New York-based Pianist/Composer Michele Rosewoman stands out in her class as a visionary pianist, bandleader, composer and performer and is especially known for her ‘Quintessence’ and ‘New Yor-Uba’ ensembles. For over two decades, she has deftly fused acoustic modern jazz, funk, electric fusion and elements of Cuban folkloric music to create a distinct musical experience.
Born in Oakland, California, Michele Rosewoman studied jazz with the great pianist/organist Ed Kelly. Early studies in percussion led her to avidly explore Cuban and Haitian folkloric idioms. She moved to New York in 1978 and throughout her career has performed with great musicians from both the jazz and Latin music worlds, including Jimmy Heath, Julian Priester, Gary Bartz, Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, Rufus Reid, James Spaulding, Freddie Waits, Billy Hart, Tootie Heath, Greg Osby, Gary Thomas, Steve Coleman, David Sanchez, Miguel Zenon, Robin Eubanks, Terri Lyne Carrington, Celia Cruz, Paquito D’Rivera, Cuban master Orlando ‘Puntilla’ Rios, Andy Gonzalez, Pedro Martinez and many others.
Rosewoman expands the horizons and boundaries of jazz while remaining firmly rooted in tradition. Her Quintessence ensemble, with 5 releases to date, brings together some of the most inventive voices in jazz while New Yor-Uba, with its uncompromised synthesis of contemporary jazz and traditional Cuban folkloric music, unites master musicians from both musical worlds. Many have cited the experience of playing within these contexts as notably influential in their own development as musicians, composers and bandleaders.
Ms Rosewoman’s highly acclaimed trio recordings include Occasion to Rise (with Rufus Reid and Ralph Peterson) - voted one of the year’s best recordings by six critics’ polls, and Spirit, a live trio performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival, released on Blue Note Records to rave reviews.
Rosewoman has received great critical acclaim and prestigious awards; highlights include major support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America and an ASCAP/Meet the Composer Commission. She has performed with internationally-acclaimed orchestras and big bands featuring her compositions, and has presented her ensembles and original repertoire at festivals, colleges, concert halls and clubs and conducted educational workshops throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.