Steve Lehman Joins Joel Chriss

Apr 23, 2014

Described as “one of the transforming figures of early 21st century jazz,” by The Guardian and as a “dazzling saxophonist,” by The New York Times, Steve Lehman is widely viewed as one of the most innovative saxophonists and composers of his generation. His recent recording Travail, Transformation & Flow (2009) was chosen as the #1 Jazz Album of the year in The New York Times and he continues to tour and record extensively with his own ensembles and with those led by Anthony Braxton, Vijay Iyer, Jason Moran, and Meshell Ndegeocello, among others. 

A former student of Jackie McLean, Lehman received his doctorate in Music Composition from Columbia University and occupies a unique space in the current jazz landscape as the only active and highly visible performer to have received his terminal degree from an Ivy League institution. Celebrated by critics and musical contemporaries as far a field as Pat Metheney, John Zorn, Miguel Zenon, and Vijay Iyer, Lehman’s music strikes a careful balance between innovation, individual expression, and a deeply-rooted understanding of historical lineage

Steve Lehman becomes youngest recipient of $275,000 Doris Duke Artist Award
Steve Lehman is a 2014 recipient of the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award. The award comes with an unrestricted grant of $225,000, as well as an additional $50,000 in funding for retirement and special projects. Intended to support America’s “most vital and productive” artists, past recipients of the award include Don Byron, Bill Frisell, Randy Weston, Anthony Braxton, Meredith Monk, Vijay Iyer, and Billy Childs. At 35, Lehman is the youngest musician to hold the award, which solidifies his status as a visionary composer with powerful new ideas about the future of jazz. 

Steve Lehman Octet release Mise en Abîme 
Mise en Abîme is the highly-anticipated follow-up to 2009’s Travail, Transformation and Flow, by the Steve Lehman Octet. Described as a “breathtaking accomplishment” by The New York Times, Travail was widely hailed as a groundbreaking synthesis of spectral harmony and jazz improvisation. On Mise en Abîme, Lehman continues to build on his work with spectral harmony – expanding the harmonic palette by incorporating live electronics and a custom-built vibraphone – while at the same time reinforcing his connection to the jazz tradition with three radically re-imagined Bud Powell compositions. The result is an album that balances cutting-edge compositional techniques with a profound understanding of jazz, past, present, and future.