RTV: Tyshawn Sorey

Release Date: Friday, September 3, 2010

In this episode of RTV, we speak with Tyshawn Sorey about how he expresses his life experiences through music and features selections from his Roulette concert with his quintet.

Sorey’s book of quintet music, originally comprised of 41 compositions for quartet (guitar, saxophone, bass, drums) written from 2002-2005, explores many facets of contemporary creative improvised music. This is a music that possesses a chamber ensemble-like interplay, as well as moments of density and melodicism. Since 2003, there were a number of great musicians who participated in this quartet, such as pianists Carl Maguire and Russ Lossing, saxophonist Pete Robbins, and bassists Carlo De Rosa and Matt Brewer.

In July 2005, the group expanded into a quintet format. From this period until January 2007, the group then experimented with many possible ways of performing the music by expanding the instrumentation of the ensemble (up to nine musicians). In August 2009, the group returned to the quintet format, and many of the compositions were performed at the Stone during a two-night period. This is the second performance of this new edition of the quintet, and it will feature Sorey’s longtime collaborator in the ensemble(s), saxophonist Loren Stillman.

Loren Stillman: alto + soprano saxophones
Todd Neufeld: guitar
Cory Smythe: piano + keyboard
Thomas Morgan: bass
Tyshawn Sorey: drums

Performance date: 08/10-08/12/2010
Episode release date: 09/03/2010

Tyshawn Sorey (b. Newark, N.J., 1980) is an active composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across an extensive range of musical idioms. As a percussionist, trombonist, and pianist, Tyshawn has performed and/or recorded nationally and internationally with his own ensembles and with those led by Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Coleman, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, Michele Rosewoman, Anthony Braxton, Vijay Iyer, Wadada Leo Smith, Dave Douglas, and Billy Bang, among many others. Sorey‘s work has been favorably reviewed in Traps, The Village Voice, The Wire, The New York Times, Modern Drummer, JazzTimes, The Star-Ledger, and Downbeat Magazine, and on WKCR-FM. Tyshawn has also appeared in Downbeat Magazine’s Annual Critics’ Poll since 2007. His article in Arcana 4 (John Zorn, ed.), “Meaning in Music”, examines his approach to both composition and improvisation. Sorey received his B.M. (2004) in Jazz Studies and Performance from William Paterson University where he studied under John Riley, James Williams, and Kevin Norton, while concurrently studying composition with Anton Vishio and John Link, in addition to working in various settings under Peter Jarvis, director of the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble. Sorey has also conducted and participated in various lectures and master classes on improvisation, composition, contemporary drumming, ensemble playing, and critical theory at the International Realtime Music Symposium in Norway, Hochschule für Musik Köln, School of Improvisational Music, Musikhochschule Nürnberg, Berklee College of Music, Birmingham Conservatory of Music in England, and Cité de la Musique in Paris. He has received commissions from Van Lier Fellowship and Roulette Intermedium, most recently for a multi-chapter work in progress entitled “Wu-Wei,” recently premiered in its’ entirety at The Stone in New York City, where he served as curator, in August 2009. Tyshawn is currently a private instructor in composition and improvisation for the School of Improvisational Music.