Wayne Horvitz Named Director of the Jazz Band at Puget Sound

August 9, 2010

TACOMA, Wash. – Wayne Horvitz, acclaimed composer, pianist, and keyboardist, who has performed around the globe and collaborated with some of the top names in jazz, will join the University of Puget Sound School of Music as director of the Jazz Band and as an affiliate faculty member this fall.

“Wayne will bring a unique and exciting perspective and a profusion of talent to benefit our students,” said Gerard Morris, director of bands.  “We can all look forward to a season that is sure to be outstanding for both the audiences and the players.”

Appearing on more than 50 recordings, Horvitz is a prolific artist who has performed with, recorded with, or produced records for musicians including Billy Bang, Marty Ehrlich, Bill Frisell, Carla Bley, Robin Holcomb, Butch Morris, Bobby Previte, Michael Shrieve, Eddie Palmieri, John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, the World Saxophone Quartet, Human Feel, and The Living Daylights.

In 2004 Horvitz’s collaboration with Tucker Martine, Mylab, was on the top ten CD list for jazz music in both The New Yorker and Amazon.com. Guitar Player writer Jude Gold commented at the time: “Their debut album is the most imaginative collage of groove, melody, harmony, and texture I’ve heard in a long time.” National Public Radio Weekend Edition Sunday music director Ned Wharton said, “Mylab stretches the art of sound collage into new frontiers.”

A native of New York City, now residing in Seattle, Horvitz is currently leader and principal composer for the quartet Sweeter Than the Day. His newest ensemble, The Gravitas Quartet, is a chamber group featuring cellist Peggy Lee, trumpeter Ron Miles, and bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck. The New York Composers Orchestra, a jazz big-band started in 1986 by Horvitz and Robin Holcomb, has been revived locally as WACO (Washington Composers Orchestra).

"The jazz orchestra is very much alive, and as a composer and a band leader I continue to find this format inspirational, exciting, and a lot of fun,” Horvitz said. “I am so looking forward to working with the students and the faculty at Puget Sound."

As a composer Horvitz has been commissioned by The Kitchen, the Kronos Quartet, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New World Records, Seattle Chamber Players, and Earshot Jazz. His premieres include the V Series for chamber orchestra and Mountain Language for string quartet in Vienna in 2001 and 2002. He was awarded a Rockefeller MAP (Multi-Arts Production) grant for the creation of Joe Hill, which premiered in 2004 in Seattle.

Horvitz has also composed for theater and dance, including the music for the 1998 production of Death of a Salesman for Seattle’s ACT; productions of Ezra Pound’s Elektra, and the American premiere of Harold Pinter’s Mountain Language. His compositions have been used in video, film, television, and other multimedia projects, including a full-length score for PBS’s Chihuly Over Venice.

Press-quality photos of Wayne Horvitz are available on request.

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