Formed in the spring of 2011 as a part of the
curatorship of Levi Gillis at the Racer Sessions,
Sequoia Ensemble has relentlessly shed its
layers amidst the burgeoning creative music
scene in Seattle, WA associated with the
University of Washington. After being
selected for the “Jazz: The Second Century”
concert series curated by Earshot Jazz, and a
performance at Table & Chairs “Cry & Roar
Festival,” Sequoia Ensemble recorded their
self-titled debut album. The resulting tapestry
of sounds is the culmination of four years of
musical journeying, mining the sonic
landscapes of contemporary classical music,
noise, and indie-rock for inspiration to infuse
their singular brand of creative, improvised jazz. Sequoia Ensemble floats between winding melodic lines, frenetic free improvisation, and glacial soundscapes, with poignant solos that conjure the intimacy of Americana and the humanity of the jazz lineage.
FOR SEQUOIA ENSEMBLE:
2014 NW ACOUSTIC JAZZ ENSEMBLE OF THE YEAR
-Earshot Jazz "Golden Ear Awards"
"There’s very little conventional structure to this music. There’s no relying on a return to a previously traveled spot and the shape of a song may not become apparent even after it’s reached its conclusion. The obligation of an ensemble who takes this approach is to make every moment interesting, which Sequoia Ensemble does with a remarkable consistency...Plenty of intrigue and amazement to be found here, an equation that results in an abundance of fun."
-Dave Sumner (Bird is the Worm, eMusic, Wondering Sound)
"The writing is ambitious and the lines between improvisation and composition are delectably blurred... It’s a testament to Gillis that the disparate directions on Sequoia do indeed hold together as an album, albeit a challengingly varied one, thanks to the assured arrangements and the sensitive and dynamic ensemble work. Highly recommended."