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Joelle Lamarre, soprano

Joelle Lamarre, (soprano, actress and playwright) is thrilled to be joining George Lewis (a Guggenheim Fellowship winner) and Sean Griffin one more time with Afterwords for its west coast premiere at the Ojai 2017 Summer Festival. Afterword, an opera developed with Sean Griffin and Catherine Sullivan, constitutes an aesthetic extension of George E. Lewis’s 2008 …

Nicole Mitchell, flute

Nicole Mitchell is a creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. As the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Ice Crystal and Sonic Projections, Mitchell has been repeatedly awarded by DownBeat Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association as “Top Flutist of the Year” for the last four years (2010-2014). Mitchell’s music celebrates African …

Gwendolyn Brown, contralto

Contralto Gwendolyn Brown’s operatic performances of traditional, 20th century, American Art Song, Negro Spiritual and even the avant-garde has earned her consistent critical acclaim. Gwendolyn Brown’s “deep contralto “showed astonishing range and timbre, a stern voice of certainty.” (Huddersfield Examiner) and she is hailed as “a transfixing force of nature” (Mark Swed, LA Times). Ms. …

Graham Haynes, cornet and flugelhorn

Graham Haynes is an American cornetist, trumpeter and composer. The son of jazz drummer Roy Haynes,[1] Graham is known for his work in nu jazz, fusing jazz with elements of hip hop and electronic music. With aspirations to push jazz beyond its traditional boundaries, Graham Haynes’ first foray into electronic music came in 1979 upon …

Helga Davis, soprano

Helga Davis served as a principle actor in the 25th-anniversary international revival of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass’s seminal opera Einstein on the Beach. Her appearance in You Us We All by Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond) and Andrew Ondrejcak marked her fifth at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. Among the many …

Mark Shim, tenor saxophone

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, saxophonist Mark Shim moved to Canada then later settled in Richmond, Virginia. He started on saxophone in seventh grade, graduating from high school in 1991 and attending Virginia Commonwealth University and William Paterson College. In 1994 he moved to Brooklyn, where he played and recorded with Hamiett Bluiett in Harlem. He …

Roscoe Mitchell, winds

Internationally renowned musician, composer, and innovator, began his distinguished career in the spirited 1960s of Chicago, Illinois. His role in the resurrection of long neglected woodwind instruments of extreme register, his innovation as a solo woodwind performer, his and his reassertion of the composer into what has traditionally been an improvisational form have placed him …

Muhal Richard Abrams, piano

Muhal Richard Abrams has been in the forefront of the contemporary music scene for well over forty years. Muhal is a co-founder of The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), founder of The AACM School of Music and President of The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, New York City Chapter. Muhal …

Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto saxophone, composer

RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Few musicians share the ability of alto saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa to embody the expansive possibilities of his music with his culture. What has materialized is a sound that hybridizes progressive jazz and South Indian classical music in a fluid and forward-looking form that reflects Mahanthappa’s own experience growing up a second-generation Indian-American. The …

Jen Shyu, performer/composer

Born from Taiwanese and East Timorese immigrant parents, 2016 Doris Duke Artist Jen Shyu (Chinese name: 徐秋雁) is an experimental jazz vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, producer, and Fulbright scholar. Known mostly for her virtuosic singing with saxophonist and 2014 MacArthur Genius Fellow Steve Coleman since 2003 and having collaborated with innovators Anthony Braxton, Bobby Previte, …

Vijay Iyer

71st Ojai Music Festival: June 8-11, 2017 Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) 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 has …

George Lewis, composer

George E. Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Lewis’s other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship (2002), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), a United States Artists Walker Fellowship (2011), an Alpert Award …

Brentano Quartet

Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. “Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding,” raves the London Independent; the New York Times extols its “luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism”; the Philadelphia Inquirer praises its “seemingly infallible instincts for finding the center of gravity in every phrase …

Cliff Colnot, conductor

In the past decade Cliff Colnot has emerged as a distinguished conductor and a musician of uncommon range. One of few musicians to have studied orchestral repertoire with Daniel Barenboim, Colnot has served as assistant conductor for Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Workshops for young musicians from Israel, Egypt, Syria, and other Middle Eastern countries. Colnot has …

Stephan Crump, bass

Memphis-bred, Grammy-nominated bassist/composer Stephan Crump has lived in Brooklyn since 1994.  An active bandleader and composer, he has released ten critically-acclaimed albums in addition to numerous film scoring contributions.  As bassist, known for transforming his instrument into a speaking entity of magnetic pull, his focus on creative instrumental music has led to collaborations with many …

Sean Griffin, director

Sean Griffin lives and works in Los Angeles. Encompassing many languages, styles, media and forms, Griffin’s unique compositional works rely on interdisciplinary incongruities positioned at the intersection of sound, image, performance and the archive. His works manifest as music, large and small-scale operas, collaborative installations, complex numeric choreographies and historically weighted musical/performance works. His works …

International Contemporary Ensemble

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), described by the New York Times as “one of the most accomplished and adventurous groups in new music,” is dedicated to reshaping the way music is created and experienced. With a modular makeup of 35 leading instrumentalists, performing in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles, ICE functions as performer, …

Jennifer Koh, violin

Violinist Jennifer Koh is recognized for her intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance. With an impassioned musical curiosity, she is forging an artistic path of her own devising, choosing works that both inspire and challenge. She is dedicated to performing the violin repertoire of all eras from traditional to contemporary, believing …

Steve Lehman, saxophone

Described as “a state-of-the-art musical thinker” and a “dazzling saxophonist,” by The New York Times, Steve Lehman (b. New York City, 1978) is a composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across a broad spectrum of experimental musical idioms. Lehman’s pieces for large orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble …

Aruna Sairam, vocalist

Padma Shri Aruna Sairam, a renowned music ambassador of India, is one of the great classical music voices of India. Her style is rooted in tradition, yet continues to evolve. She belongs to the Veenai Dhanammal school of Carnatic music, known for its strict adherence to tradition and form. After her initial learning from her …

Tyshawn Sorey, multi-instrumentalist and composer

Newark-born multi-instrumentalist and composer Tyshawn Sorey (b. 1980) is celebrated for his incomparable virtuosity, effortless mastery and memorization of highly complex scores, and extraordinary ability to blend composition and improvisation in his work. He has performed nationally and internationally with his own ensembles, as well as with such artists as John Zorn, Vijay Iyer, Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal …

Wadada Leo Smith, trumpet

A trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith has been active in creative contemporary music for over forty years. His systemic music language Ankhrasmation is significant in his development as an artist and educator. Born in Leland, Mississippi, Smith’s early musical life began in the high school concert and marching bands. At …

Steven Schick, conductor

Percussionist, conductor, author, and 2015 Festival Music Director Steven Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family.  For forty years he has championed contemporary music by commissioning or premiering more than one hundred-fifty new works. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992-2002) and served as Artistic …