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About Pi Recordings

Pi Recordings is a New York-based record label dedicated to releasing innovative music by artists with unique and defining voices. Founded in 2001 with the release of two recordings of new music by Henry Threadgill, we have since been fortunate to work with some of the most influential composers and musicians in American music such as Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, James Blood Ulmer and Marc Ribot. At the same time, we are helping to nurture the voice of the best of this century’s young musicians. Artists like Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Liberty Ellman, Steve Lehman, Amir ElSaffar, and Corey Wilkes have all released CDs on Pi Recordings that document their growth as composers, improvisers and bandleaders.

We spotlight composers, improvisers and bandleaders who are pushing music in new, groundbreaking ways. Jazz artists have never had a wider musical palette at their disposal than now, and they are using it to create music that is more varied, profound and vibrant than ever before. Pi Recordings is here to capture what we recognize as the high points of these developments. The best of the best.

–Seth Rosner and Yulun Wang

Read a New York Times interview with Pi Recordings’ producers Seth Rosner and Yulun Wang here: Despite the Odds, a Jazz Label Finds a Way to Thrive.

Latest News

Henry Threadgill wins Pulitzer Prize!

In for a Penny, In for a Pound by Henry Threadgill was named the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for “distinguished musical composition by an American.” In awarding the prize, the Pulitzer committee call the release “a highly original work in which notated music and improvisation mesh in a sonic tapestry that seems the very expression of modern American life.” We could not be more ecstatic for Henry and are honored to have been able to help document his work these last 15 years.

Best Albums of 2015

We are very happy to announce that three of this year’s releases have made it into the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times best albums of 2015 lists!

No’ 1 for Nate Chinen: Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance - “Synovial Joints”.

No’ 3 for Ben Ratliff: Jen Shyu - “Sounds and Cries of the World”.

Check out the full New York Times list Here

Chris Barton of the Los Angeles Times listed Amir ElSaffar’s - “Crisis” as one of the best albums of 2015. Check out the full list Here

We are extremely proud to be working with these incredible artists who consistently push their music forward and produce unique work! Congratulations to all of you for receiving this recognition for your work!

Recent Press for Jen Shyu, Liberty Ellman and Amir ElSaffar

Another excellent review of Jen Shyu’s latest recording, “Sounds and Cries of the World”, this time from Larry Blumenfeld of the Wall Street Journal:

“Ms. Shyu makes a statement of cultural preservation with her Jade Tongue ensemble, yet it arrives embedded gracefully within a quite natural, if startlingly distinctive, form of musical expression. …Her voice, a wonder of technical control and unrestrained emotion”.

Read the full review Here

The latest edition of DownBeat magazine features an engaging interview with Liberty Ellman. Ellman talks about his work with Pi, including his latest recording, “Radiate”, while also sharing his approach to composition and the expansion of the Jazz language.

Read the full piece Here

Amir ElSaffar’s latest recording, “Crisis”, received a great review from Bill Beuttler of JazzTimes:

“…among the most notable releases of 2015. …ElSaffar’s ensemble is first rate. But it is ElSaffar’s composing for the seven-part Crisis Suite, a commentary on recent Iraqi and Middle Eastern history, that shines brightest here”.

Read the full review Here

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Upcoming Events

June 8

Jen Shyu

Vision Festival 21, New York, NY

June 14

Steve Coleman & Five Elements

DC Jazz Festival, Washington DC

June 26

Amir ElSaffar and Two Rivers

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Athens, GR