María Grand: Sextet Work for Ghost Ensemble

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
María Grand is a 2019 Resident Artist

For the second and final concert of her Roulette residency, “engrossing young tenor saxophonist with a zesty attack and a solid tonal range” (New York Times) María Grand assembles an ensemble of young gifted musicians including Amani Fela, Kanoa Mendenhall, and Savannah Harris, Fay Victor, and Kalia Vandever to perform a body of work she developed on the theme of physical isolation. This performance questions the human need for intimacy and desire to seek closeness to others, while examining the tension of how far trust can go. Sextet Work for Ghost Ensemble is a world premiere by the 2019 Roulette Jerome Resident and an essential performance for 2019.

Amani Fela, vocals
María Grand, tenor saxophone
Kanoa Mendenhall, bass
Savannah Harris, drums
Fay Victor, vocals
Kalia Vandever, trombone


María Grand is a saxophonist, composer, educator, and vocalist. She moved to New York City in 2011. She has since become an important member of the city’s creative music scene, performing extensively in projects including musicians such as Vijay Iyer, Craig Taborn, Jen Shyu, Steve Lehman, Aaron Parks, Marcus Gilmore, Jonathan Finlayson, Miles Okazaki, etc. María writes and performs her original compositions with her ensemble, DiaTribe; her debut EP TetraWind was picked as “one of the 2017’s best debuts” by the NYC Jazz Record. The New York Times calls her “an engrossing young tenor saxophonist with a zesty attack and a solid tonal range”, while Vijay Iyer says she is “a fantastic young saxophonist, virtuosic, conceptually daring, with a lush tone, a powerful vision, and a deepening emotional resonance.” María is a recipient of the 2017 Jazz Gallery Residency Commission and the 2018 Roulette Jerome Foundation Commission. She is a member of the Doug Hammond quintet, has toured with Antoine Roney, and performs regularly with her own ensemble, as well as with RAJAS, led by Carnatic musician Rajna Swaminathan, and Ouroboros, led by Grammy Award winner alto saxophonist Román Filiú. She has toured Europe, the United States, and South America, playing in venues and festivals such as the Village Vanguard in NYC, La Villette Jazz Festival in Paris, Saafelden Jazz Festival in Austria, Millennium Park in Chicago, the Blue Whale in LA, IloJazz in Guadeloupe (FR), and many others.


María Grand: Sextet Work for Ghost Ensemble is made possible, in part, by the Jerome Foundation and is supported by the Selvage Fund of the East Bay Community Foundation.

The Jerome Foundation, a long-time supporter of young composers, was a mainstay in Roulette’s early development and continues to help us fulfill our mission by presenting ambitious work by promising artists. Each year, the Jerome Foundation supports five artist residencies and four commissions at Roulette.

Photo: Pedro Gil Rosas