Music commissioned by Chamber Music America New Jazz Works program with generous support from the Doris Duke Foundation.
4 stars “a mesmerizing combination of chamber jazz, symphonic music, modern jazz and big band…the sound of the full ensemble is beautiful and powerful…you’ll love it all.”—Bob Protzman, DownBeat
“The picturesque music evolves as it progresses…subtle, tasteful, and thoughtful…”—Scott Yanow, Jazz Artistry Now
“…a stellar work of art…a beautiful and entertaining aural excursion.”—D. Glenn Daniels, The Jazz Page
The concert features Alchemy Sound Project members pianist Sumi Tonooka, saxophonist Erica Lindsay, trumpeter Samantha Boshnack, Salim Washington on woodwinds, and bassist David Arend, along with trombonist Willem De Koch and guest drummer Victor Lewis.
In 2018 Alchemy Sound Project released their 2nd CD
Erica Lindsay – tenor saxophone
Samantha Boshnack – trumpet, flugelhorn
Salim Washington – tenor saxophone,
alto flute, bass clarinet
Sumi Tonooka – piano
David Arend – double bass
Jonathan Blake – drums, percussion
Michael Spearman – trombone
Album art: Peggy Gyulai
A collective of five forward-thinking composer-performers traversing the borders between the composed and the improvised, Alchemy Sound Project creates and performs groundbreaking new work that combines elements of jazz, world music and modern chamber music. The group – which is diverse in age, ethnicity and gender – has released two critically acclaimed recordings: Further Explorations which earned the band a place on DownBeat Magazine’s Best Albums of 2016 list and their 2018 release Adventures in Time and Space, which has been heralded as “mesmerizing…wholly recommended” by Mike Greenblatt in The Aquarian.
The five core members of Alchemy Sound Project were initially brought together by the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute, a program of the American Composers Orchestra and the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University that encourages jazz composers to explore writing music for symphony orchestra. Saxophonist Lindsay attended the first JCOI session in 2010; at her encouragement, both Tonooka (a frequent collaborator) and trumpet player Boshnack (a former student of Lindsay’s at Bard College) enrolled in the second round in 2012. There, Tonooka and Boshnack met and bonded with bassist Arend and multi-reedist Washington.
Samantha Boshnack: Seismic Belt
Friday October 12, 7:30pm
The Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave S., Seattle
$20 adults, $18 Earshot members and seniors, $10 students and military.
Ticket link, Facebook Event
This eight-movement work is an exploration of seismic activity along the Ring of Fire through musical composition, experimenting with the friction of geographic shifts to create a new harmonic topography. The music examines our relationship with the earth we live on, and the element of risk and faith in that uneasy cohabitation. Movements of the work draw on influences and stories from some of the cultures and people living on the Ring in places such as Chile, Japan, Alaska, Western Samoa, and Russia.
Photos by Emma Wang, courtesy of 18th Street Arts Center.
Boshnack’s love of hiking the peaks of the Pacific Northwest, combined with travels to other areas located on the Ring sparked her fascination with volcanoes, and the cultures that surround them. As with her other recent projects, this work leads the listener into a storied landscape projected as musical narrative. In 2017, she released “Nellie Bly Project” which illustrated the 19th-century daredevil/feminist/journalist’s heroic life. In 2016, her desire to celebrate individual expression and virtuosity of musicians outside of Western classical music prompted her to compose “Global Concertos” – which explored the sounds of five continents, performed with a representative musical ambassador from each.
Samantha Boshnack’s Seismic Belt Live in Santa Monica will be released in March 2019 on Orenda Records!
On Wednesday, June 27 Boshnack will be unveiling a new duo project at Seattle’s underground music venue – Substation. Featuring Marina Albero (Wurlitzer, keyboard, cajon) and herself (trumpet) they will be exploring Boshnack’s compositions in a most intimate and experimental way. The event starts at 8 p.m. and also features sets by Michael Owcharuk, Shawn Smith and Kathy Moore. Boshnack/Albero will play at 9 pm. Facebook Event
Composer, trumpeter and music educator Samantha Boshnack brings her large body of multi-movement work to 18th Street Arts Center’s annual Make Jazz Fellowship. Based in Seattle, Boshnack is in residence at 18th Street Arts Center from February 1 – April 29, 2018.
