“A breathtaking accomplishment, a blast of urban futurism at once hypnotic, kinetic and kaleidoscopic. And funky.” —New York Times
Minneapolis, April 12, 2016— Described as “one of the transforming figures of early 21st-century jazz” (Guardian, UK), Steve Lehman is a composer and performer who works across a broad spectrum of experimental musical idioms. The revered Steven Lehman Octet has received an abundance of critical acclaim for its synthesis of spectral harmony and improvisation. Lehman’s recent recording Mise en Abîme was selected as top jazz CD of 2014 by NPR Music, Los Angeles Times, eMusic, and Musica Jazz Italia, and has been recognized as one of the year’s top ten recordings by dozens of other publications including Downbeat, which gave it a rare five-star review.
Lehman has collaborated with many of the premier jazz pioneers of our time (Anthony Braxton, Vijay Iyer, Jason Moran, and Meshell Ndegeocello, among others) and his octet includes leading jazz players of the next generation: Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Mark Shim (tenor saxophone), Tim Albright (trombone), Jose Davila (tuba), Drew Gress (bass), Chris Dingman (vibraphone), and Tyshawn Sorey (drums).
About Steve Lehman
Steve Lehman (b. New York City, 1978) is a composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across a broad spectrum of experimental musical idioms. Lehman’s pieces for large orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), So Percussion, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, the JACK Quartet, the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, and the Talea Ensemble. His recent recording, Mise en Abîme (Pi, 2014) was called the #1 jazz album of the year by NPR Music and Los Angeles Times. And his previous recording, Travail, Transformation & Flow (Pi, 2009), was chosen as the #1 jazz album of the year by New York Times. Lehman is the recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award. His recent electro-acoustic music has focused on the development of computer-driven models for improvisation, based in the Max/MSP programming environment. Lehman’s work has been favorably reviewed in Artforum, Downbeat, New York Times, Newsweek, and The Wire, and on NPR, the BBC, and SWR. As a Fulbright scholar in France during the 2002-2003 academic year, Lehman began researching the reception of African-American experimental composers working in France during the 1970s. His article in the journal Critical Studies in Improvisation, I Love You with an Asterisk: African-American Experimental Composers and the French Jazz Press, 1970-1980, is based on his Fulbright research. More recently, Lehman has published writings and presented lectures on a wide range of topics, including jazz pedagogy, rhythm cognition, and European notions of American experimentalism. His current scholarship, including a contribution to Arcana VI (Hips Road/Tzadik) and his recent doctoral dissertation, examines the overlapping histories of spectral music and jazz improvisation. Lehman received his B.A. (2000) and M.A. in Composition (2002) from Wesleyan University where he studied under Anthony Braxton, Jay Hoggard, and Alvin Lucier, while concurrently working with Jackie McLean at the Hartt School of Music. He received his doctorate with distinction in Music Composition from Columbia University (2012), where his principal teachers included Tristan Murail and George Lewis. Lehman has taught undergraduate courses at Wesleyan University, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, New School University, and Columbia University, and has presented lectures at Amherst College, UC Berkeley, The Berklee School of Music, The Banff Centre, The Royal Academy of Music in London, and IRCAM in Paris, where he was a 2011 research fellow. Beginning in September 2016, Lehman will join the faculty at The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts.
The Steve Lehman Octet is comprised of an all-star assemblage of performer/improvisers who represent the absolute state-of-the-art on their respective instruments. The ensemble has received an abundance of critical acclaim for its synthesis of spectral harmony and improvisation. The octet’s most recent recording, Mise en Abîme (Pi, 2014), was selected as the #1 Jazz CD of 2014 by NPR Music, The Los Angeles Times, eMusic, and Musica Jazz Italy, among many others. The CD was also cited as one of the “Top 10 Jazz CDs of 2014” by over thirty publications, internationally, including The Denver Post, The Village Voice, The Seattle Times, Downbeat, Jazz Times, The Guardian and The BBC.
The group’s debut recording Travail, Transformation & Flow (Pi, 2009), was called the #1 Jazz/Pop CD of 2009 by The New York Times and described as “a breathtaking accomplishment, a blast of urban futurism at once hypnotic, kinetic and kaleidoscopic. And funky.”
Tickets to the Steve Lehman Octet are $25 ($22) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600
Target Free Thursday Night: Steve Lehman and HPrizm
Thursday, May 5, 6pm artist led tour, 7pm mini concert
Join award-winning composer/performers Steve Lehman and HPrizm on a walking tour of their favorite pieces in the Walker galleries, followed by a live performance.
HPrizm is known for “Evoking images of Sun Ra and Afrika Bambatta at once” (Jesse Sewer XL8R magazine). As the founding member of the critically acclaimed Antipop Consortium, Prizm has consistently challenged the boundaries of traditional hip¬hop, winning the praise of taste makers across the globe. In the course of his career, spanning nearly a decade, with over 100,000 records sold, he has shared the stages with a wide array of artists, ranging from The Roots to Radiohead, Mos Def, Wadada Leo Smith, and others. As a composer his pieces have been installed in the Whitney Biennial (New York City) as well as the Mazzoli Gallery (Berlin). Prizm’s personal study and appreciation of audio synthesis have allowed him to provide innovate presets and sound design for several keyboard and software manufacturers such as KORG, Propellerhead, and Native Instruments.
Currently, Hprizm is touring and performing a live score for his recent collaboration with French conceptual artist Loris Greaud and award winning film director¬ David Lynch entitled “Snorks” while also working on his latest recorded effort, Modern Shaman. True to his roots with the Antipop Consortium, Prizm has continued to bring the studio to the stage. With an intricate performance rig in tow, he draws inspiration from a culture he and his group helped to birth. “As one of the first groups to bring laptops and hardware to the stage at a time when most set lists were pre¬recorded, I am glad to see the beat¬ scene flourish and I feel a responsibility to push the envelope” Prizm states.