the new school's college of performing arts presents the westerlies: Taking Shape

November 9th marks first concert as ensemble-in-residence and first concert with new member Addison Maye-Saxon

Features original music by the quartet and Caroline Shaw

The Westerlies, photo by Kevin W. Condon

NEW YORK, October 9, 2023 – The New School’s College of Performing Arts is thrilled to announce The Westerlies’ first concert as an ensemble in residence with the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, which will take place on November 9th at 7:30pm at Ernst C. Stiefel Hall. This concert, Taking Shape, will introduce the newest member of the ensemble, Addison Maye-Saxon, and will be their last concert in New York City for this year. This event is open to the public and is free with registration.

The Westerlies, an a capella brass quartet performing original and extant works that draw on a wide range of musical styles and genres, currently coach chamber ensembles, lead master classes, and give performances as the resident brass quartet at the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music.

“We are thrilled to present our first concert at The New School as an ensemble-in-residence at the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. As we kick off our biggest season in our ensemble's history, there's no better place for us to bring our community together than The New School. What's more, we can't wait to introduce the newest member of the ensemble, Addison Maye-Saxon - this will be Addison's first concert with The Westerlies in New York, and our final NYC concert of 2023, so it's going to be a special one!” says The Westerlies’ Riley Mulherkar.

The Westerlies have long been fascinated by the rich tradition of American shape-note music, a body of work written with a notation system designed to facilitate congregational and social singing. For this special concert, the ensemble will present traditional shape-note hymns alongside original compositions inspired by the musical properties of shape-note singing. With concert hall precision and folklike approachability, The Westerlies invite the listener into their musical world, cutting new trails across the vast expanse of the American musical landscape.

Three Shape Note Hymns
Louisiana — William Walker
Weeping Mary — Traditional
Parting Friends — Traditional

Three Original Compositions by The Westerlies
Kerhonkson — Chloe Rowlands
The Evening Trumpet — Riley Mulherkar
The 5:10 to Ronkonkoma — Andy Clausen

Entr’acte — Caroline Shaw, Arr. The Westerlies

About The Westerlies:

The Westerlies, “an arty quartet…mixing ideas from jazz, new classical, and Appalachian folk” (New York Times) are a New York-based brass quartet comprised of Riley Mulherkar and Chloe Rowlands on trumpet, and Andy Clausen and Addison Maye-Saxon on trombone. From Carnegie Hall to Coachella, The Westerlies navigate a wide array of venues and projects with the precision of a string quartet, the audacity of a rock band, and the charm of a family sing-along.

Formed in 2011, the self-described “accidental brass quartet” takes its name from the prevailing winds that travel from the West to the East. “Skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers” (NPR’s Fresh Air), The Westerlies explore jazz, roots, and chamber music influences to create the rarest of hybrids: music that is both "folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music).

The ensemble has produced numerous critically acclaimed albums of genre-defying music. 2022 saw the release of the Songbook Vol. 2 and Live at TOURISTS on Westerlies Records, the ensemble’s in-house record label. The previous year was a prolific year for the ensemble, with the release of Fireside Brass: A Westerlies Holiday (Westerlies Records), Songbook Vol. 1 (Westerlies Records), and Bricolage (Westerlies Records), a collaborative album of improvisations with pianist/composer Conrad Tao. 2021 also saw the release of This Land, the ensemble’s collaboration with GRAMMY-nominated vocalist Theo Bleckmann. Sought-after collaborators, The Westerlies are also featured on recordings by Fleet Foxes (Nonesuch), Big Red Machine (Jagjaguwar), Vieux Farka Touré (Six Degrees Records), Common (Lakeshore) and Dave Douglas (Greenleaf).

Education and community engagement are core elements of The Westerlies' mission. In 2021, The Westerlies were named the inaugural small ensemble-in-residence at the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music at The New School. The Westerlies also produce an annual music festival in Seattle called Westerlies Fest, which combines evening performances featuring numerous guest artists, an all-day open-to-the-public creative music jamboree, and workshops in local public schools. The Westerlies have engaged students of all ages and abilities around the country with their innovative assemblies and masterclasses, promoting the values of cooperation and inclusion through music.

The Westerlies: Taking Shape
November 9th at 7:30pm / Ernst C. Stiefel Hall
This event is open to the public and free with registration

For more information on The Westerlies
For more information on their Ensemble-in Residence at the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music

The College of Performing Arts at The New School was formed in 2015 and draws together the Mannes School of Music, the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the School of Drama. With each school contributing its unique culture of creative excellence, the College of Performing Arts is a hub for cross-disciplinary collaboration, bold experimentation, innovative education, and world-class performances.

The 1,000 students at the College of Performing Arts are actors, performers, writers, improvisers, creative technologists, entrepreneurs, composers, arts managers, and multidisciplinary artists who believe in the transformative power of the arts for all people. Students and faculty collaborate with colleagues across The New School in a wide array of disciplines, from the visual arts and fashion design, to the social sciences, public policy, advocacy, and more. 

The curriculum at the College of Performing Arts is dynamic, inclusive, and responsive to the changing arts and culture landscape. New degrees and coursework, like the new graduate degrees for Performer-Composers and Artist Entrepreneurs are designed to challenge highly skilled artists to experiment, innovate, and engage with the past, present, and future of their artforms. New York City’s Greenwich Village provides the backdrop for the College of Performing Arts, which is housed at Arnhold Hall on West 13th Street and the historic Westbeth Artists Community on Bank Street.

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.


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The New School

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