Tyshawn Sorey

Tyshawn Sorey

Born and raised in Newark, NJ Tyshawn Sorey blends composition and improvisation across a variety of styles and genres. As an instrumentalist, he is known for his skillful open, groove-oriented, and through-composed forms and for his virtuosity on drums, piano, and trombone. The International Contemporary Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, and TAK Ensemble have performed his compositions, which integrate African diasporic, Western classical, and avant-garde musical forms. As a bandleader, he has released five critically acclaimed recordings of his work. He has been selected as a Danish International Visiting Artist (2013) and for the Other Minds Residency (2012). He has lectured on composition and improvisation at Columbia University, Banff Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, and Hochschule für Musik Köln, among other institutions.

Tyshawn Sorey is a composer, performer, educator, and scholar working across an extensive range of musical idioms. A 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award recipient, Sorey performs percussion, trombone and piano nationally and internationally with his own ensembles, and artists including Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Coleman, John Zorn, Roscoe Mitchell, Misha Mengelberg, Vijay Iyer, Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Steve Lehman, Tim Berne, and Myra Melford. The International Contemporary Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, and TAK Ensemble have performed his compositions, which integrate African diasporic, Western classical, and avant-garde musical forms. In 2012, he was selected as an Other Minds Composer. As a leader, Sorey has released five critically acclaimed recordings - most recently The Inner Spectrum of Variables (Pi, 2016), which features both classical/contemporary composition and conducted improvisation. He has taught lectures and courses on composition and improvisation at the Banff Centre, International Realtime Music Symposium (Norway), Hochschule für Musik Köln, Musikhochschule Nürnberg, Rhythmic Conservatory (Denmark), Birmingham Conservatory of Music, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Cité de la Musique (Paris), and Vallekilde Højskole (Denmark). Sorey’s works have premiered at the Issue Project Room, Walt Disney Hall, the Bimhuis, Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, the Village Vanguard, the Jazz Gallery, and Roulette. He received a BM in Jazz and Performance Studies from William Paterson University and an MA in Music Composition from Wesleyan University. He expects to receive his Doctorate in Musical Arts in Musical Composition from Columbia University in 2017.