Due to unforeseen circumstances Anjna Swaminathan: We Must Protect Our Bloom has been canceled.
2020 Van Lier Fellow
Reflecting on the immense amount of tenderness and community care required for our collective wellbeing during the past year, Anjna Swaminathan leads an improvising musical ensemble in poetic and visual meditations on plant life and its human equivalents.
Anjna Swaminathan: voice and graphics
Jasmine Wilson: voice
Stephan Crump: bass
Joey Chang: piano
With special guests to be announced.
Swaminathan’s performance was originally part of Roulette’s Winter 2021 season and has been rescheduled to the current date. Spring season will be presented virtually and available for free on a variety of streaming platforms.
Anjna Swaminathan is a queer multidisciplinary artist, composer, violinist, vocalist, writer, theatre artist, and dramaturg. As an artist with a passion for sociopolitical work, community building, and critical consciousness, their artistic practice is an extension of their activist spirit. Informed by their rigorous training in the Carnatic and Hindustani music traditions of India, Swaminathan creates in New York’s vibrant creative music and improvisatory scene, in hybrid classical compositional work, and in their own multidisciplinary projects. They are a disciple of violin maestro Parur Sri M. S. Gopalakrishnan and Mysore Sri H.K. Narasimhamurthy and continues their training in Hindustani music with Samarth Nagarkar. Since 2018, Swaminathan has been under the compositional mentorship of Gabriela Lena Frank with whom they is exploring the creative possibilities of using Western Classical notation as a mode of communication for their deeply rooted Indian classical compositional and improvisational ideas. As an educator, Swaminathan has a strong commitment to mindfulness-based music-making, socially conscious and empathetic principles, and expression-oriented rigorous practice.
Pianist/Improviser Joey (Ian-Joe) Chang, obtained his B.M. and M.M. from the Juilliard School and is a recipient of the school’s 2018 Career Advancement Fellowship for professional artists. Following his residency as an improviser at the Banff Centre in the summer of 2017, Joey has performed free improvisation in venues including The Stone at the New School and St. John’s in the Village, and he has presented fully improvised concerts at the Sparkhill concert series and the Clayton Piano Festival in NC. Joey has composed structured improvisation for art installations as well as dance choreography performed at student choreography showcases at Marymount Manhattan College. He is co-founder, with violinist Katherine Kyu Hyeon Lim, of “The Moving Orchestra”, a collective that programs all-improvisation programs with musicians and dancers.
Memphis-bred, Grammy-nominated, Echo Award-winning bassist/composer Stephan Crump is an active bandleader with twelve critically-acclaimed album releases in addition to numerous film scoring contributions. Known for transforming his instrument into a speaking entity of magnetic pull, his focus on creative instrumental music has led to collaborations with many of the leading lights of his generation, most notably Vijay Iyer, in whose trio and sextet Crump plays a dynamic, founding role. He can also be heard as a long-standing member of Jen Chapin Trio, Ches Smith Trio, Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet, Liberty Ellman Sextet, Secret Keeper (duo with Mary Halvorson), his own Rosetta Trio (with Jamie Fox, Liberty Ellman), his Rhombal quartet (with Ellery
Eskelin, Adam O’Farrill, Tyshawn Sorey), as well as co-led ensembles with Kris Davis, Ingrid Laubrock, Cory Smythe, Eric McPherson, Mat Maneri, and Okkyung Lee.
Jasmine R. Wilson is a versatile American vocalist, educator, and media maker based in New York City. She trained in vocal performance at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she also hosted and produced several Canadian radio programs. She has taught music and English as a Second Language in France and Canada. Jasmine enjoys combining her international experience in music, improvisation, and media production into thoughtful educational exchanges in the arts. In New York City, Jasmine regularly performs classical works by underrepresented female composers and composers of color as a vocalist with The Dream Unfinished (TDU), an activist orchestra. Through TDU, she has collaborated with Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the DiMenna Center. Internationally, Jasmine has appeared with Canadian funk/R&B bands What It Is, the Morphtet, Freak Motif, and Kalmunity. While in Montreal, Jasmine hosted Soul Perspectives on CKUT 90.3 FM, as well as produced multiple radio programs for CJAD 800 Radio and the Kelly Alexander Show.
Anjna Swaminathan is a Roulette 2020 Van Lier Fellow, made possible with funds provided by the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund of the New York Community Trust. This performance is presented through Roulette’s GENERATE program, providing over 30 artists each year with in-depth creative and technical support.
Photos: Courtesy of the artist, Shannon Roper