Michele Rosewoman and two of the most creative and multi-dimensional young artists of our time, Liberty Ellman and Tyshawn Sorey, collaboratively explore sound textures and nuances of time and space through their combined musical vision.
Michele Rosewoman was born in Oakland, CA where she studied jazz traditions with the great pianist/ organist Ed Kelly while also playing percussio and studying Cuban/Haitian folkloric idioms. Rosewoman’s neighbor, trumpeter/composer Baikida Carroll, further encouraged her musical development by introducing her to a musical approach that went beyond the mainstream; through him Rosewoman met and collaborated with such artists as Oliver Lake, Julian Priester, and Julius Hemphill, while absorbing the influence of such luminaries as Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, and Dewey Redman.
The Bay Area’s jazz scene of the 1970s and in particular The Keystone Korner – San Francisco’s renowned but now defunct jazz club – provided a vital setting for Rosewoman to hear and meet many great mainstream and avant-garde jazz artists, from Betty Carter and Dexter Gordon to Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Cecil Taylor to Los Papines.
After relocating to New York in 1978, Rosewoman continued to present her music while collaborating with artists including Carlos Ward, Rufus Reid, Steve McCall, Reggie Workman, James Spaulding, and Billy Hart as well as with Cuban master drummer/ vocalist, Orlando ‘Puntilla’ Rios.
In 1983, Rosewoman received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to form the pioneering 14-piece ensemble New Yor-Uba, A Musical Celebration of Cuba in America, featuring Orlando ‘Puntilla’ Rios. New Yor-Uba has since toured extensively; ensemble members have included many great jazz and latin musicians such as Pedro Martinez, Roman Diaz, Andy Gonzales, Steve Berrios, John Stubblefield, Gary Bartz, Howard Johnson, and Gary Thomas.
As a leader, Rosewoman has released eight recordings, most with her critically acclaimed ensemble Quintessence. Since its 1986 debut, Quintessence has driven Rosewoman’s evolution as pianist, composer and bandleader. Quintessence’s members have included some of the most inventive voices in jazz, including saxophonists Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, and Mark Shim; trombonist Robin Eubanks, bassist Kenny Davis, drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Gene Jackson, and guitarists Liberty Ellman and Dave Fiuczynski. Many have cited the experience of playing in Quinessence as notably influential in their own development as musicians, composers and bandleaders.
Rosewoman has received numerous grants, including a 1984 ASCAP/Meet The Composer Commission to write for the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, a 2003 and a 2008 Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation New Works Creation and Presentation Commission, and in 2006 received one of the first Chamber Music America Encore Grants.
For more information on Michele Rosewoman, visit www.michelerosewoman.com.
Funded in part through Meet The Composer’s MetLife Creative Connections program.