Composer/Musician Wayne Horvitz Releases Two New Albums: The Snowghost Sessions (songlines) And Those Who Remain (national Sawdust Tracks) Featuring Guitarist Bill Frisell


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Known for his multifaceted musical personality, composer/musician Wayne Horvitz displays his remarkably singular and distinguishable sound in two new recordings: his debut pianos/keys-bass-drums trio album The Snowghost Sessions (Songlines, October 5, 18) and his debut orchestral CD Those Who Remain (National Sawdust Tracks, October, 12 2018). Both are complemented by a nationwide tour culminating in a New York City CD release concert at Brooklyn’s Roulette, December 5, 2018. (Please scroll below for complete tour schedule.)

The Snowghost Sessions ( is the first trio record from Horvitz since the 1980s. Pianist Horvitz adds keys and electronics to his palette in a program of his haunting, emotionally resonant compositions. He and his longtime collaborators, Seattle bassist Geoff Harper and drummer Eric Eagle, had the luxury of a week-long residency at SnowGhost, a dedicated audiophile studio in Whitefish, Montana. They had no set list of pieces to record and no agenda. As Horvitz writes, “I’ve never felt so free of expectations in the recording studio in my life. The sessions were relaxed, creative, and without a specific goal. We didn’t set out to make a record, we just set out to enjoy the process. I brought in a pile of tunes and sketches and started making music. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to work with Eric and Geoff, and I wanted to find an organic marriage between the idea of a piano trio and some ideas I’d been exploring with amplified and processed piano.” Sometimes taking the music into avant-jazz territory, The Snowghost Sessions is a subtle record of grace and beauty, one that repays close listening.

For the past 20 years, Horvitz has produced a significant body of work that is more “classical” in nature, composing five string quartets, an oratorio, two works for chamber orchestra, a work for sitting orchestra, and numerous chamber pieces. This is evident in his latest recording Those Who Remain on the newly launched label National Sawdust Tracks. The opening piece “Those Who Remain: Concerto for Orchestra and Improvising Soloist" (2015) is Horvitz’s first large- scale concerto, a two-movement, 16-minute composition for full orchestra plus improvisor. Commissioned and premiered by the Seattle Symphony and guitarist Bill Frisell, the studio recording features the Northwest Sinfonia and Frisell.

Horvitz found his inspiration for Those Who Remain in the writings of Richard Hugo, a poet from the White Center section of Seattle who traveled the Pacific Northwest and chronicled its changing communities. To immerse himself in Hugo’s world, Horvitz went on a road trip through Montana, and he even stayed in the cabin frequented by Hugo and other writers. The initial result was Some Places Are Forever Afternoon (Songlines, 2015), a suite for septet of instrumental interpretations of 11 Hugo poems. Most of Those Who Remain was composed during Horvitz’s residency at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, just miles from the town of Ten Sleep, referenced in the Hugo poem “Three Stops to Ten Sleep"—which Horvitz adopted as the title of his first movement.

Some Places Are Forever Afternoon received critical acclaim for skillfully combining jazz sonorities and harmonies in a composed structure. “With Some Places Are Forever Afternoon it can be said that the keyboardist-composer reaches the culmination of a search for sound craftsmanship.” (All About Jazz) According to Bird is the Worm, the album’s “highly lyrical, deeply melodic music...radiates a reverential tone and an ambiance tailored for paradise.” The Snowghost Sessions gives listeners another opportunity “to appreciate the length and breadth with which jazz composition continues to grow and mature.” (Straight No Chaser Jazz)

Bookending Those Who Remain is These Hills of Glory (2004), Horvitz’s fourth string quartet, and the second to include improvising soloists. “These Hills of Glory" has been performed by the odeonquartet and soloists Bill Frisell, Ron Miles, Evyind King, Peggy Lee, Beth Fleenor and Carla Kihlstedt. The recording features the Seattle-based odeonquartet and clarinetist Beth Fleenor, who “provides a perfect contrast to the strings,” says Horvitz.

About Wayne Horvitz

Wayne Horvitz is a composer, pianist, and electronic musician who has gone from being a key figure on the 1980s downtown New York music scene (he was the first booker at the Knitting Factory in NY in 1986) to catalyst for another fertile scene in Seattle over the past two decades (he founded Seattle’s performance venue, The Royal Room, in 2011). Considered one of America’s most creative musicians, he has been called “delightful and original” by Mojo.

According to The New York Times, Horvitz “had an evened—out, coherent composing voice that contains[ed] bebop and rock, gospel hymns and country, free jazz and funk and midcentury film music and Charles Ives. There is[was] very little posturing or provocation or wackiness in it.” He has performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America. He is the leader of the Gravitas Quartet, Sweeter Than the Day, Zony Mash, The Four plus One Ensemble and co-founder of the New York Composers Orchestra. He has performed and collaborated with Bill Frisell, Butch Morris, John Zorn, George Lewis, Robin Holcomb, Fred Frith, Julian Priester, Michael Shrieve and Carla Bley, among others. Commissioners include the NEA, Meet the Composer, Kronos String Quartet, Seattle Chamber Players, BAM, and Earshot Jazz. Collaborators include Paul Taylor, Liz Lerman, Bill Irwin and Gus Van Sant. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 2016 Doris Duke Performing Arts Award, two MAP grants, and the NEA American Masterpiece award. Recent compositions include The Heartsong of Charging Elk, based on the novel by James Welch, and 55: Music and Dance in Concrete, a site-specific collaboration with dancer Yukio Suzuki and video artist Yohei Saito. He is the music programmer for The Royal Room, a performance venue in Seattle, Washington, and a professor of composition at the Cornish College of the Arts.

Praise for Wayne Horvitz

“a master of his means”—All About Jazz

“Wayne Horvitz once again defies pigeonholing.”—DownBeat

“The art of Wayne Horvitz is and has always been infinitely interesting.”—JazzdaGama

Fall 2018 CD Release Tour

10.03 Bozeman-House, Bozeman, MT
10.04 Helena-Free Ceramics, Helena, MT
10.05 Missoula Art Museum, Missoula, MT
10.06 Butte-Covellite Theatre, Butte, MT
10.11 Earshot Jazz Festival, Chapel Performance Space, Seattle, WA
10.26 The Sanctuary, Port Townsend, WA
10.27 Earshot Jazz Festival, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Bainbridge Island, WA
10.28 Earshot Jazz Festival, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, WA
12.01 Jazz at Atlas, Newburgh, NY
12.02 HiLo Catskill, Catskill, NY
12.05 Roulette, Brooklyn, NY
12.07 The Jack London, Portland, OR
12.16 Bellingham House, Bellingham, WA

This story appears courtesy of AMT Public Relations.
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