The Jensen Sisters to Perform an Evening of Compelling, Original Music at the VJC

The Vermont Jazz Center will present the Jensen Sisters featuring Ben Monder in concert on Saturday, February 15th at 8:00 PM. New York-based Ingrid Jensen is a trumpeter known for her original work as a composer, bandleader and distinguished member of the Maria Schneider Orchestra. She has been hailed by jazz great, Marian McPartland for her ability to play "with all the fire and brilliance of a virtuoso." Montreal-based Christine Jensen has been described as, "one of Canada's most compelling composers." She is a saxophonist known for her multifaceted compositions and orchestrations and has won Juno and Opus Awards in recognition of her work. They will be joined by guitarist Ben Monder, one of the most versatile and interesting colorists on his instrument. The quintet will be rounded out by acoustic bassist Matt Clohesy and Jon Wikan on drums.

Ingrid and Christine have played together all over the world - from Seattle's Jazz Alley to New York's Museum of Modern Art, from an SS Norway Jazz Cruise to a tour of Japan in 1997. "There's definitely yin and yang in our approach," Christine says. "But we come from the same place, we grew up together, and there's a spiritual part of our playing, so we're able to connect like no one else can." They are from a small city on Vancouver Island in Western Canada called Nanaimo, a region built upon a bustling coal mining and forestry economy that now celebrates the arts as a sustaining force. Nanaimo is notably also the birthplace of Diana Krall, a jazz icon who encouraged Ingrid's aspirations in her early development as an improviser.

"speaks with an original trumpet voice that adheres to the concept of musical accuracy while invoking creative sparks to weave all the pieces together naturally."
-- All About Jazz - online jazz magazine

It is intriguing that many of the names of the tunes in recordings produced by both Jensen sisters evoke images of nature and spiritual centering, especially those relating to the sea: Treelines, At Sea, Earth Sighs, Crystal Mountain, Vernal Fields, Here on Earth, Red Cedar, Spirals, Sea Fever, the list goes on... Growing up in western Canada clearly led to a strong connection with the natural world, inspired their musical language and gave them sensual imagery that influenced their musical landscapes. It is apparent from interviews and the liner notes of the Jensen's albums that their love of nature propels them to speak out and serve as advocates for environmental causes. Ingrid's album "At Sea" is particularly successful in creating sonic atmospheres and textures that conjure up real experiences. It's almost as if she's taking us on a guided tour of the places in her life that resonate with deep meaning. The music on this album is a mixture of harmonically and rhythmically rich compositions juxtaposed with simple, memorable melodies performed by musicians of the highest level. Both Jensens have not only mastered their instruments but have moved on to create new forms that express their hearts and histories, they write episodic compositions that tell their stories through sound.

Ingrid Jensen headed east after receiving a number of scholarships to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Since graduating in 1989 she moved to New York where she spent many a day playing in the subways of New York before settling in Europe and teaching at the Bruckner Conservatory in Austria. Now she can be heard with the Grammy winning Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, the Ingrid Jensen Quartet, the Geoffrey Keezer, Project O, Nordic Connect and a number of New York based bands. She has received rave reviews and holds a strong reputation among critics and peers. In 2003, Ingrid was nominated, for the second time, alongside trumpeter Dave Douglas for a Jazz Journalist Association Award in New York and is seen yearly in the top five of the Downbeat Critic polls in the Talent deserving wider recognition category.

Ingrid was featured on Gil Evans' Porgy and Bess at the San Francisco Jazz Festival, under the direction of Maria Schneider and was also a guest in the festival's "Tribute to Woody Shaw and Freddie Hubbard," alongside Terence Blanchard, Eddie Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson and Kenny Garrett. She has performed or recorded with Steve Wilson, Jeff 'Tain' Watts, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Marc Copland, Bob Berg, Gary Thomas, Gary Bartz, Jeff Hamilton, Bill Stewart, Geri Allen, Geoffrey Keezer, Billy Hart, George Garzone, Chris Connor, Victor Lewis, Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Badal Roy, Mike Clark, Jason Miles and Global Noize, Dr.Billy Taylor and the DIVA Big Band. She also performed on Saturday Night Live with the British soul star Corrine Bailey. Ingrid was a featured soloist with singer Madelaine Peyroux as part of a Tribute to Billy Holiday that included Ron Carter and Mulgrew Miller. She is featured on Helen Sung's acclaimed 2014 recording, Anthem for a New Day and Terri Lyne Carrington's Mosaic Project.

Saxophonist Christine Jensen currently holds the position of conductor of the orchestre national de jazz de Montréal, and is on faculty at University of Sherbrooke and McGill University, where she teaches composition and small and large ensembles. According to Downbeat Magazine (where she earned 5 stars for her large ensemble, Treelines), "Jensen writes in three dimensions, with a quiet kind of authority that makes the many elements cohere. Wayne Shorter, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler come to mind." Treelines won her the 2011 Juno Award for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year, along with Quebec's Opus Award for jazz recording of the year. Jensen's music has been performed by the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, Germany; the UMO Big Band, Finland; and the McGill Jazz Orchestra, Montreal. Over the years, she has collaborated with a diverse array of musicians, including Geoffrey Keezer, Lenny, Pickett, Gary Versace, Donny McCaslin and many others. Jazz Times noted her connection with the natural world, stating: "Jensen's formidable orchestra is the glistening sunlight, the tranquility and force of the ocean, and the majestic trees that her music imagines."

Guitarist Ben Monder has secured his place as one of most identifiable and sought-after stylists on the progressive jazz scene, an heir to the ethereal yet edgy approach of players such as John Abercrombie and Bill Frisell. Schooled at the University of Miami and Queens College, Monder has been active as a sideman since 1984, working with Jack McDuff, Marc Johnson, David Binney, Paul Motian, Lee Konitz, Toots Thielemans, and Maria Schneider, to name a few. He has appeared as a sideman on over 100 recordings including those led by Drew Gress, Guillermo Klein, Patrick Zimmerli, Tim Ries, Donny McCaslin, Frank Kimbrough, and many others. He has released seven highly acclaimed albums under his own name.

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, bassist Matt Clohesy has toured or recorded with Seamus Blake, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Gretchen Parlato, Geoffrey Keezer, Eric Reed, Kevin Hays, David Kikoski, Donny McCaslin, Tom Scott, Joel Frahm, Eric Alexander, Nat Addreley, Jr., Maria Schneider, the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble and many others. Drummer Jon Wikan started his musical career on the road with vocalist Ernestine Anderson and then settled in Seattle where he performed with Pat LaBarbara, Herb Ellis, John Fedchock, Rick Margitza, Buddy Collette, Roswell Rudd, Mark Murphy, Kurt Elling, Bobby Shew, Brad Turner, Jessica Williams and many others. After moving to New York in the early '90s, Wikans toured Japan with Mark Murphy and worked with the New York Voices. Along with his work with Ingrid, Jon performs with Karrin Allyson, Dina De'Rose, Seamus Blake, Ernie Andrews, Marcus Strickland, Walt Weiskopf, Mark Elf, David Berkman, Aaron Parks and many others.

The VJC audience is fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to the Jensen Sisters perform on Saturday, February 15th at 8:00 PM. This concert is made possible thanks to generous financial support from Wakefield Global Inc. and Ellis Music, as well as ongoing support of the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, The Hampton Inn of Brattleboro and VPR and WFCR.

Saturday, February 15th
8:00 PM
Vermont Jazz Center
General Admission $20.00, Students $15.00
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