Ayaka Nishina – Greg Osby Duo

Sunday, April 29, 2007. 8:30 pm

Ayaka Nishina – Greg Osby Duo

Sunday, April 29, 2007. 8:30 pm

With special guests:

Gretchen Parlato, Eliza Fernand, smop()

Ayaka Nishina made her first concert appearance at the age of 15, and has been commissioned and premiered internationally. She has worked with distinguished artists such as pianist Steven Osborne (Sulivan Sweetland Inc., UK), composer/saxophonist John Zorn, Greg Osby, conductor Richard Bradshaw (Canadian Opera Company), the mezzo-soprano Marie Anne Kowan (COC), conductor Richard Barrett, and venues such as UNICEF, Canadian Opera Company, EMF (Electronic Music Foundation), Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Spoleto Festival USA, The Stone, UVPhactory, Wine Studios Inc, Pianist Assembly Japan, Rosenstadt Choir among others.

Nishina has been an associate composer of Muse no Yume (Sendai City, Japan), a corporate organization for disadvantaged children to be provided a music education by professional musicians since 2004. Her recent projects include an on-going duet music project with Greg Osby and her debut album to be released in 2007 by Tzadik Record Company.

Saxophonist, composer, producer and educator Greg Osby has made an indelible mark on contemporary jazz as a leader of his own ensembles and as a guest artist with other acclaimed jazz groups fo the past 20 years. Notable for his insightful and innovative approach to composition and performance of original jazz music, Osby is a shining beacon among the current generation of jazz musicians. He has earned numerous awards and critical acclaim for his recorded works and passionate live performances.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Greg Osby began his professional music career in 1975, after three years of private studies on clarinet, flute and alto saxophone. In 1978 Osby furthered his musical education at Howard University where he majored in Jazz Studies. He continued his studies at the Berklee College of Music from 1980 to 1983.

Upon relocating to New York, Osby quickly established himself as a notable and in demand sideman for artists as varied as Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Jack DeJohnette, Andrew Hill, Muhal Richard Abrams, Jim Hall and Jaki Byard as well as with many ethnic and new music ensembles in the New York area.

In 1985 Osby was invited to to join Jack DeJohnette’s innovative group, “Special Edition”. It was as a member of this ensemble Osby was able to fine tune the more challenging aspects of his conception in an open ended, no holds barred musical situation. Says Osby, “My musical thinking for performance and composition advanced by light years as Jack was open to my input and was very encouraging in pushing me to to maintain a steady flow of experimentation. It marked a major turning point in my development as an artist.” In 1987, Osby signed his first recording deal with an obscure German label , JMT (Jazz Music Today). With this situation, he felt that he was finally able to document life as he saw it through music. He had free creative reign to do whatever he liked. He recorded four CD titles for that label. Osby signed with Blue Note Records in 1990 and has since recorded fifteen recordings for that label as a leader. From the pulse of the streets and the language of a generation, Osby has sketched numerous musical essays set to a contemporary score using the improvisational nature of Jazz as the connecting thread.

The duo will be joined by the special guest artists such as; singer Gretchen Parlato, winner of the 2004 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition; sculptor/performance artist Eliza Fernand; smop(), a NYC-based electronic improvisation team. The performance will include multi-media collaboration conjoining vocals, unconventional electronic instruments, and sculptural performance.