The new work she will develop during her time in Southern California explores seismic activity along the Ring of Fire through musical composition, experimenting with the friction of geographic shifts to create a new harmonic topography. This music examines our relationship with the earth we live on, and the element of risk and faith in that uneasy cohabitation. Movements of the work will draw on influences from some of the cultures and people living on the Ring such as Chile, Japan, Alaska, Iceland, Western Samoa, and Russia.
Boshnack will be premiering the new work in two concerts across LA:
Samantha Boshnack: Works in Progress
March 19, 2018 | Doors 8 PM, Show at 9 PM
bluewhale, 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St., Ste. 301, LA (Little Tokyo)
Samantha Boshnack: Seismic Belt
Make Jazz Culminating Concert
Friday, April 13, 2018 | Doors 7 PM, Show at 7:30 PM | FREE
Roth Hall @ Crossroads – 1714 21st Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Samantha Boshnack – Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Ryan Parrish – Tenor & Baritone Saxophones
Paris Hurley – Violin
Lauren Elizabeth Baba – Violin & Viola
Paul Cornish – Piano
Nashir Janmohamed – Upright & Electric Bass
Dan Schnelle – Drums
18th Street Arts Center hosts its Make Jazz Fellowship annually with support from the Herb Alpert Foundation. This award to honor and support American jazz artists is awarded to an emerging jazz composer, and includes a three-month, fully funded residency and a culminating performance, as well as opportunities to lead master classes. This opportunity offers critical support for the artistic evolution of young Jazz artists who are establishing future directions for this unique American art form.
During her residency, Samantha Boshnack will start writing this expansive new work and continue her quest to adapt her compositional ideas for different kinds of musicians. She will debut the new work in two concerts at the bluewhale in Little Tokyo, and Roth Hall in Santa Monica. In addition, Boshnack will mentor students in the Jazz program at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia.
Boshnack has been selected as the 2018 Make Jazz Fellow. The Seventh Annual Make Jazz Fellowship is sponsored by the Herb Alpert Foundation to honor and support promising, emerging Jazz composers. 18th Street Arts Center will provide her with a three-month fully funded residency in Los Angeles, starting February 2018. While there, she will compose and rehearse “Seismic Belt” with a band of LA musicians she assembles. At the end of the residency, she will premiere the work at a large concert in an LA venue presented by 18th Street Arts Center.
Prior recipients of the Make Jazz Fellowship are Matana Roberts, Tomeka Reid, John Ellis, Marquis Hill, Teddy Raven, and Giorgi Mikadze. Click here for more information.
Stay tuned for more developments as the time draws nearer….
Sam Boshnack Quintet’s second album, Nelly Bly Project (Artists Recording Collective) is an illustrative and evocative musical portrait of a hero that Boshnack has admired since a young age. Bly was a 19th-century daredevil feminist and journalist who worked within extreme confines to achieve great things for both the subjects she covered (including mental health and prison facilities), and for women in her field. The album moves between the narrative and abstract, creating an imaginative world that channels Bly’s groundbreaking spirit.
What the press is saying:
“Fresh, smart, and bold describe Samantha Boshnack’s Nellie Bly Project. Inspired by the pioneer female American reporter from the late 1800s, Boshnack weaves significant quotes by the journalist into a shifting musical tapestry. Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochran) defined a true woman as “innocent, unaffected, and frank.” While Boshnack’s sound embodies more life experience than what could be described as innocent, listeners will hear an unaffected and frank approach to writing, improvising, and recording…. Boshnack’s music stretches and sings with refreshing strength.” – Steve Griggs/Earshot Jazz. Read full review.
“While no one would or should argue about the accomplishments of the journalist (Nellie Bly), Ms. Boshnack’s music is also quite impressive. The integration of words and music is well thought-out and the compositions are quite strong…. The power in her (Bly) words and deeds is the fuel for Sam Boshnack; you can hear it in every note of her ‘Nellie Bly Project’, hear it in the impressive melodies, the rhythms, the interactions, and solos of the Quintet.” – Richard Kamins/Step Tempest. Read full review
“Nellie Bly Project represents a step up in ambition from the prior, already-ambitious release by the Sam Boshnack Quintet, because Bly was a complex figure, so any accurate depiction would likewise portray complexity.That’s probably fine and good with Boshnack, who is already prone to stretch as both a composer and artist. The Quintet’s performances don’t necessarily follow conventional song structures: they flow more like an act in a play and this four act play seeks to tell the story of Bly through the moods projected in the veering harmony, rhythmic intricacy and occasional presentations of Bly’s writings whether by singing it or reciting it at critical junctures within each song.….. Sam Boshnack is an example of a growing number of women leading a resurgence of creativity in jazz.” – S. Victor Aaron/Something Else Reviews. Read full review.
