BRATTLEBORO -- The Vermont Jazz Center will present the Jensen Sisters featuring Ben Monder on Saturday at 8 p.m.
New York-based Ingrid Jensen is a trumpeter known for her original work as a composer, bandleader and member of the Maria Schneider Orchestra. She has been hailed by jazz great Marian McPartland for her ability to play "with all the fire and brilliance of a virtuoso."
Montreal-based Christine Jensen has been described as, "one of Canada’s most compelling composers." She is a saxophonist known for her multi-faceted compositions and orchestrations and has won Juno and Opus Awards in recognition of her work.
They will be joined by guitarist Ben Monder, one of the most versatile and interesting colorists on his instrument. The quintet is rounded out by acoustic bassist Matt Clohesy and Jon Wikan on drums.
Ingrid and Christine have played together all over the world -- from Seattle’s Jazz Alley to New York’s Museum of Modern Art, from an SS Norway Jazz Cruise to a tour of Japan in 1997.
They are from a small city on Vancouver Island in Western Canada called Nanaimo, a region built upon a coal mining and forestry economy that now celebrates the arts as a sustaining force. Nanaimo is also the birthplace of Diana Krall, a jazz icon who encouraged Ingrid’s early development as an improviser.
Many of the tunes in recordings produced by both Jensen sisters evoke images of nature and spiritual centering, especially those relating to the sea. Growing up in western Canada led to a strong connection with the natural world, inspired their musical language and gave them sensual imagery that has influenced their musical landscapes.
It is apparent from interviews and the liner notes of the Jensen’s albums that their love of nature propels them to speak out and serve as advocates for environmental causes.
Ingrid Jensen headed east to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Since graduating in 1989 she moved to New York where she spent many a day playing in the subways of New York before settling in Europe and teaching at the Bruckner Conservatory in Austria. Now she can be heard with the Grammy-winning Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, the Ingrid Jensen Quartet, the Geoffrey Keezer, Project O, Nordic Connect and a number of New York-based bands.
In 2003, Ingrid was nominated, for the second time, alongside trumpeter Dave Douglas, for a Jazz Journalist Association Award in New York and is seen yearly in the top five of the Downbeat Critic polls in the Talent deserving wider recognition category.
Ingrid was featured on Gil Evans’ "Porgy and Bess" at the San Francisco Jazz Festival, under the direction of Maria Schneider and was also a guest in the festival’s "Tribute to Woody Shaw and Freddie Hubbard," alongside Terence Blanchard, Eddie Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson and Kenny Garrett. She also performed on Saturday Night Live with the British soul star Corrine Bailey. Ingrid was a featured soloist with singer Madelaine Peyroux as part of a Tribute to Billy Holiday that included Ron Carter and Mulgrew Miller.
Saxophonist Christine Jensen is currently the conductor of the Orchestre National de Jazz de Montréal, and is on faculty at University of Sherbrooke and McGill University.
According to Downbeat Magazine (where she earned five stars for her large ensemble, "Treelines"), "Jensen writes in three dimensions, with a quiet kind of authority that makes the many elements cohere. Wayne Shorter, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler come to mind." "Treelines" won her the 2011 Juno Award for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year, along with Quebec’s Opus Award for jazz recording of the year.
Guitarist Ben Monder has secured his place as one of most identifiable and sought-after stylists on the progressive jazz scene, an heir to the ethereal yet edgy approach of players such as John Abercrombie and Bill Frisell. Schooled at the University of Miami and Queens College, Monder has been active as a sideman since 1984, working with Jack McDuff, Marc Johnson, David Binney, Paul Motian, Lee Konitz, Toots Thielemans, and Maria Schneider, to name a few. He has appeared on more than 100 recordings, and he has released seven highly acclaimed albums under his own name.
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, bassist Matt Clohesy has toured or recorded with Seamus Blake, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Gretchen Parlato, Geoffrey Keezer, Eric Reed, Kevin Hays, David Kikoski, Donny McCaslin, Tom Scott, Joel Frahm, Eric Alexander, Nat Addreley, Jr., Maria Schneider, the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble and many others.
Drummer Jon Wikan started his musical career on the road with vocalist Ernestine Anderson and then settled in Seattle. After moving to New York in the early ‘90s, Wikan toured Japan with Mark Murphy and worked with the New York Voices.
This concert is made possible thanks to financial support from Wakefield Global Inc. and Ellis Music, as well as ongoing support of the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, The Hampton Inn of Brattleboro and VPR and WFCR.
Tickets for the Jensen Sisters featuring guitarist Ben Monder at VJC on Feb. 15 are $20 for general admission, and $15 for students with ID.
Tickets are available at In the Moment Record Store in Brattleboro, at www.vtjazz.org or they can be reserved by calling the Vermont Jazz Center ticket line, 802-254-9088, ext. 1.