Constantin Basica is a Romanian composer living in the San Francisco Bay Area, whose current work focuses on symbiotic interrelations between music, video, and performers. His pieces have been performed in Europe, North America, and Asia by artists such as Séverine Ballon, Tony Arnold, Karen Bentley Pollick, Olga Berar, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble Liminar, ELISION Ensemble, Distractfold Ensemble, Mocrep, JACK Quartet, Spektral Quartet, kallisti, RAGE Thormbones, line upon line, Retro Disco, and Fresh Squeezed Opera. Constantin’s compositions have been featured, among others, at MATA Festival (New York, NY), the International Festival for Video art and Visual Music (Mexico City, MX), Currents New Media Festival (Santa Fe, NM), the International Week for New Music and the InnerSound International Festival for New Arts (Bucharest, RO), and Aveiro_Síntese International Festival of Electroacoustic Music (Aveiro, PT). He received the ICMA Award for Best Submission from Europe at the 2017 ICMC (Shanghai, CN).
Constantin earned a DMA in Composition at Stanford University under the guidance of Jaroslaw Kapuscinski, Brian Ferneyhough, Mark Applebaum, and Erik Ulman. His previous mentors were Georg Hajdu, Manfred Stahnke, Fredrik Schwenk, and Peter Michael Hamel during his MA and Erasmus Scholarship at the Hamburg University of Music and Theatre (DE), as well as Dan Dediu, Nicolae Coman, Doina Rotaru, Bogdan Voda, and Cristian Brancusi during his BA studies in Composition and Conducting at the National University of Music Bucharest (RO).
As an educator, Constantin has taught and conducted workshops at Stanford University, Escuela Superior de Música in Mexico City, the International Centre for Research and Education in Innovative Creative Technologies, the 2016 Sound and Music Computing Summer School in Hamburg, and the George Enescu National College of Music in Bucharest. He is the recipient of the 2018 Carolyn Applebaum Memorial Prize and the 2015 Chair’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Department of Music at Stanford University.
Alex Chechile is an artist and composer whose work develops in parallel with research in neuroscience, psychoacoustics, and the biomechanics of hearing. His electroacoustic compositions and installations bring transparency to otherwise invisible processes in biology and technology.
His work has been shown across the United States, Europe, and Asia. His projects have been supported by The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), Harvestworks (NYC), Issue Project Room (NYC), the Experimental Television Center (NY), the Deep Listening Institute (NY), and the American Embassy. His work has been presented at MoMA, The 2011 New York Electronic Arts Festival, and SIGGRAPH San Diego. Alex performs in the SideLObe chamber laptop ensemble with Ge Wang, was a founding member of Pauline Oliveros' Tintinnabulate ensemble, collaborated with Mercury Rev, and opened for Primus.
Chechile is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), and holds an MFA in Electronic Art from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a BA in Music from Tufts University. He currently studies with Chris Chafe and Brian Ferneyhough, and previously with Pauline Oliveros, Curtis Bahn, Maryanne Amacher, and John McDonald.
Danielle Brown, Ph.D. is an artist, scholar, and entrepreneur. Brown earned a doctorate in Music from New York University with a concentration in ethnomusicology and specialization in the music of Latin America and the Caribbean. She is the Founder and CEO of My People Tell Stories, LLC, a company she started based on the premise that people of color in particular, and marginalized people in general, need to tell and interpret their own stories. Originally designed as a hub to house Brown’s artistic and scholarly works, My People Tell Stories has expanded its reach to provide education and consulting services to educators, businesses, and others seeking to dismantle the effects of systemic racism in the field of music. In 2018, Brown started the Caribbean Music Pedagogy Workshop, a two-week professional development workshop for music educators that takes place every summer. The workshop focuses on teaching genre specific pedagogy in the interest of social justice. In addition, she runs the Interrogating Race in Music Series, which explores the role of race in the field of music through webinars and workshops and offers strategies for creating classroom environments that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Brown is a former Assistant Professor of Music History and Cultures at Syracuse University, and has lectured at various colleges and universities. She has worked with elementary, middle, and high school students, and is certified in the Kodály method. In addition, Brown is an active vocalist, cuatro player, and composer. She is the author of the music-centered ethnographic memoir, East of Flatbush, North of Love: An Ethnography of Home, and the East of Flatbush, North of Love: Teacher Guidebook. Brown is a 2018 NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Folk/Traditional Arts and was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Musicology at the University of Miami for the 2019—2020 school year.
More information about Dr. Brown and My People Tell Stories can be found at www.mypeopletellstories.com.
Lillie Gordon is an ethnomusicologist, writer, editor, and musician focused on the violin in Egypt. She loves teaching about music in context, playing music that gets people dancing, and writing about music, colonialism, women in sports, and other topics.
