Announcing Roulette’s 2022 Van Lier Fellows

Roulette is excited to announce the selection of vocalist, improviser, and composer Isabel Crespo Pardo and saxophonist and composer Alfredo Colón 2022 Van Lier Fellows. They will join Roulette’s Resident and Commissioned artists in presenting new work at Roulette in 2022.

Our long-time partnership with the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund of the New York Community Trust has enabled Roulette to offer year-long fellowships to a number of outstanding young artists to create, rehearse, experiment, and investigate new directions in their craft.

Isabel Crespo Pardo (they/them) is an NYC-based latinx vocalist, improviser, and composer creating art that constantly evolves to reflect the intra/interpersonal spaces they inhabit. Their practice is nourished by curiosity and (dis)comfort. Reveling in soft chaos, they embrace openness and specificity to create poetic work. For Crespo, music is a place to gather, to exercise intuition, rigor and delight. Most recently, they composed a set of music for trio exploring free improvisation, graphic notation and the expressive and sonic potential of words. Current works in progress include tiny vignettes for piano and voice, and open form pieces for voice and qanun. They are also involved in numerous collaborative projects, presently: Chatterbox (experimental vocal trio), RE-CONNECTING (interdisciplinary duo), and Who’s Lily (improvising quintet). In addition to music, Crespo expressively engages with collage work, poetry, and movement. Taking great care in the gathering process, Crespo is interested in reimagining the construction of artistic spaces and fostering collaborations devoid of oppressive dynamics. Recent community initiatives include Streamfest, a five-week virtual concert series presenting 63 artists from 14 countries, and La Merienda Virtual, an inclusive virtual forum facilitating community co-education through intimate conversations with latinx folks. Institutions that have shaped Crespo’s artistic trajectory include: New England Conservatory (MM), University of North Texas (BM), Conservatorio de Castella, Siena International Jazz Workshop, and the Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency.

Alfredo Colón is a saxophonist and composer from New York City. His music draws inspiration from his upbringing in Upper Manhattan, his Dominican heritage, and his love of musicians with melodic approaches to improvisation, including Sonny Sharrock, Ornette Coleman, and Pharoah Sanders. Colon specializes in the use of the EWI ( electronic wind instrument ) and can be seen performing with it in a variety of musical settings. He has performed alongside distinguished musicians such as Dr Lonnie Smith, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Nels Cline, Lenny White, Gene Lake and many others and has performed in esteemed venues such as The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland Jazz Club, The Bop Stop, The Blue Llama, National Sawdust, The Jazz Gallery, SOUTH and myriad others. He has also participated in festivals including Afropunk, The Outsiders Creative and Improvised Music Festival and The Composers Now festival. In early 2020, Colon was awarded the Jazz Coalition Commission fund Grant. He premiered his piece ‘A Witch Gets Married’ in October of that same year.