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Jaimie Branch

American avant-garde trumpeter Jaimie Branch was a forward-thinking performer with a style steeped in free jazz and modern creative improvisation. She began recording under her own name with 2017's acclaimed Fly or Die, but played with a bevy of ensembles, including Bullet Hell, Galactic Unity Ensemble, Keefe Jackson's Project Project, and New Fracture Quartet, as well as Spoon, TV on the Radio, and Belle Orchestre. Her sophomore album, Fly or Die II: Bird Dogs of Paradise, arrived in 2019. Tragically, Branch was only 39 when she died in 2022. Her final album, Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war)), arrived posthumously the following year. Born on Long Island and raised in Wilmette, Illinois, Branch took piano lessons growing up before picking up the trumpet in elementary school. By her teens, she was studying improvisation and playing in her high school jazz band. She also started trying to get into local jazz shows at clubs like Lounge Ax and the Velvet Lounge. After high school, she earned her undergraduate music degree at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, studying under luminaries like John McNeil, Joe Morris, and Steve Lacy. She also spent a semester living in Chicago where she gained valuable experience performing with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm's Lightbox Orchestra. After graduating NEC in 2007, Branch returned to Chicago where she began playing regularly with artists like Keefe Jackson, Jason Ajemian, and Tim Daisy, as well as her own Princess Princess collective with bassist Toby Summerfield and drummer Frank Rosaly. She also caught the ear of trumpeter Dave Douglas, who invited her to perform at his Festival of New Trumpet Music in New York City. Over the next several years, Branch moved around, living in Chesterhill, Ohio on an arts residency, and spending two years pursuing her graduate degree at Baltimore's Towson University before relocating to New York in 2015. During this period, she also struggled with heroin addiction, a dependency for which she sought treatment. Settling in Brooklyn, she quickly established herself, playing shows with her own groups and curating shows at local clubs. In 2017, she delivered her full-length debut album, Fly or Die, which also featured bassist Jason Ajemian, cellist Tomeka Reid, and drummer Chad Taylor, as well as a guest appearance by cornetist Josh Berman. In August of 2019, she collaborated with flutist Anne La Berge and violist Ig Henneman on the album Dropping Stuff and Other Folk Songs on Relative Pitch. Also in 2019, she released her sophomore album as leader, Fly or Die II: Bird Dogs of Paradise with Ajemian, Taylor and cellist Lester St. Louis for International Anthem. Branch died unexpectedly at her home in Brooklyn on August 22, 2022. She was just 39 years old. Her third album, Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war)), arrived a year later.
© Matt Collar /TiVo
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Discography

12 album(s) • Sorted by Bestseller

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