Rafael Statin is one of those rarest of young jazz instrumentalist who can combine great passion, intellectual discipline, and a spiritual fire that is evocative of great artistic creativity. He has so far established himself as a remarkable composer and musician. Rafael has had the greatest privilege of sharing the bandstand amongst two of the very best Jazz musicians of today, Robert Hurst III and Jeff “Tain” Watts. Rafael received incredible reviews from New York’s local jazz critics playing with them.
Hailing from Detroit, Rafael attended pre-college education at Detroit School of Arts and began to seriously study jazz at age 15 with Detroit’s own Sax Master George Benson. During high school, Rafael also studied and played with the Detroit Symphony Jazz Orchestra. DSJO is an educational program that provides Michigan’s premiere young jazz musicians with pre-professional training that builds upon the strong traditions of jazz in Detroit. Through this program Rafael got immeasurable tutelage from the legendary bassist Rodney Whitaker and his team of jazz mentors. Thanks to them, Rafael was able to work extensively among the Detroit jazz scene, developing and molding him into the traditional Mo-town sound while also pushing him forward out in the NYC jazz scene.
Currently, Rafael is under the strict and supportive guidances from some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time including Reggie Workman, Jimmy Owens, Mark Shim, Ron Blake, and Kenny Garrett just to name a few. Rafael Statin firmly believes that through his ancestors he has been bestowed an important inheritance of musical tradition and style of music “deemed as Jazz”. Even though he is deeply rooted in Jazz traditions, he has been influenced and inspired by many musical traditions.
Jen Baker, trombonist/composer, has pioneered a widely diverse performing career based in redefining the role of trombone in contemporary music. She leads her own projects as a soloist and frequently collaborates with others internationally. Hailed for her “formidable sensitivity” (New York Times), she has “performed with brilliant mastery and virtuosity” (San Francisco Classical Voice) in a number of world premieres at the International Trombone Festival, American Trombone Workshop, High Zero international festival of improvised music (Baltimore), ISIM Conference – International Society of Improvised Music, Adelaide Festival (Australia), Ostrava Days (Czech Republic), Ottawa ChamberFest (Canada), Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland), Festival of Friendly Countries (Mexico), and in New York City: Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, the Whitney/Met Breuer, Guggenheim, Park Avenue Armory – including the final performance with Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Met Museum, Lincoln Center, and arenas throughout the U.S. She has been commissioned by The Fourth Wall, Loadbang, and Asphalt Orchestra; these works, along with her solo compositions have been performed nationwide.
Baker is featured on the soundtrack to Werner Herzog’s Oscar-nominated Encounters at the End of the World, appeared on Good Morning America, and is on numerous recordings playing with Nate Wooley, The Mountain Goats, Asphalt Orchestra, Flexible Orchestra, on record labels including New World, Innova, New Amsterdam, Cantaloupe, and her own label, Dilapidated Barns. She has toured with new music ensembles SEM, Tilt Brass, the mobile ensemble Asphalt Orchestra (founding member), with experimental theatre company Bananabag and Bodice (Beowulf), and various world music pop stars such as Arijit Singh (Bollywood).
Baker teaches trombone and composition at Sarah Lawrence College and throughout New York City. She loves improvised vegan cooking (10 years and counting!), listening to animals, and long meandering walks.
Read more: jenbakersounds.com
Dave Douglas is a prolific trumpeter, composer, educator and entrepreneur from New York City known for the stylistic breadth of his work and for keeping a diverse set of ensembles and projects active simultaneously.
His unique contributions to improvised music have garnered distinguished recognition, including a Doris Duke Artist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Aaron Copland award, and two Grammy Award nominations. Douglas’ career spans more than 50 unique original recordings as a leader and more than 500 published works. His current ensembles include: Dave Douglas Quintet; Sound Prints, a quintet co-led with saxophonist Joe Lovano; UPLIFT, a sextet including bassist Bill Laswell; Present Joys, a longstanding duo with pianist Uri Caine which recently added Andrew Cyrille as third member for a 2019 recording; High Risk, an electronic ensemble with Shigeto, Jonathan Maron, and Ian Chang; and the latest project, ENGAGE, a sextet with Jeff Parker, Tomeka Reid, Anna Webber, Nick Dunston, and Kate Gentile. Douglas is often engaged in special projects which include big bands, tributes, and multi-trumpet ensembles, such as Dizzy Atmosphere.
As a composer, Douglas has received commissions from a variety of organizations including the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Essen Philharmonie, The Library of Congress, Stanford University and most recently, Monash Art Ensemble, which premiered his chamber orchestra piece Fabliaux in March 2014. He is currently completing a new work for the chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound, which will premiere in May 2019.
Douglas has held several posts as an educator and programmer. From 2002 to 2012, he served as artistic director of the Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Centre in Canada. He is a co-founder and president of the Festival of New Trumpet Music, which celebrated its fifteenth anniversary in 2017. He is currently on the faculty at the Mannes School of Music and is a Guest Coach for the Juilliard Jazz Composer’s Ensemble. In 2016, he accepted a three-year appointment as the Artistic Director of the Bergamo Jazz Festival.
In 2005 Douglas founded Greenleaf Music, an umbrella company for his recordings, sheet music, podcast, as well as the music of other artists in the modern jazz idiom. Greenleaf Music has produced over 70 releases and will be celebrating its fifteenth anniversary in 2020.