Sylvie Courvoisier: Poppy Seeds

Wednesday, October 23, 20248:00 pm
$25 advance$30 doors$20 Student/Senior (w/ ID, Senior 65+)doors 7pm

Some pianists approach the instrument like it’s a cathedral… Sylvie Courvoisier treats it like a playground.” —Kevin Whitehead, NPR

For her NYSCA commission, pianist Sylvie Courvoisier will debut Poppy Seeds, a new ensemble performing new music written especially for this quartet with Patricia Brennan (vibraphone), Dan Weiss (drums), and Thomas Morgan (bass). Courvoisier — whom The New York Times described as “a pianist of equal parts audacity and poise” — designed the band around a double-keyboard sound that she grew to love after having created a recent recording with pianist Cory Smythe of the two piano version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and her own piece Spectre d’un Songe.

Although the lineup of piano, vibraphone, bass and drums has been familiar to jazz fans since at least the Modern Jazz Quartet, Courvoisier and company will be exploring fresh possibilities. She has found something of a kindred spirit in Patricia Brennan, as the vibraphonist also has a background rooted in both improvised and classical music. Along with recording under her own name, Brennan has worked with such notable figures as Michael Formanek, John Hollenbeck and Vijay Iyer. Thomas Morgan has been one of the most in-demand bassists in progressive jazz over the past decade and a half, having recorded with Bill Frisell, Paul Motian, Jim Black, Jakob Bro and Tyshawn Sorey, among many others. As both a leader and a sideman, drummer Dan Weiss is a top virtuoso on the New York scene, releasing diverse, widely acclaimed albums featuring his own bands (from trio to large ensemble) along with collaborating with such figures as Miles Okazaki, Ohad Talmor, Rez Abbasi, and Rudresh Mahanthappa.

Courvoisier herself has been going from strength to strength for years. Along with interpreting the music of composers from Stravinsky to John Zorn, she leads a forward-minded jazz trio with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Kenny Wollesen and her new sextet CHIMAERA feat Wadada Leo Smith and Christian Fennesz. She has also pursued ear-opening collaborations with such avant-jazz luminaries as Evan Parker, Ikue Mori, Ellery Eskelin, Susie Ibarra, Fred Frith, Mark Feldman, Ned Rothenberg and Mary Halvorson.

This work was commissioned by Roulette, made possible with funds provided by the New York State Council on the Arts. This performance is presented through Roulette’s GENERATE program, providing over 30 artists each year with in-depth creative and technical support.

Photos: Veronique Hoegger

Sylvie Courvoisier: Poppy Seeds

Wednesday, October 23, 20248:00 pm
$25 advance$30 doors$20 Student/Senior (w/ ID, Senior 65+)doors 7pm

Some pianists approach the instrument like it’s a cathedral… Sylvie Courvoisier treats it like a playground.” —Kevin Whitehead, NPR

For her NYSCA commission, pianist Sylvie Courvoisier will debut Poppy Seeds, a new ensemble performing new music written especially for this quartet with Patricia Brennan (vibraphone), Dan Weiss (drums), and Thomas Morgan (bass). Courvoisier — whom The New York Times described as “a pianist of equal parts audacity and poise” — designed the band around a double-keyboard sound that she grew to love after having created a recent recording with pianist Cory Smythe of the two piano version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and her own piece Spectre d’un Songe.

Although the lineup of piano, vibraphone, bass and drums has been familiar to jazz fans since at least the Modern Jazz Quartet, Courvoisier and company will be exploring fresh possibilities. She has found something of a kindred spirit in Patricia Brennan, as the vibraphonist also has a background rooted in both improvised and classical music. Along with recording under her own name, Brennan has worked with such notable figures as Michael Formanek, John Hollenbeck and Vijay Iyer. Thomas Morgan has been one of the most in-demand bassists in progressive jazz over the past decade and a half, having recorded with Bill Frisell, Paul Motian, Jim Black, Jakob Bro and Tyshawn Sorey, among many others. As both a leader and a sideman, drummer Dan Weiss is a top virtuoso on the New York scene, releasing diverse, widely acclaimed albums featuring his own bands (from trio to large ensemble) along with collaborating with such figures as Miles Okazaki, Ohad Talmor, Rez Abbasi, and Rudresh Mahanthappa.

Courvoisier herself has been going from strength to strength for years. Along with interpreting the music of composers from Stravinsky to John Zorn, she leads a forward-minded jazz trio with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Kenny Wollesen and her new sextet CHIMAERA feat Wadada Leo Smith and Christian Fennesz. She has also pursued ear-opening collaborations with such avant-jazz luminaries as Evan Parker, Ikue Mori, Ellery Eskelin, Susie Ibarra, Fred Frith, Mark Feldman, Ned Rothenberg and Mary Halvorson.

This work was commissioned by Roulette, made possible with funds provided by the New York State Council on the Arts. This performance is presented through Roulette’s GENERATE program, providing over 30 artists each year with in-depth creative and technical support.

Photos: Veronique Hoegger