Professor Gordon specializes in the musics of Egypt and the larger Arab World. Her research focuses on musical intersections in the lives of violinists in Cairo, particularly their position between Western classical music and Arab music. More broadly, her interests include musics of the Middle East, music and postcolonial studies, music and nostalgia, music and gender, and organology. Her work has been funded by a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation fellowship, the American Research Center in Egypt, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a winner of the Ki Mantle Hood Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology (2007). Her most recent scholarship respnds to the #metoo movement by exploring the impact of sexual harassment on ethnomusicologists undertaking fieldwork.
Heavily invested in bringing her research experiences into the classroom, Professor Gordon challenges students to question categories, practice active listening, and actively engage with understanding music in context. She has previously taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Denver.
Professor Gordon founded and directed of the University of Tennessee Middle East Ensemble for four years. The ensemble, a group of students and community members, performed music from throughout the Middle East in the Knoxville area and beyond. As an active performer, Professor Gordon has studied Arab-style violin playing and the Arab lute (‘ud) with renowned teachers in the U.S. and Egypt over the last two decades, including Mr. Sa‘d Muhammad Hassan and Dr. Hussein Saber. She has performed throughout the U.S. and Egypt with the UCSB Middle East Ensemble, the University of Illinois Balkan Ensemble (“Balkanalia”), and other groups.
Dr. Nick Virzi (b. 1991) is a composer from New York City living in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. His recent work explores the mystical nature of music through imagistic representation, orchestration of complex numerical systems, and use of original natural sound recordings. In addition to composing, Nick is a field recording artist, electric guitarist, conductor, researcher, and educator. He also hosts the international composer interview series Composer OverTime.
Nick’s music has been performed throughout the USA and internationally by established artists such as cellist Séverine Ballon (France), soprano Tony Arnold, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, the JACK Quartet, the Spektral Quartet, Splinter Reeds, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Ensemble Liminar (Mexico), Distractfold (United Kingdom), the Ekmeles Vocal Ensemble, the TAK Ensemble, and Ensemble Dal Niente. His work has been featured at such venues as the Juilliard School at Lincoln Center, the Center for New Music in San Francisco, and the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, Denmark. His recent commissions include a new work for Line Upon Line Percussion from the Novalis Music and Art Festival, along with artist residencies at the Kopački Rit Nature Preserve in Osijek, Croatia.
He has participated in such international festivals as Gaudeamus Muziekweek (The Netherlands), and Impuls (Austria), and New Music on the Bayou (Louisiana), including fellowships granted by the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival (New York City), the Cortona Sessions for New Music (Italy), the soundSCAPE Composition and Performance Exchange (Italy), and the New Music for Strings Festival (Denmark). He has presented his work at the Conrad Prebys Music Center at UC San Diego, the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) at UC Berkeley, the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara, as well as the American Beethoven Society at San José State University, the California Interdisciplinary Consortium of Italian Studies (CICIS) at the Italy’s Centers and Peripheries Conference hosted by Stanford University, and the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) at the SEAMUS 2021 Virtual National Conference.
As a field recording artist specializing in natural sound, Nick has held artist and research residencies at wilderness locations throughout California, such as the Sagehen Creek Field Station in Sagehen Experimental Forest, the Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve in Big Sur, and the Poto Festival in Grass Valley. He has presented his research in soundscape ecology and bioacoustics at NYU’s Steinhardt School as part of the Precarious Sounds/Sounding Sanctuary Conference (New York City), The Catholic University of America at the Eleventh International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses (Washington, D.C.), and the Centro Cultural Vila Flor at the Ninth International Conference on the Constructed Environment (Guimarães, Portugal).
Dr. Virzi is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Music and H&S Dean’s Fellow at Stanford University. His research is based at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) and Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. He completed his D.M.A. in Music Composition at Stanford University, where he studied with Mark Applebaum and Brian Ferneyhough. He also completed his B.M. at the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Du Yun, Huang Ruo, Laura Kaminsky, and Suzanne Farrin.
Master-Musician Necati Çelik is a Lecturer in The Department of Music & The Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies for the Spring 2022 session, thanks to the Stanford Visiting Artist Fund in Honor of Roberta Bowman Denning.
Necati Çelik is globally considered to be the foremost living master ud (fretless lute) musician, improviser and composer. He will be co-teaching a course with Denise Gill, associate professor of ethnomusicology and of Islam and the arts, who is also a celebrated kanun (trapezoidal zither) player. Bringing an artist of Çelik’s skill level and international reputation fulfills the Department of Music’s commitment to non-Western music and allows Stanford to present the best of Ottoman, Anatolian and Turkish music to audiences. During his time on campus, Çelik will co-create a Stanford Ottoman Music Ensemble, conduct workshops, and perform at Bing Concert Hall.