“Not quite free jazz, you can hear the echoes of struggle in the music and the vibe tilts toward prevailing. A very solid listening date, this trumpeter delivers the art without being artsy. Sitting down jazz fans have something solid to sink their teeth into here.” – Chris Spector/Midwest Record. Read full review.
“Boshnack, both within ensemble playing, and skillful soloing, offers her best playing to date on trumpet, supported strongly by Castillo, Chadsey and Wood. Fleenor, a musical constant in Boshnack’s work in Seattle, plays with unconventional prowess, drawing musical, poetic, and social parallels with the composing artist. The social narrative to achieve gender equity, is still a story being told loudly, and clearly. The struggle continues, with the courageous activism of Nellie Bly still serving as a beacon of inspiration and persistence to modern “daredevil” artists such as Boshnack. Her ability to create a narrative musically, and truly educate and inspire the listener is rare, and important. It’s part of what makes music a language that unites cultures, and empowers justice. – Paul Rauch/All About Jazz. Read full review.
“There’s a large presence to this session, which is surprising given that it was created by a relatively small quintet. But given that the music here is inspired by the career of journalist and world-traveller Nellie Bly, so the fact that it’s vast in sound and scope is appropriate. Trumpeter Samantha Boshnack created a tone poem in honor of Bly, who traveled the world in a record-breaking 72 days, and the music is as daring as its inspiration. Thick harmonies and wavering melodic fragments augment a big sound that’s rich with detail and nuance.” – Dave Sumner/Bird is the Worm – “Best Jazz on Bandcamp”. Read full review
“Whether functioning in spacious or dense areas, Nellie Bly Project vibrates with raw musicality and airs a remarkable honesty in its endeavor to capture Bly’s spirit.” – Filipe Freitas/Jazz Trail. Read full review
“The overall result is an unusually compelling 35-minute suite that is strongly recommended.” – Mike Borella/Avant Music News. Read full review
“Musically, the material dazzles, from the haunting thematic statement voiced by Fleenor’s bass clarinet and Castillo’s arco bass at the opening (a theme that surfaces repeatedly in differing instrumental garb throughout the track) to the deftness with which vocal parts are woven into the work’s design.” – Ron Schepper/textura. Read full review
Samantha Boshnack trumpet & vocal
Beth Fleenor clarinet & bass clarinet
Alex Chadsey piano & keyboards
Isaac Castillo upright & electric bass
Max Wood drums
Valerie Holt and Anne Mathews vocals (tracks 1 & 3)
Anne Whitfield spoken vocals (tracks 2 & 4)
Recorded by Floyd Reitsma at Studio Litho, Seattle, WA
Mixed by Evan Schiller at zulusound, Seattle, WA
Mastered by Ed Brooks at Resonant Mastering, Seattle, WA
Album artwork by Steven Arntson
Album design by Anne Mathews
Release Date – August 18, 2017
June’s Art of Jazz concert at the Seattle Art Museum featured Sam Boshnack Quintet playing Boshnack’s original music. The concert was recorded for radio and highlights aired on Jazz Northwest on Sunday June 18 on 88.5 KNKX, this archived recording is available to stream at http://knkx.org/post/original-music-sam-boshnack-quintet
Included in this concert were selections from Exploding Syndrome and her latest recording, Nellie Bly Project.
The Sam Boshnack Quintet at The Seattle Art Museum included Sam Boshnack, trumpet, James Falzone, clarinets, Alex Chadsey, piano and keyboards, Isaac Castillo, bass and Max Wood, drums. James Falzone heads the Cornish College Music Department and appeared as a special guest, substituting for regular clarinetist Beth Fleenor.
Jazz Northwest is recorded and produced by Jim Wilke exclusively for 88.5 KNKX and is heard Sundays at 2 p.m. Pacific. Thanks to the Seattle Art Museum and Earshot Jazz for presenting the series throughout the year.
duende libre and Sam Boshnack Quintet Double CD Release Show
A celebration of two exciting new releases – duende libre’s self-titled debut album and Sam Boshnack Quintet’s Nelly Bly Project. At this bold and engaging performance, expect to hear innovative compositions rooted in the jazz tradition with an ear to everything from contemporary chamber music to salsa to American rock, delivered with heartfelt conviction. Although each band possesses its own unique aesthetic, they find common ground in their shared passion for creating original music that melds eclectic sounds and styles with fiery improvisation.