Doris Duke Impact Award, 2015
New York, NY
Born and raised in Newark, NJ, Tyshawn Sorey blends composition and improvisation across a variety of styles and genres. As an instrumentalist, he is known for his skillful open, groove-oriented, and through-composed forms and for his virtuosity on drums, piano, and trombone. The International Contemporary Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, and TAK Ensemble have performed his compositions, which integrate African diasporic, Western classical, and avant-garde musical forms. As a bandleader, he has released four critically acclaimed recordings. The most recent, Alloy (Pi, 2014), features a half-hour-long work and explores extremes of sonic sparseness and density. He has been selected as a Danish International Visiting Artist (2013) and for the Other Minds Residency (2012). He has lectured on composition and improvisation at Columbia University, Banff Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, and Hochschule für Musik Köln, among other institutions. In Spring 2016, he will release his latest album The Inner Spectrum of Variables, which features a piano trio with a string trio, and premiered in Brooklyn in December 2015.