Photo by Burhan Üçkardeş
Joshua Redman is one of the most acclaimed and charismatic jazz artists to have emerged in the decade of the 1990s. Born in Berkeley, California, he is the son of legendary saxophonist Dewey Redman and dancer Renee Shedroff. He was exposed at an early age to a variety of musics (jazz, classical, rock, soul, Indian, Indonesian, Middle-Eastern, African) and instruments (recorder, piano, guitar, gatham, gamelan), and began playing clarinet at age nine before switching to what became his primary instrument, the tenor saxophone, one year later. The early influences of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Cannonball Adderley and his father, Dewey Redman, as well as The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, the Temptations, Earth, Wind and Fire, Prince, The Police and Led Zeppelin drew Joshua more deeply into music. But although Joshua loved playing the saxophone and was a dedicated member of the award-winning Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble and Combo from 1983 to 1986, academics were always his first priority, and he never seriously considered becoming a professional musician.
In 1991 Redman graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Social Studies. He had already been accepted by Yale Law School, but deferred entrance for what he believed was only going to be one year. Some of his friends (former students at the Berklee College of Music whom Joshua had met while in Boston) had recently relocated to Brooklyn, and they were looking for another housemate to help with the rent. Redman accepted their invitation to move in, and almost immediately he found himself immersed in the New York jazz scene. He began jamming and gigging regularly with some of the leading jazz musicians of his generation: Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings, Kevin Hays, Roy Hargrove, Geoff Keezer, Leon Parker, Jorge Rossy and Mark Turner (to name just a few). In November of that year, five months after moving to New York, Redman was named the winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. This was only one of the more visible highlights from a year that saw Redman beginning to tour and record with jazz masters such as his father, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Elvin Jones, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Paul Motian, and Clark Terry. For Joshua, this was a period of tremendous growth, invaluable experience and endless inspiration.
Now fully committed to a life in music, Redman was quickly signed by Warner Bros. Records and issued his first, self-titled album in the spring of 1993, which subsequently earned Redman his first Grammy nomination. That fall saw the release of Wish, where Joshua was joined by the all-star cast of Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins. He toured extensively with Metheny throughout the latter half of that year. His next recording, MoodSwing, was released in 1994, and it introduced his first permanent band, which included three other young musicians who have gone on to become some of the most important and influential artists in modern jazz: pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade. A later edition of this ensemble included guitarist Peter Bernstein, pianist Peter Martin, bassist Chris Thomas and Blade. Over a series of celebrated recordings including Spirit of the Moment/Live at the Village Vanguard, Freedom in the Groove and Timeless Tales (for Changing Times), Redman established himself as one of the music’s most consistent and successful bandleaders, and added soprano and alto saxophones to his instrumental arsenal. Joshua’s second acclaimed quartet, featuring pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, was formed in 1998 and made its recorded debut on the 2000 album Beyond. The dynamic interplay and uncommon rapport of this group inspired Redman to write and record his first long-form composition, Passage of Time, which was released in 2001.
A year later, Redman began to channel his jazz sensibilities through new instrumentation and formed The Elastic Band, a flexible, electrified, groove-based trio built on an ongoing collaboration with keyboardist Sam Yahel and drummer Brian Blade. The band debuted on the 2002 releases yaya3 and Elastic. Drummer Jeff Ballard began to play regularly with the Elastic Band later that year, and he (along with Blade and Yahel) played a central role in their next recording, the Grammy-nominated Momentum, which was released in 2005 to inaugurate Redman’s affiliation with Nonesuch Records, and featured a diverse and exciting lineup of special guests.
In 2000, Redman was named Artistic Director for the Spring Season of the non-profit jazz-presenting organization SFJAZZ. Redman and SFJAZZ Executive Director Randall Kline had an idea that the New York Times called a “eureka moment”; the creation of the SFJAZZ Collective, an ensemble distinguished both by the creativity of its members and a unique primary emphasis on composition. Inaugurated in 2004, the eight-piece band consists of a multi-generational cast of accomplished musicians. The Collective’s repertoire features both commissioned works and new arrangements of the work of great modern jazz composers. In March 2007, Redman announced that he was taking a hiatus from both the SFJAZZ Artistic Directorship and the SFJAZZ Collective in order to focus on new projects.
The following month, Nonesuch released Redman’s first ever piano-less trio record, Back East, featuring Joshua alongside three stellar bass and drum rhythm sections (Larry Grenadier & Ali Jackson, Christian McBride & Brian Blade, Reuben Rogers & Eric Harland) and three very special guest saxophonists (Chris Cheek, Joe Lovano and Dewey Redman). On Compass, released in January 2009 (Nonesuch), Joshua continues to explore the expansive trio format, and with a group of collaborators as intrepid as he is – bassists Larry Grenadier and Reuben Rogers, and drummers Brian Blade and Gregory Hutchinson – Redman literally and figuratively stretches the shape of the trio approach; on the most audacious of these tunes, he performs with the entire lineup in a double-trio setting.
