Equally at home performing new contemporary and experimental works, playing to picture, improvising on jazz pieces, backing songwriters, and more, Anna’s Ghost plays and performs at most MFA in Music Composition residencies and features an ever-changing roster of multi-talented instrumentalists. This adaptive group reforms itself in different configurations each semester, welcoming back VCFA veteran musicians and introducing exciting new players to the program. Musicians at the top of their field lend their individual artistry to create a cohesive sound.
The ensemble’s name, Anna’s Ghost, refers to the legend of Anna, the resident ghost of Vermont College of Fine Arts, whose story you can read about here.
Quincy Davis, drums
Anna Elder, vocals
Keisuke Matsuno, guitar
Anna Webber, flute & tenor saxophone
Simón Willson, bass
(top left) Quincy Davis, Associate Professor of Jazz Drum set at the University of North Texas, studied classical percussion at Interlochen Arts Academy and continued his studies majoring in jazz performance at Western Michigan University from 1996 to 1999. There he studied with the master drummer Billy Hart. He lived in New York City from 2000 to 2010, where he played with many world-renowned artists like Frank Wess, Wynton Marsalis, New York Voices, Benny Green, Tom Harrell, Hank Jones, and many more. In 2010, Davis accepted a teaching position at the University of Manitoba, where he was the Associate Professor of Jazz Drum Set. Quincy has two leader albums: Songs in the Key of Q and Q Visions. Both albums rose to the top three rankings on JazzWeek’s radio charts. Quincy earned a master’s degree in composition from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2019. In addition to his teaching duties at the University of North Texas, Davis teaches and performs around the world with some of today’s most notable artists and teachers.
(bottom left) Soprano Anna Elder’s voice has been described as being “ethereal” or “a voice that has blues, reds, and purples in it” by The New York Times, or “a voice that could match, pitch for pitch, the grumble of a truck’s engine or squeak of a scooter’s horn” (Wilmington Star News). Born and raised in the steel city of Pittsburgh, PA, and based in Brooklyn, NY, Anna specializes in interpreting and performing contemporary classical music that expands the traditional vocal performance practice and virtuosity. She has performed with the new music ensemble Kamratōn since 2015, as well as Sydeboob Duo and wolfTrap. She has also appeared with Pittsburgh’s Alia Musica, Nat28, Opera On Tap, and The Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra. Anna was the lead vocalist with Squonk Opera for three years and premiered Go Roadshow and sang in the Off-Broadway version of Mayhem and Majesty, where she was described as creating “a sort of persona that becomes tangible which takes shape and begins to define what unfolds on stage” (Broadway World). Other engagements have included performing Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians with New Music Detroit and appearing as a guest vocalist with Quince Ensemble. She has appeared on Music on the Edge’s Beyond Microtonal Music Festival, The Pittsburgh Festival of New Music, Detroit’s Strange and Beautiful Music 2017, and The Cleveland Uncommon Sound Project’s Re:Sound festival with Kamratōn. Anna graduated from The Eastman School of Music, where her teachers were John Maloy and Constance Haas. She has since attended New Music On The Point, Soundscape, Splice Festival, and NEC’s Summer Institute for Contemporary performance, where she studied with Tony Arnold.
(bottom middle) Keisuke Matsuno is a guitarist, sound maker, and composer based in Berlin and Brooklyn. His aesthetics in music have been described as “salt of the earth” (Bird is the Worm) and “most extravagant, mind-blowing, and unheard-within-the-unheard” (Blow Up). He is the founding member of the post-krautrock band Trio Schmetterling, is currently a core member of bands such as Jim Black’s Smash & Grab, Charlotte Greve’s Wood River, Sana Nagano’s Smashing Humans, Briggan Krauss’s The Need Trio, Lukas Akintaya’s Hues, Andrej Ugoljew’s 3ZvoVII, and John Zorn’s Bagatelles, and has further collaborated with artists such as Chris Speed, Thomas Morgan, Hans Tammen, Grey McMurray, Rudy Royston, and Red Baraat. Besides having performed in over 30 countries on five continents and having released over 30 records internationally, he has also collaborated in dance, theater, and film. Born in Berlin, Keisuke grew up in the divided, then reunified city before relocating to New York City in 2010. As an SEMP and DAAD scholar, he holds master’s degrees from both Hochschule Luzern and New York University.
(top right) Anna Webber (b. 1984) is a flutist, saxophonist, and composer whose interests and work live in the aesthetic overlap between avant-garde jazz and new classical music. In May 2021 she released Idiom, a double album featuring both a trio and a large ensemble, and a follow-up to her critically-acclaimed release Clockwise. That album, which the Wall Street Journal called “visionary and captivating,” was voted #6 Best Album of 2019 in the NPR Jazz Critics Poll, who described it as “heady music [that] appeals to the rest of the body.” Her 2020 release, Both Are True (Greenleaf Music), co-led with saxophonist/composer Angela Morris, was named a top-ten best release of 2020 by The New York Times. She was recently named a 2021 Berlin Prize Fellow and was voted the top “Rising Star” flutist in the 2020 Downbeat Critic’s Poll. The trio featured on Idiom is Webber’s Simple Trio, her working band of almost a decade, which features drummer John Hollenbeck and pianist Matt Mitchell. A prolific bandleader, Webber also leads a quartet and a septet in addition to the above-mentioned large ensemble and co-led Webber/Morris Big Band. She has performed and/or recorded with projects led by artists such as Dan Weiss, Jen Shyu, Dave Douglas, Matt Mitchell, Ches Smith, John Hollenbeck, and Trevor Dunn, among others. Webber is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow. She has additionally been awarded grants from the Copland Fund (2021 & 2019),the Shifting Foundation (2015), and the New York Foundation for the Arts (2017) and residencies from Exploring the Metropolis (2019), the MacDowell Colony (2017 & 2020), the Millay Colony for the Arts (2015), and the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts (2014). Webber is originally from British Columbia.
(bottom right) Simón Willson is a Chilean-born, New York City-based bassist, composer, and improviser. As an eclectic and in-demand sideman, he has toured with a host of different artists in Europe, the US, Canada, and South America. His wide-ranging interest in different realms of jazz and improvised music has led him to work with a diverse pool of established artists such as Dave Douglas, Ethan Iverson, Steve Cardenas, George Garzone, Jason Palmer, Rodney Green, Michael Blake, Pablo Held, Jim Black, Tim Miller, and Frank Carlberg, among many others. He also plays in bands of contemporaries such as Kevin Sun and Max Light. In addition to his sideman work, he co-leads the bands Great on Paper, Family Plan, and Earprint. As a bandleader, he can be seen performing regularly in NYC, and he is set to record his debut album in September 2022.