Lauren Lee Quartet
Time & Location
About the Event
TICKETS are $10 General/$5 Student.
Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Philanthropic Services provided by grants from the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust, The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County's ArtsEverywhere initiative, and the Arts Project Support Grant and Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission.
Celebrating her new release, "Windowsill", out now on Ears and Eyes records.
Lauren Lee, vocals/piano Brad Mulholland, woodwinds Marcos Varela, bass Andy O'Neill, drums
Have you ever looked out a window and let a daydream take you somewhere else? This activity has been a source of entertainment for wildly creative pianist/vocalist Lauren Lee for decades. As a child, growing up in a rural area wasn’t as compelling as the wild inventiveness of Lee who now is a New York City resident (10 years), but as long as she was armed with a powerful and fanciful imagination, she was able to escape the doldrums in her mind. Windowsill serves as a soundtrack to Lee’s past journeys, both in her mind’s eye and in the physical realm. While the concept of ‘letting your imagination run wild’ has always been appealing to her, two events stirred the idea to conceptualize a series of compositions around the very broad themes of ‘daydreaming’ and ‘wanderlust’. This has carried over into her compositional mind for her Quartet, featuring fellow dreamers Brad Mulholland on woodwinds, Marcos Varela on bass, and Andy O'Neill on drums.
"Lauren Lee is a talented pianist and composer, and a singer with a flexibility and sense of adventure in her voice which give her music a light, optimistic feel, although repeated listening reveals it has surprising depth and complexity. She brings elements of art song into the realm of pop-jazz as if she were Meredith Monk invading a Steely Dan recording session" - Jerome Wilson, All About Jazz
"Lee—in her voice and at the keyboard—is, in a very balanced way, presenting a unique approach, but one grounded enough to support the contrasting moods and musics, which really is what makes Windowsill so engrossing" - Anthony Dean-Harris, Downbeat
"Lauren Lee is onto something. Her style is bold and unapologetic, and displays true range and versatility"- Sebastien Helary, NextBop
To learn more about Lauren:
To learn more about the new record or listen to it:
Lauren Lee is an adventurous vocalist, pianist, and composer based in New York City. Her foray into creative music began as a teenager in the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, which lead her on a wild goose chase of sorts to find her own sound in the adventurous music scene as a young innovator. Likened to female jazz pioneers that came before her like Carla Bley and Jen Shyu as well as non-jazz visionaries like Bjork and Meredith Monk, Lee has been described as a whimsical storyteller with a voice that possesses an ethereal, playfully modern, instrumental quality. Her work is praised for her virtuosic improvisational abilities on (often doubled) piano and voice, as well as her emotional and harmonic prowess as a composer who does not shy away from finding and explicitly using inspiration from outside the jazz canon.
She has lead bands on several tours across Europe and North America: in 2016 and 2017 with her “Space Jazz” Trio in the northern United States, Canada, and in Europe, most notably at the Stockholm Jazz Festival, and also as a solo artist in Norway and Latvia. She has served as artist-in-residence as a composer/vocalist for the UNCOOL festival in Poschiavo, Switzerland (notably spearheaded by the Sun Ra Arkestra) and the subsequent works that came from that residency were premiered in Bormio and Milan (Italy) as well as in Berlin. Her current quartet with Brad Mulholland, Marcos Varela, and Andy O’Neill has previously toured the eastern United States in 2019, making stops in Raleigh, Washington DC, Boston, Burlington, Kingston, and Cleveland.
Her work has been reviewed and featured in major jazz publications such as Downbeat, Jazziz, and The New York City Jazz Record. Lee has released three albums as a leader: The Consciousness Test (self-released, 2016), Windowsill (ears&eyes, 2019), and The Queen of Cups (ears&eyes, 2021). In addition to being an active composer and working musician, Lee creates music education content (videos and downloadable PDFs) targeted toward jazz vocalists called Sing Like a Horn, a comprehensive approach to playing your voice like an instrument, and also maintains a private teaching studio.
Among jazz pianists who sing or jazz singers who play, she is at the top of the list
She has created her own lane when it comes to reinterpreting jazz standards, taking the barest elements, the bones of jazz favorites, drawing them into her own world and offering up versions never done before.
Lauren Lee is one of the new breed of singer songwriter. She has all the bonafides of a traditional jazz singer and pianist, but she needs to do things her own way. As a singer and composer, she gives her own imprimatur to cross-cultural experimentation, off -the-beaten-track forms of vocal expression, never straying far from the post-bop mothership.