Starting in late 2009, Joshua began performing with a new collaborative band called James Farm featuring pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland. The band infuses traditional acoustic jazz quartet instrumentation with a progressive attitude and modern sound. The band’s performances and two albums have been met with rave reviews across the globe.
In May 2013, Redman released Walking Shadows (Nonesuch), a collection of vintage and contemporary ballads produced by his friend and frequent collaborator Brad Mehldau. This is Redman’s first recording to include an orchestral ensemble and includes a core ensemble of Mehldau on piano, Larry Grenadier on bass, and Brian Blade on drums. About Walking Shadows, the New York Times says "there hasn’t been a more sublimely lyrical gesture in his 20-year recording career."
Released in June 2014, Trios Live (Nonesuch), was recorded at New York City’s Jazz Standard and Washington, DC’s Blues Alley during stands with two different trios - Redman and drummer Gregory Hutchinson with bassist Matt Penman (Jazz Standard) and Redman and Hutchinson with bassist Reuben Rogers (Blues Alley). Trios Live features four original tunes by Redman and interpretations of three additional songs.
After their first partnership during 2011 performances at the Blue Note in New York at the invitation of The Bad Plus, and intermittent performances together over the years, Redman and the tight-knit trio released their first studio album titled The Bad Plus Joshua Redman in May 2015 on Nonesuch. Redman explains the draw of this unique collaboration: "Playing with The Bad Plus has allowed me to explore a part of my playing, and my musical heritage, that I’ve never before accessed in quite the same way with any other group. The adventure with The Bad Plus pushes me toward the fringes and draws me into the core." Redman was nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo on the track “Friend or Foe” from this debut recording collaboration.
Released in 2016, Nearness (Nonesuch), was recorded at several European concert stops and illustrates in the most direct and intimate way the extraordinary musical rapport between saxophonist Joshua Redman and pianist Brad Mehldau—label-mates, friends, and fellow travelers in jazz for 25 years. After joining Mehldau as a featured soloist on Highway Rider, the two musicians resumed performing as a duo at concert halls and festivals around the world, garnering superb reviews every time out. The tracks on Nearness were culled from recordings made during summer and fall 2011 European dates in concert halls, theaters, and, one night in Norway, at a church.
Still Dreaming, released in May 2018 on Nonesuch, features drummer Brian Blade, bassist Scott Colley, and trumpeter Ron Miles. Touring together since 2016, the quartet seeks to affirm, in their own way, the musical exploration and experimentation which defined one of the seminal jazz bands of the '70s and '80s, Old and New Dreams, which featured Joshua’s father and Ornette Coleman alumni Dewey Redman on tenor saxophone. Busy as these four musicians are with their myriad musical projects, hearing them perform together as Still Dreaming will likely be a rare opportunity, an uncommon musical adventure - informed by the past, but looking toward the future, and navigated by the now.
Joshua Redman Quartet’s new album, Come What May (Nonesuch), was released on March 29, 2019. It marks the first recording in almost two decades for this group of musicians: the recently Grammy-nominated saxophonist and his longtime friends and colleagues pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. Previous releases were Beyond (2000) and Passage of Time (2001). The Quartet, which has toured internationally over the last several years, recorded seven Redman tunes for Come What May.
In addition to his own projects, Redman has recorded and performed with musicians such as Brian Blade, Ray Brown, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, The Dave Matthews Band, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, Aaron Goldberg, Larry Goldings, Charlie Haden, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Roy Haynes, Billie Higgins, Milt Jackson, Elvin Jones, Quincy Jones, Big Daddy Kane, Geoff Keezer, B.B. King, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, DJ Logic, Joe Lovano, Yo Yo Ma, Branford Marsalis, Christian McBride, John Medeski, Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Marcus Miller, Paul Motian, MeShell Ndegeocello, Leon Parker, Nicholas Payton, John Psathas, Simon Rattle, Dewey Redman, Dianne Reeves, Melvin Rhyne, The Rolling Stones, The Roots, Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Scofield, Soulive, String Cheese Incident, Clark Terry, Toots Thielemans, The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Mark Turner, McCoy Tyner, Umphrey’s McGee, US3, Bugge Wesseltoft, Cedar Walton, Stevie Wonder, Sam Yahel, and Patrick Zimmerli. Joshua Redman has been nominated for 3 Grammys and has garnered top honors in critics and readers polls of DownBeat, Jazz Times, The Village Voice and Rolling Stone. He wrote and performed the music for Louis Malle’s final film Vanya on 42nd Street, and is both seen and heard in the Robert Altman film Kansas City.