Drummer and composer Tomas Fujiwara premieres new work for his latest ensemble project, 7 Poets Trio. Composed specifically for this ensemble, with Fujiwara on drums, Patricia Brennan on vibraphone, and Tomeka Reid on cello, Fujiwara aims to utilize the distinct musical personalities of his collaborators as well as the unique instrumentation of the trio. 7 Poets Trio seeks to strike a balance between composition and improvisation, to offer each musician a number of roles—foreground and background, soloistic and supportive, melodic and percussive—and, most importantly, to provide an environment for a truly collaborative ensemble sound.
Tomas Fujiwara – Drums
Patricia Brennan – Vibraphone
Tomeka Reid – Cello
7 Poets Trio formed in April 2018 during Fujiwara’s residency at The Stone. The rapport was instantaneous and the trio’s debut was described by All About Jazz as “a meshing of chamber jazz, modern classical composition, and improvisation, although most of Fujiwara’s music sounded well organized in advance. All three players rose to an individual expression, working as a composite unit to deliver solo embellishments. Roles were malleable, as the listener decided whether everyone was soloing, or no-one. All three members were devoted to establishing a sensitive group consciousness, and they succeeded eminently.” The trio is a continuation of several of Fujiwara’s musical interests – the flexible roles and multifaceted possibilities of a particular instrument, the sounds of multi-percussion ensembles, drawing from his days as a performer in Stomp and his bands Triple Double and Double Double, as well as other double-drummer ensembles he’s been a part of such as Living By Lanterns, No Moto, and the Taylor Ho Bynum 7-tette.
Tomas Fujiwara is a Brooklyn-based drummer and composer. Described as “a ubiquitous presence in the New York scene…an artist whose urbane writing is equal to his impressively nuanced drumming” (Troy Collins, Point of Departure), Fujiwara is an active player in some of the most exciting music of the current generation, with his bands Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up, The Tomas Fujiwara Trio, and Triple Double who’s debut was on Best-of-2017 lists by NPR, The Village Voice, and All About Jazz among others; his collaborative duo with cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum; the collective trio Thumbscrew with Mary Halvorson and Michael Formanek; and a diversity of creative work with Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Mary Halvorson, Matana Roberts, Joe Morris, Taylor Ho Bynum, Nicole Mitchell, Ben Goldberg, Tomeka Reid, Amir El Saffar, Benoit Delbecq, and many others. In The New York Times, Nate Chinen writes, “Drummer Tomas Fujiwara works with rhythm as a pliable substance, solid but ever-shifting. His style is forward-driving but rarely blunt or aggressive, and never random. He has a way of spreading out the center of a pulse while setting up a rigorous scaffolding of restraint…A conception of the drum set as a full-canvas instrument, almost orchestral in its scope.”
Mexican born vibraphonist, marimbist and composer Patricia Brennan is a member of the Grammy-nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus, and Matt Mitchell’s Phalanx Ambassadors. She is also a member of Blind Spot with Teju Cole, a project led by pianist Vijay Iyer along with bassist Linda Oh and writer Teju Cole. She has collaborated with Vijay Iyer on other projects, including the large ensemble project Open City and several small ensemble performances with renowned musicians such as bassist Reggie Workman and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. Among Patricia’s own projects are ANTENNA, a collective of composers and improvisers and TRIPTYK, a dynamic electroacoustic trio along with percussionist Noel Brennan and violinist/violist Leonor Falcon. Patricia has performed with many renown musicians including singer and composer Meredith Monk, violinist Todd Reynolds, singer and composer Theo Bleckmann, saxophonist Tony Malaby, trumpeter Nate Wooley, drummer Harris Eisenstadt, and many others. She has performed in venues such as Newport Jazz Festival, SF JAZZ, and Carnegie Hall, as well as international venues such as Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna, Austria, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has also appeared on National Television and Public Radio several times. Patricia is a BlueHaus Artist.
Recently described as a “New Jazz Power Source” by The New York Times, cellist and composer Tomeka Reid has emerged as one of the most original, versatile, and curious musicians in the Chicago’s bustling jazz and improvised music community over the last decade. Her distinctive melodic sensibility, usually braided to a strong sense of groove, has been featured in many distinguished ensembles over the years. Reid has been a key member of ensembles led by legendary reedists like Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell, as well as a younger generation of visionaries including flutist Nicole Mitchell, singer Dee Alexander, and drummer Mike Reed. She is also a co-leader of the adventurous string trio called Hear in Now, with violinist Mazz Swift and bassist Silvia Bolognesi. Reid released her debut recording as a bandleader in 2015, with the eponymous recording by the Tomeka Reid Quartet, a lively yet charged debut album that is a vibrant showcase not only for the cellist’s improvisational acumen but also her knack for dynamic arrangements and her compositional ability. Reid grew up outside of Washington D.C., and her musical career kicked into gear after moving to Chicago in 2000 to attend DePaul University for graduate school. Her work with Nicole Mitchell and various Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians-related groups have proved influential to the young musician. Reid is a 2016 recipient of a 3Arts award in music and received her doctorate in music from the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign in 2017.