Michele Rosewoman & Quintessence Concert Tour
Pianist and composer Michele Rosewoman & Quintessence will be showcasing music from The In Side Out, her first new release since 2000 and fifth CD with the ensemble, in a series of concerts on the West Coast Oct. 22 - 28 as well as at The Outpost in Albuquerque, NM on Nov. 9. In addition to Rosewoman on keyboards Quintessence includes saxophonists Mark Shim (tenor) and Loren Stillman (alto and soprano), bassist Brad Jones and drummer Gene Jackson.
With the Oct. 3, 2006 release of The In Side Out (Advance Dance Disques)--Michele Rosewoman's first new recording since 2000 and the fifth featuring her ensemble Quintessence--the acclaimed pianist once again makes a powerful creative statement that showcases the breadth and depth or her musicality and affirms in no uncertain terms her position as one of the most original and innovative instrumentalists and composers on the current global jazz scene. As on her previous recordings for Soul Note, Enja, Evidence, Toshiba/EMI and Blue Note, Rosewoman expands jazz's horizons while remaining firmly rooted in the music's illustrious tradition. Ms. Rosewoman is heard on the CD with a core ensemble featuring the powerful front line of saxophonists Mark Shim and Miguel Zenon augmented by guests guitarist Dave Fiuczynski, trombonist Josh Roseman and percussionist Pedro Martinez. Self-produced, The In Side Out is clearly Rosewoman's most multi-faceted recording to date, morphing from acoustic modern jazz to sophisticated funk to dynamic electric fusion to ecstatic Afro Cuban jazz. The CD is available through North Country Distribution and at www.cdbaby.com and www.michelerosewoman.com.
Since its debut in 1986 at the Cooper Union Great Hall in New York, Quintessence has been the main vehicle for Rosewoman's evolution as pianist, composer and bandleader. She assembled dynamic bands to interpret her writing, and became known for bringing together musicians who today are some of the most inventive voices in jazz, including saxophonists Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, Gary Thomas, David Sanchez, Steve Wilson, Miguel Zenon and Mark Shim; bassists Kenny Davis, Anthony Cox and Lonnie Plaxico; and drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Gene Jackson, among others. Many have cited the experience of playing in Quintessence as notably influential in their development as musicians, composers and bandleaders. Regarding Ms. Rosewoman's previous Quintessence release, Guardians of the Light (Enja/2000), an NPR review noted: "[She]sounds more than ever the confident master of her committed course. An indomitable modern jazz pianist, her singular sound ideas expand readily to her dark, fiery ensembles. So it all comes together, big, tight and flexible, rangy, spontaneous, serious and mysterious. Rosewoman and her band are jazz believers, jazz devotees, keepers of the flame."
Rosewoman and Quintessence received a 2003 Chamber Music America/ Doris Duke Foundation New Works Creation and Presentation Commission. In 2006 they received one of the first Chamber Music America Encore Grants. Other recent activity includes a six-country European tour with trombonist Robin Eubanks and a series of duo performances with Greg Osby.
Michele Rosewoman was born in Oakland, California, where she started playing piano at age six and studied jazz traditions with the great pianist/organist Ed Kelly. In her late teens she began playing percussion and studying Cuban/Haitian folkloric idioms. By the time she moved to New York in 1978, she had already performed at major venues in the San Francisco Bay Area with her own ensembles and with Julian Priester, Julius Hemphill, Baikida Carroll and Oliver Lake and other fellow jazz innovators. In New York Rosewoman formed new ensembles and continued to present her music while collaborating with Rufus Reid, Reggie Workman, Freddie Waits, James Spaulding, Billy Hart, Carlos Ward and others as well as with Cuban master drummer/vocalist, Orlando 'Puntilla' Rios, and other musicians in the folkloric community.
In 1983 she received an NEA grant to form the pioneering 14-piece ensemble "New Yor-Uba, A Musical Celebration of Cuba in America" that debuted at The Public Theater that December and appeared at festivals throughout Europe in 1984. That year she made her recording debut as pianist and arranger for the Cuban songo group, Los Kimy. Her experience as a percussionist continues to shape many aspects of her music. In the Latin music genre, Rosewoman has performed with Puntilla's "Nueva Generacion, " Celia Cruz, Paquito D'Rivera, Daniel Ponce and Chocolate among others.
Rosewoman received the ASCAP/Meet the Composer Commission for Emerging Composers that year (awarded by Dizzy Gillespie, Marian McPartland and Lester Bowie) resulting in a new work performed by the 40-piece Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra and a quintet of improvisers, including Rufus Reid, Greg Osby and Howard Johnson. Rosewoman's recording debut as a leader, The Source (Soul Note /1984) was praised for its radiance and ingenuity. Quintessence (Enja/1987) was named by numerous critics and polls as one of the best jazz releases of the year and has been cited as one of the best jazz recordings of the 1980's. As Rosewoman established a reputation as one of the most ingenious and prolific bandleaders of her generation, DownBeat wrote: "She communicates assurance and ardor whether on the cutting edge of jazz or within the mainstream. What musicianship and moving expression! Bring on the future."
In addition to five recordings with Quintessence, Rosewoman has two trio recordings. Occasion To Rise (Evidence/1993), was voted one of the year's best recordings by six critics' polls. The critically acclaimed album Spirit (Blue Note/ 1996) was recorded live at the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Rosewoman has appeared at jazz festivals, concert halls and clubs throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. As an educator, she conducts classes, workshops and clinics at colleges and universities around the US while teaching piano and composition privately. Rosewoman has also held past and current teaching positions at NYU and the New School for Social Research and in February 2006 a composition department residency at Berklee College of Music.
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