Jeff Fairbanks

New York, NY
World / Brass Band / Jazz
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November 2012


Dear Friends,


We've survived a $2 billion election cycle and two major storms (counting the nor'easter for those of us here in the, er, nor'east). I know some of our readers have just now had electricity restored to their homes. Despite all these events, this Fall has been one of the most exhilarating seasons of my career. My recent string of high profile performances was effectively wrapped up for the time being by my appearance with the USAF Airmen of Note in D.C. late last month. However, the momentum continues, and big developments for mid-late 2013 are taking shape. No need to wait for instant gratification, though --- scroll down for a trove of links to new live videos and photos I just posted of some of this Fall's activities. I'm also pleased to announce my selection as Artist of the Month on a New York state Jazz radio show.  Pictured above is a moment from my guest appearance my Sonagi Project on 10/19.


ARTIST OF THE MONTH – WICB 91.7FM Jazz Radio. I've been selected as artist of the month at WICB at Ithaca College. This will involve airplay of both music (already playing) and a phone interview (air date TBA). The Mulberry Street album has already been in rotation, and I haven't been given a schedule for future plays. Feel free to give it a try -- the particular show is called “Jazz Impressions” and runs weekdays from 12-1pm at or at 91.7FM in Western NY.



(Date TBD): Performance by Airmen of Note. Premiere of my commissioned composition as part of Sammy Nestico award. Washington, D.C. Most likely Summer 2013. Details forthcoming. Meanwhile, I'll be happily hard at work composing for this top-notch band.


(Date TBD): Lecture/performance.  To culminate my composer residency at Flushing Town Hall, administered by Exploring the Metropolis, I'll present a lecture/performance that is still taking shape. This will occur in most likely Spring or Summer 2013. Details will develop pending grant applications among other factors.  Speaking of this residency, I have logged a number of hours there now, either on the piri, trombone, or meditating.  It's hard to stay off my piano-crutch, but so far I've still resisted.



Nanaori: Project Hansori with Soh Daiko at Locating the Sacred Festival 9-16-12. Our epic closing piece that I arranged just for this occasion, combining the potent forces of both ensembles, against all voices of reason:

Yuudachi: Jeff Fairbanks with Soh Daiko at Locating the Sacred Festival 9-16-12. A shortened piece that serves as a collaboration between the taiko ensemble and myself on trombone:

Cho Hon: Jeff Fairbanks as guest soloist with Sonagi Project at Flushing Town Hall 10-19-12. My favorite of this collaboration, this piece leaves plenty of room for solo trombone (and duo with vocal) expression:

Nine Beat: Jeff Fairbanks as guest soloist with Sonagi Project at Flushing Town Hall 10-19-12. Fun with rhythm:

Janggu Samba: Jeff Fairbanks as guest soloist with Sonagi Project at Flushing Town Hall 10-19-12. The upbeat, encore number:



Sonagi Project (10/19, 10/21). I wrote at length last month about how much I enjoyed collaborating with Chang JaeHyo and his Korean percussion ensemble Sonagi Project. Their month-long tour of the Northeastern US included several stops at Flushing Town Hall, coinciding with my composer residency there. Performing with them was a thrill, not just because of the level of collective music making, but also the freedom and spontaneity Sonagi Project allows. For instance, we used no sheet music, and all my melodies were improvised. I joined them at Town Hall 10/19 and also the well-known Brooklyn music spot Barbes on 10/21.


Korean Culture Forum, 10/17. Flushing Town Hall. I was honored to speak on this panel about Korean music and its possibilities for the future, along with some heavy-weight arts leaders like Robert Baron of NY State Council on the Arts, and Rachel Cooper of the Asia Society, among others. An unlikely (absent) star of the evening was Gangnam Style performer Psy, whom moderator Kim Hae Joo explained has given a breakthrough for exporting Korean culture to the world via his much-watched video and song.


Airmen of Note, 10/26. Pun alert (I couldn't help it): It was a real highlight to barnstorm Washington, D.C. for several days, working with the Air Force's premier Jazz band (that branch's top guns). At the concert I was presented with the Sammy Nestico Award, a proud moment in my career; a real lift. Then, with myself in the cockpit, we took off with Mulberry Street part II, the piece they had chosen for the award. Dogfights between brass and reeds were executed with an almost laser-guided precision, with rhythm section ready in the wings. During his solo the lead alto really turned on the afterburner, with the pianist pulling chords left and right, the bass diving through his range, the guitarist just flying, and the drummer dropping bombs in all the appropriate places. I tell you, the heat-seeking audience needed look no further.  After the show a squadron of us strafed a local joint to cool our jets. It was fun to hang with these (tom)cats as well as L.A. trombonist Andy Martin, who was the featured guest soloist that night. Looking forward to my commission, I'm ready to aim high and shoot for the sky!


Thanks for reading,

Jeff Fairbanks



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"Multicultural composer-trombonist Jeff Fairbanks explores a fusion of Korean, Chinese, and Italian musics on this daring big-band outing … ambitious project ... Baritone sax ace Fred ho is featured on two parts of this sprawling suites that marries traditional Chinese motifs and Western brass-band traditions while blending in free jazz expressions ... Other highlights on this ambitious project include 'San Ma Da', a breezy take on a Korean hymn that showcases Fairbanks' fluid lines and lyrical sensibilities on trombone."  Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times

"Fairbanks is a rising multi-faceted star if not musical voice on the New York scene working as composer, arranger, conductor and his instrumental skills as trombonist are second to none. Mulberry Street is a fascinating multi-cultural look at Korean, Chinese and Italian band music sprinkled with Asian instruments and fused into an eclectic big band sound that is a multi-cultural delight! ... Mulberry Street advances past the big band idiom into a more contemporary jazz orchestra setting."  Brent Black, @Critical Jazz

"This big band concept album by trombonist-composer Jeff Fairbanks weaves Western and Asian musical threads into a bright and brilliant fabric, paying homage to that most multicultural of all cites, New York. Fairbanks’ writing is rich and layered, and his soloists — including guest baritone saxophonist Fred Ho — reflect the spirit of his work. Jazz needs more of this kind of music."  Bob Bernotas, radio host, WNTI 91.9FM,


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