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Pascal Le Boeuf

Pianist and composer Pascal Le Boeuf is a forward-thinking performer whose work straddles post-bop jazz, modern classical composition, and electronic production techniques. All of these styles informed his orchestral debut, 2023's Ritual Being. Prior to that, he garnered attention with his brother, saxophonist Remy Le Boeuf, releasing a series of small-group albums including 2016's Grammy-nominated Imaginist. Another Grammy nomination came his way in 2022 for his composition "Snapshot," off Ourself, Behind Ourself Concealed with cellist Dave Eggar and clarinetist Tasha Warren. Along with his solo work, Le Boeuf reunited with his brother for 2023's Hush. Le Boeuf was born in 1986 in Santa Cruz, California, where he grew up alongside his twin brother, Remy. Together, they were encouraged to pursue their interests in music, with Pascal taking classical piano lessons and Remy moving from recorder to oboe and saxophone. At age 12, Pascal began studying jazz and improvisation with pianist Gene Lewis. This eventually led to performances around the Bay Area. Early accolades followed, including the then-16-year-old pianist winning the Quincy Jones Commission for Emerging Composers from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. After high school, he enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Kenny Barron and earned both his Bachelor of Music in 2007 and Master of Music in 2010. He also studied composition at Princeton University, mentoring with luminaries like Steve Mackey, Rudresh Mahanthappa, and Dmitri Tymoczko. It was while still in college that Pascal and his brother launched Le Boeuf Brothers, combining adventurous post-bop jazz with classical and electronic production techniques. The group debuted in 2009 with House Without a Door, which featured trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, bassist Matt Brewer, drummer Matt Penman, and others. More albums followed, including 2011's In Praise of Shadows and 2013's Remixed. On his own, Le Boeuf debuted in 2013 with Pascal's Triangle, a trio recording with bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Justin Brown. He has worked with a bevy of artists from across the musical spectrum, including Colin Stranahan, Natalie Cressman, Clean Bandit, Allan Harris, and many more. Le Boeuf has also composed for film and television, and collaborated on group projects like 2014's King Pony and 2016's Kissy Girls. In 2016, Le Boeuf was back with his brother for Imaginist, a collaboration with the string ensemble the JACK Quartet. The album earned Le Boeuf a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition for "Alkaline." Equally ambitious projects followed, including his 2018 short film soundtrack Into the Anthropocene with cellist Dave Eggar, violist Jessica Meyer, and flutist Gina Izzo. In 2022, he contributed the composition "Snapshots" to Eggar and clarinetist Tasha Warren's album Ourself, Behind Ourself Concealed, which earned him his second Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition. In 2023, Le Boeuf released his ambitious orchestral debut, Ritual Being. That same year, the Le Boeuf Brothers returned with their fifth album, Hush.
© Matt Collar /TiVo


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