of the influential indie band Tortoise, Parker has been an associate member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1995. A prolific bandleader and collaborator, Jeff has appeared on over 140 commercial recordings. Currently, Parker has been focusing on music production, small ensembles and solo performance.

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Linda May Han Oh

Bass | Composition

Based in New York City, Linda May Han Oh is a bassist and composer who has performed and recorded with artist such as Pat Metheny, Kenny Barron, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, Terri Lyne Carrington, Steve Wilson and Geri Allen.

Originally born in Malaysia and raised in Perth, Western Australia, she has received many awards such as an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer’s award, 2nd place at the BASS2010 Competition and an honorary mention at the 2009 Thelonious Monk Bass Competition. Linda also received the 2010 Bell Award for Young Australian Artist of the Year and was the 2012 Downbeat Critic's Poll "Rising Star" on bass. She was voted the 2018 and 2019 Bassist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist’s Association, as well as 2019 Up-and-coming Artist of the Year. Linda recently received a Jerome Foundation Fellowship, as well as the Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Grant for 2019. After graduating from Manhattan School of Music, she has had five releases as a leader which have received critical acclaim. Her most 2017 release is “Walk Against Wind” features Ben Wendel, Matthew Stevens on guitar and Justin Brown on drums and other guests such as Fabian Almazan and Korean percussionist Minji Park. Her most recent release “Aventurine” is a double quartet album, featuring string quartet and vocal group Invenio.

Linda has written for large and small ensembles as well as for film, participating in the BMI Film Composers Workshop, Sundance Labs at Skywalker Ranch and Sabrina McCormick's short film, "A Good Egg". Linda is based in New York City and is currently on faculty at the New School - School of Jazz and as an active educator she has created a series of lessons for the BassGuru app for iPad and iPhone. Linda is currently bassist of Pat Metheny’s quartet. “her innovative range and stellar improvisations have made [her] one of the most dynamic rising stars in jazz today.” The Wall Street Journal "A major bass voice arrives" - JazzTimes

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Steph Richards

Trumpet | Composition

A trumpeter who has "proved herself a virtuoso of nonlinear trumpet playing" (Downbeat), Steph Richards has built a compelling presence in the creative music scene, having recorded with pioneering artists ranging from Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton and John Zorn to David Byrne, St. Vincent and Yoko Ono. Her compositions have been featured across the US, Mexico, Canada and Europe and premiered on stages at Carnegie Hall, the Blue-note and Lincoln Center. Alongside trumpeter Dave Douglas, Richards co-curates the FONT Music festival and is on the faculty at UC San Diego. Richards is a Yamaha artist.

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Camila Meza

Voice | Guitar | Composition

Equally prized as a vocalist, guitarist and composer, Meza has uplifted audiences worldwide with her rare combination of talents: assured and beautiful singing; highly advanced guitar (both self-accompaniment and blistering solo work); and vividly colorful, melodic songwriting that reveals complex layers with every listen. She’s been hailed by The New York Times as “a bright young singer and guitarist with an ear for music of both folkloric and pop intention.” Debuting in 2007 with Skylark, she followed up in 2009 with Retrato, again in 2013 with Prisma and in 2016 with Traces (produced by Matt Pierson). In 2019 she released Ambar, her major label debut on Sony Music Masterworks, producing it herself and proudly unveiling the Nectar Orchestra, a collaboration with bassist and arranger Noam Wiesenberg. Exposed to a world of music via her siblings, Meza began performing her own compositions in high school and went on to study at the Projazz Institute in her native Santiago, Chile. She had a flourishing career in her home country by age 19 and moved to New York at 23, graduating in 2013 from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where she studied with Peter Bernstein, Vic Juris, Sam Yahel, Steve Cardenas and Gil Goldstein, among others.

Bringing a sound full of warmth and clarity to the New York jazz scene ever since, she has appeared at leading venues including The Village Vanguard, Jazz Standard and Duc de Lombards (Paris). She is a member of Ryan Keberle’s Catharsis and Fabian Almazan’s Rhizome, and has also worked with Paquito D’Rivera, Aaron Goldberg, Sachal Vasandani and many more. With Catharsis she has recorded for Dave Douglas’s Greenleaf label; with Rhizome she has appeared on Blue Note/ArtistShare. She has appeared at festivals worldwide as well as NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series and WBGO’s The Checkout, garnering praise from The Village Voice, The Wall St. Journal, JazzTimes, London Jazz News and veteran journalist Marc Myers of JazzWax, among others.

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Okkyung Lee

Cello | Composition

Okkyung Lee is a cellist, composer, and improviser who moves freely between of artistic disciples and contingencies. Since moving to New York in 2000 she has worked in disparate contexts as a solo artist and collaborator with creators in a wide range of disciplines. A native of South Korea, Lee has taken a broad array of inspirations—including noise, improvisation, jazz, western classical, and the traditional and popular music of her homeland—and used them to forge a highly distinctive approach. Her curiosity and a determined sense of exploration guide the work she has made in disparate contexts.

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Steve Lehman

Saxophone | Composition

Described as “a state-of-the-art musical thinker” and a "dazzling saxophonist,” by The New York Times, Steve Lehman is a composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across a broad spectrum of experimental musical idioms. His recent recording, Mise en Abîme, was called the #1 Jazz Album of the year by NPR Music and The Los Angeles Times.

Recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, Lehman is an alto saxophonist who has performed and recorded internationally with his own ensembles and with those led by Anthony Braxton, Vijay Iyer, Bennie Maupin, Jason Moran, Georgia-Anne Muldrow, George Lewis, Meshell Ndegeocello, and HPrizm of Antipop Consortium, among many others.

He is currently a professor of Music at CalArts, and lives in Los Angeles.

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