MFA in Music Composition

August 2016 Crossover Quintet / Visiting Ensemble

August 2016 Crossover Quintet

August 2016 Crossover Quintet: Red Wierenga, piano, accordion, synth and electronics; Gregg August, upright and electric bass; Ken Thomson, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto and soprano saxophone; Russ Johnson, trumpet; David Cossin, drumset and percussion.

Red Wierenga, piano, accordion, synth and electronics

Red Wierenga is a pianist, accordionist, respectronicist, improviser, and composer based in New York City. His longest creative association is with the Respect Sextet, called “a group which has released one of the most compelling recordings of the year” by the Wall Street Journal, and “one of the best and most ambitious new ensembles in jazz” by Signal To Noise. He performs and records in a wide array of musical settings, from free improvisation, jazz, and new music to rock, pop, and world musics.

Gregg August, upright and electric bass

Bassist and composer Gregg August spans the classical, jazz, Latin jazz, and avant-garde scenes, making him one of the most versatile musicians on the scene today. He is Principal Bass of the Brooklyn Philharmonic and plays regularly with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Gregg is the bassist with Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and a member of the critically acclaimed JD Allen Trio.

Ken Thomson, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto and soprano saxophone

Ken Thomson is a Brooklyn-based clarinetist, saxophonist, and composer. In demand as a composer and freelancer in many settings, he moves quickly between genres and scenes, bringing a fiery intensity and emotional commitment to every musical situation; Time Out NY called him “the hardest-working saxophonist in new-music show business.”

Russ Johnson, trumpet

Trumpeter Russ Johnson spent 23 years as an important member of New York City’s jazz community. Johnson has worked alongside many legendary figures in jazz including Lee Konitz, Steve Swallow, Bill Frisell, and Joe Lovano. In addition, he has performed and/or recorded with a long list of the prominent musicians currently on the international jazz scene including Ken Vandermark, Myra Melford, and Jenny Scheinman.

David Cossin, drumset and percussion

David Cossin is a specialist in new and experimental music. His interest in classical percussion, drum set, non-western hand drumming, composition, and improvisation has led to performances across a broad spectrum of musical and artistic forms to incorporate new media with percussion. David has recorded and performed internationally with composers and ensembles including Bang on a Can All-Stars, Steve Reich and Musicians, Philip Glass, Yo-Yo Ma, Meredith Monk, Tan Dun, Cecil Taylor, Talujon Percussion Quartet, and the trio, Real Quiet.