On Sunday, September 23, Lioness, a concert series featuring women in jazz curated by Convergence Arts, presents the Roxy Coss Quintet at Flushing Town Hall. Led by saxophonist/composer Roxy Coss, with guitarist Alex Wintz, pianist Miki Yamanaka, bassist Rick Rosato, and drummer Jimmy Macbride. The quintet will present music from their latest album, The Future is Fe-male (Posi-Tone), which Downbeat Magazine gave 4.5 Stars.
Musician, composer, bandleader, recording artist, educator and activist Roxy Coss has become one of the most unique and innovative Saxophonists on the scene. She won a 2016 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, the Downbeat Critics’ Poll has listed her as a “Rising Star” on Soprano Saxophone the past five years in a row, and a Downbeat Magazine review called her “an exceptional young talent”.
Roxy shares her thoughts ahead of her show at Flushing Town Hall.
What can an audience expect to see/experience at your events?
We will be performing all original compositions by myself. My Quintet is a Modern Jazz Ensemble, with Saxophone, Guitar, Piano, Bass and Drums. In the tradition of Jazz, we perform improvised music based in the blues and swing, reflecting the history of the roots of American Vernacular music, but strongly moving forward and connecting with today’s audience through innovative sonic choices, compositions and arrangements, and personal expression.
Tell us about you – how you started as an artist?
I started playing music and composing at age 5 and saxophone at age 9. I played with my school jazz bands, and pursued music at William Paterson University for a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Students. I moved to NYC 11 years ago and my first professional gig was with the Clark Terry band at the Blue Note. My band, the Roxy Coss Quintet, has been performing for ten years, since our first residency in 2008 at a small restaurant in Washington Heights called 181 Cabrini.
What do you hope audiences learn at your event?
I hope they learn more about what Jazz is in this day and age – what it sounds like, and how our current society and issues can be reflected in the music. I will also be leading a Q&A after the performance where I will be discussing the topic of Women in Jazz as part of this brand new concert series “Lioness” promoting female instrumentalists/composers/bandleaders. I hope the audience learns more about women’s contributions to the art form and the experience of being a female on the Jazz scene.
What does Flushing Town Hall mean to you?
This is a historic venue which has a reputation that proceeds it. I am honored to perform there and can’t wait to experience that!
What is on the horizon for you?
My band is currently promoting our album, The Future Is Female. We will be touring more extensively in early 2019 with this same music, so we are still developing it.
What else do you want us to know about you!?
I am the founder of the Women In Jazz Organization, and am starting a new Faculty position at Juilliard this Fall as an ensemble coach.
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