As a performing and recording artist, guitarist and composer Brandon Ross has worked and collaborated with several innovative voices in modern music such as Henry Threadgill, Wadada Leo Smith, Cassandra Wilson, Jewel, Tony Williams, Lizz Wright, Arto Lindsay, The Lounge Lizards, Leroy Jenkins, Oliver Lake, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, Bill Frisell, Meshell N’degeocello, Arrested Development, Archie Shepp, Muhal Richard Abrams, Don Byron, Ron Miles and many others.
Ross leads For Living Lovers, his Chamber Music for Improvisors acoustic duo with acoustic bass guitarist Stomu Takeishi. The duo’s debut album Revealing Essence was released to critical acclaim, and as a recipient of Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works grant, Ross was commissioned to compose the duo’s new work titled Immortal Obsolescence.
In his acoustic based quartet, Blazing Beauty, Ross plays banjo, electric, acoustic and soprano guitars to extend his expressive range into “folk” oriented musics and compositional approaches that communicate his dedication to fresh musical experience. He has released two albums with Blazing Beauty, Costume (2004) and Puppet (2006) on the Japanese label, Intoxicate Records. Both garnered rave reviews, and appearances on several Japanese critics’, “best of the year” lists.
Described as “restlessly inventive” (Time Out New York), Ross explores various forms of expression in collaborations with artists that inspire him. In AiR with mezzo Soprano Alicia Hall Moran, Ross recasts Roland Hayes’ Aframerican spirituals through contemporary electric guitar vernacular; In DarkMatterHalo, a ‘Glyph’ electronic music collective, Ross investigates the current state and use of “exo-technology” with regard to sound production; In Pendulum, Ross incorporates sound design to expand sonic and textural possibilities beyond the voice of a single instrument, and in Phantom Station Ross establishes a creative music context that hosts a revolving personnel and open musical direction dedicated to collective improvised music making and compositional interpretation.
Ross has been previously commissioned by the ASCAP Foundation, New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA), and is a recipient of Rockefeller Foundation’s MAP Grant and Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works grant. He is a current ASCAP writer and publisher member. Ross’ teaching credits include Banff Summer Institute of Jazz and Creative Music, Princeton University’s Graduate Program in Composition, Artez Conservatorium of Arnhem (Netherlands), and Koninklijk Conservatorium, Antwerp (Belgium).