jaimie branch’s FLY or DIE quartet | Vision Festival 23 (1 of 2)
jaimie branch – trumpet, composition / Lester St. Louis – cello / Chad Taylor – drums / Anton Hatwich – bass
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FLY or DIE is the compositional outlet of trumpeter, composer, and vocalist, Jaimie Branch. Branch, originally from Chicago and now Brooklyn-based, has worked for many years as a sideman and lead many bands and ensembles in Chicago, Baltimore, and New York. With the release of her debut album as a leader, Fly or Die in 2017, and the surprise success of that album, she has catapulted onto the main stages of many jazz festivals at home and abroad. The New York Times featured Branch in an article about women jazz instrumentalists in December 2017 and then the following week named her album #4 on the “Best Albums of 2017” year-end list. NPR’s jazz critic’s poll awarded Fly or Die best debut of 2017 and NPR music cited it in the top 50 albums of 2017 (#47) calling the album “both a fully formed statement and a bolt out of the blue.” The album was also featured on Bandcamp Daily and in the Wire (top ten albums of 2017), Jazztimes, The Los Angeles Times, Stereogum, Aquarium Drunkard, and more. Rolling Stone Magazine named Branch in the June 2017 article 10 New Artists You Need to Know saying “[Fly or Die] Sounds like Art Ensemble of Chicago jamming at an art punk loft.”
Jaimie Branch (b. 1983) is a Brooklyn based improvisor, composer, and trumpeter whose work is primarily focused on expanding the sonic and technical limitations of the trumpet in free and improvised musics. Branch received her bachelors degree in music from the New England Conservatory of Music where she studied with John McNeil, Joe Morris, and Steve Lacy. In May 2017, Branch released her debut record as a leader, Fly or Die (International Anthem 011), to critical acclaim. Her follow up release, FLY or DIE II: bird dogs of paradise was released in October 2019 also on the International Anthem label.
Lester St. Louis is a young cello phenom hailing from Queens, NY. An autodidact, St. Louis did not begin playing the cello until he was 16 years old and quickly learned that he has perfect pitch. Encouraged by his high school orchestra teacher, St. Louis dove into the cello with energy and respect. Upon graduating High School, St. Louis audited classes all over the NYC area, studying not only cello, but theory, musicianship, and composition all without the aid of an institution. St. Louis was a Jerome Fund for New Music awardee in 2018 and was commissioned by the prestigious JACK quartet in 2019.
Chad Taylor is a composer, educator, percussionist, and scholar who is a co-founder of the Chicago Underground ensembles. Taylor grew up in Chicago where he started performing professionally at the age of 16. Taylor is an active member in Mark Ribot’s band and has performed with Pharaoh Sanders, Fred Anderson, Derek Bailey, Jeff Parker, Malachi Favors, Matana Roberts and so many more. Taylor holds a BFA from the New School in jazz performance and a MFA in jazz research and history from Rutgers University.
Bassist, composer, and improviser Anton Hatwich has lived in Chicago since 2003. He was born and raised in Rockford, IL, growing up in a musical family. Anton moved to Iowa City, IA in 1995 and lived there until 2002, earning a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Iowa. A partial list of his collaborators includes Frank Rosaly, Keefe Jackson, Aram Shelton, Nick Mazzarella, Russ Johnson, Tim Daisy, Jason Stein, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Josh Berman, and Paul Giallorenzo.
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Video editing by Moon Lasso
Sound by Stephen Schmidt.
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