The variety of activities that Charlie Morrow has been involved in for more than half a century is staggering even by today’s standards, when the wearing of numerous hats is almost a pre-requisite for being successful as a composer.
There’s a transformation happening in improvised music involving the embrace of a greater intervallic palette. Bay Area-based composer, saxophonist, and musical theorist Hafez Modirzadeh has been one of the key architects of this sonic expansion.
Although most of the music she composes is completely abstract, Melinda Wagner still always crafts her music intuitively and in such a way that it reflects her personality.
The time that Jen Shyu spent in Taiwan, Indonesia, East Timor, China, South Korea, Cuba and Brazil has broadened her musical language, but she still considers herself an experimental jazz vocalist.
Fay Victor began her career as a straight-ahead jazz singer but now makes extremely difficult to define music that embraces blues, psychedelic rock, Caribbean popular forms, experimentalism, and even elements of classical music, as well as jazz.
Whatever Sheila Jordan sings she makes completely her own to the point that the line between composition and interpretation is extremely blurry. Now in her late 80s, Jordan is booked for the rest of the year with performances and masterclasses across the USA, as well in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Japan.
“It’s not your skill level, it’s how much you communicate,” cellist Erik Friedlander advises. “It’s how much you express that the audience really wants to hear. They come to hear you be real.”
At 87, Samuel Adler remains steadfast in his determination to preserve and build upon the Western classical tradition–as the composer of six symphonies, five operas, a dozen concertos, tons of sonatas, and ten string quartets (eight of which he still acknowledges), as well as a teacher for 63 years and the author of definitive tomes on orchestration, choral conducting, and sight singing.
Violinist Miranda Cuckson embraces even the sharpest, most unapproachable-seeming pieces, conveying the music with such palpable control and insight that it’s as if she’s holding the door into these worlds open for the audience.
Caroline Shaw’s compositions are central to her musical identity and, in recent years, she has been venturing far beyond works that she has created for her own performance.