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Tyshawn Sorey


About this Artist

Newark-born multi-instrumentalist and composer TYSHAWN SOREY (b. 1980) is celebrated for his incomparable virtuosity, effortless mastery and memorization of highly complex scores, and an extraordinary ability to blend composition and improvisation in his work. He has performed internationally with his own ensembles, as well as artists including John Zorn, Vijay Iyer, Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams, Wadada Leo Smith, Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, Claire Chase, Steve Coleman, Steve Lehman, Robyn Schulkowsky, Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, and Myra Melford, among many others. 

In 2017, Sorey received a MacArthur “Genius” fellowship. He has received support for his creative projects from The Jerome Foundation, The Shifting Foundation, and Van Lier Fellowship. The Spektral Quartet, Ojai Music Festival, and International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) have commissioned his works. Sorey also collaborates regularly with ICE as a percussionist and resident composer. This season’s projects include a residency at the Berlin Jazz Festival and a new piece for Carnegie Hall’s 125 Commissions Project in partnership with Opera Philadelphia for tenor Lawrence Brownlee, addressing themes associated with Black Lives Matter. 

As a leader, Sorey has released six critically acclaimed recordings that feature his work as a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and conceptualist including his latest Verisimilitude (Pi Recordings, 2017).

In 2012, he was selected as one of nine composers for the Other Minds Festival, where he exchanged ideas with such likeminded peers as Ikue Mori, Ken Ueno, and Harold Budd. In 2013, JazzDanmark invited him to serve as the Danish International Visiting Artist. He was a 2015 recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Award. Sorey has taught and lectured on composition and improvisation at Columbia University, The New School, The Banff Centre, Wesleyan University, International Realtime Music Symposium, Hochschule für Musik Köln, Berklee College of Music, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and The Danish Rhythmic Conservatory. His work has been premiered at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Ojai Music Festival, The Kitchen, Walt Disney Hall, Roulette, Issue Project Room, and the Stone, among many other established venues and festivals.

Sorey recently received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Columbia University. In Fall 2017, he assumed the role of Assistant Professor of Composition and Creative Musics at Wesleyan University, where he received his master’s degree in composition in 2011.