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The Westerlies

A genre-bending brass quartet, the Westerlies make an inventive brand of contemporary instrumental music that draws upon classical, jazz, folk, and avant-garde influences. They have garnered praise for their buoyant live performances and studio albums, including 2014's Wish the Children Would Come on Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz and 2016's The Westerlies. Formed in 2011 in New York City, the Westerlies initially featured the talents of trumpeters Riley Mulherkar and Zubin Hensler, and trombonists Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch. Childhood friends, the members all grew up in Seattle where they developed their skills under the mentorship of pianist and composer Wayne Horvitz. On their own, each member of the ensemble has pursued a variety of educational and performance experiences. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Mulherkar was the recipient of the first Laurie Frink Career Grant at the Festival of New Trumpet Music in 2014. Similarly, Juilliard graduate Clausen works as the Artistic Director for Jazz at New York Youth Symphony and has performed with Theo Bleckmann, John Zorn, and others. Trombonist de Koch has also performed with a wide variety of artists, including Bill Frisell, Feist, and Wycliffe Gordon. Together, the Westerlies debuted with 2014's Wish the Children Would Come on Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz, which found them exploring the work of Horvitz. Following the album's release, Hensler parted ways with the group to focus on his solo work. He was replaced by Seattle-born/Phoenix-bred trumpeter Chloe Rowlands. A graduate of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, Rowlands was the second-place winner of the 2016 International Trumpet Guild's Jazz Trumpet Competition. She made her debut with the group on their eponymous sophomore album The Westerlies, which primarily featured the group's original compositions. Along with performing, the Westerlies produce the annual Westerlies Fest in Seattle, and have held various residencies and master classes, including at Clefworks in Montgomery, Alabama, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, Manhattan School of Music, Yale School of Music, and other institutions. They have also collaborated on projects with Fleet Foxes, Dave Douglas, and Vieux Farka Toure, among others. In 2020, they returned with their third studio album Wherein Lies the Good.
© Matt Collar /TiVo


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