Erica von Kleist
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Erica von Kleist

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
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...Careful perusal of our centerfold pages suggests that we're really high on alto players this month. And here's another fine one: Erica vonKleist. Following study at both the Manhattan School and Juilliard, Erika has played and recorded with DIVA, Sean Jones, Chris Potter, Wynton Marsalis' Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Arturo O'Farrill's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. We enjoyed her work on a self-produced quintet CD called Project E. But for her five-night run of Late Night sets at Dizzy's on April 7-11, she’ll lead a six-member group she calls No Exceptions that also includes Nadje Noordhuis (trumpet), Dan Pratt (tenor), Zaccai Curtis (piano), Luques Curtis (bass) and Jon Wikan (drums)...
- Hot House


...Beyond that it was an array of backbeats, breakbeats and Latin American polyrhythm, with the flow largely dictated by Mr. Argue, who conducted with brisk, acute gestures. There were compelling solo contributions — notably by John Ellis, on tenor saxophone, and Erica von Kleist, on alto — ... - New York Times


...In a way, none of this matters if the art is not great, and though Marsalis and his band can cook, JALC's artistic profile has been fairly conservative. Instrumental jazz is historically a misogynistic art, and Jazz at Lincoln Center has been something of a guys' club during its 14 years. (Until recently there were no women in the jazz orchestras; now, twentysomething alto sax dynamo Erica von Kleist has joined the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra.) Until a few years ago, JALC was not a place to hear the screaming innovations of Ornette Coleman or musicians of the jazz avant-garde. But as the center has grown, its outlook has matured and broadened... - Travel and Leisure


Erica von Kleist, rising star flautist - Downbeat Magazine


Download the December 2010 issue that contains the article - Jazz Inside


Erica Von Kleist In Middletown
RIFFS - JAZZ NOTES
November 12, 2009|By OWEN McNALLY

Even the fittest young musician can lose his or her footing when taking that giant evolutionary step from the nurturing sanctuary of the conservatory into the struggle for survival in the Darwinian jungle of the Big Apple.

Erica von Kleist, a young, Juilliard-trained saxophonist/flutist/composer and alum of the renowned jazz program at West Hartford's Hall High School, has not only survived that daunting career step but is now recognized as a rising young star on the New York jazz scene.
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In one of her too-rare appearances in Connecticut, the globe-trotting player performs with the septet presenting the world premiere of pianist/composer Noah Baerman's ambitious work "Know Thyself" Friday at 8 p.m. at Wesleyan University's Crowell Concert Hall in Middletown (information: www.wesleyan.edu/cfa or 860-685-3355).

After racking up numerous competitive music awards at Hall High School (Class of 2000), von Kleist went on to Manhattan School of Music, completing her studies at the Juilliard School. There the Bristol native, who grew up in West Hartford, earned a bachelor's degree in jazz through Juilliard's newly formed Jazz Studies Program.

Her robust resume includes performing and recording with Wynton Marsalis, Chris Potter, Sean Jones, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Diva (the groundbreaking all-female orchestra) and the Grammy Award-winning Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra.

At 27, she already has become a prolific composer, with commissions from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Juilliard School and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. And von Kleist continues to win prestigious music prizes, including the ASCAP Plus Award for 2008 and 2009 and the 2009 Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, a $7,500 grant.

Praise has come from media sources ranging from Travel & Leisure to Down Beat magazine. New York Times critics have called her "dynamic" (Nate Chinen), even amping up the praise to "superb" (Ben Ratliff).

Married to saxophonist/composer Michael Webster, von Kleist lives in Brooklyn. As one of the "fittest" survivors of New York's relentless process of natural selection, von Kleist, an open-minded, versatile musician, fits in virtually anywhere. - The Hartford Courant


Even as a wunderkind 14-year-old alto saxophonist and flutist, Erica vonKleist was dazzling Hartford audiences with her jazz skills.

Through her four years in the celebrated jazz program at West Hartford's Hall High School before graduating in 2000, vonKleist harvested bushels of national student musical awards while honing her skills as an improvising multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger.

By 16, she could step forward and, on either alto or flute, seize the attention of large, chattering crowds at Hartford's Bushnell Park happily paying more attention to their coolers and picnic baskets than to the band on stage.

In a ``homecoming appearance'' tonight at 7:30, vonKleist, who's been studying and playing in New York City for five years, returns to Hartford to play at Black-eyed Sally's, 350 Asylum St. Information: 860-278-7427.

VonKleist, now 23, comes to town leading her own band, Project E, and with a new CD she's promoting in a two-stop, mini-tour in Connecticut.

On her second stop, she and her band play Friday from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. at Adagio's at 33 Golden St. in downtown New London. Information: 860-444-8795.

Since leaving her hometown, vonKleist studied at Manhattan School of Music for a year and then transferred, with full scholarship, for three years at Juilliard. She graduated in 2004 with the first bachelor's degree in jazz in the school's history.

Since 2003, she has been a member of the prestigious Jazz at Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) under the direction of Arturo O'Farrill. She also plays tenor saxophone with the noted all-female band, Diva, and is the flutist in the Chris Potter Tentet.

With Project E, a funk and jazz-oriented quintet, vonKleist has played in such underground, youth-oriented venues in the Big Apple as the Cornelia Street Cafe, the C-Note, Kenny's Castaways and the Sidewalk Cafe.

With her trio, a straight-ahead jazz unit, she played last September at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola during the prestigious Diet Coke Women in Jazz Festival. Other participants included such notables as Marian McPartland, Bertha Hope and Ann Hampton Callaway.

Right now, her focus is on her band and the new CD, ``Erica vonKleist and Project E.'' She plans to shop the self-produced CD around to a number of jazz labels to get it widely distributed. In the meantime, she sells copies at gigs.
- Hartford Courant


Discography

Erica von Kleist & No Exceptions Erica von Kleist, 2010
Project E Erica von Kleist, 2006
The Addams Family Original Broadway Cast Recording, 2010
The Search Within Sean Jones 2009
Song for Anyone - Chris Potter 2008
A Song for Chico - The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra 2008
Una Noche Inolvidable The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra 2006
Infernal Machines Darcy James Argue's Secret Society 2009
The Diva Jazz Orchestra Live at Dizzy's The Diva Jazz Orchestra 2008
Leading Lines Michael Webster 2006
Sleight of Hand Sherisse Rogers 2005
Blues in the Night Ann Hampton Callaway 2007

Photos

Bio

Erica von Kleist
Saxophonist and flautist, Erica von Kleist has begun to make her mark in the New York jazz scene as one of the most in-demand young musicians in the city, performing and recording with Wynton Marsalis, Chris Potter, Sean Jones, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, DIVA, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, and the Grammy® Award-winning Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. The 2009 Downbeat Magazine Critic’s Poll voted Erica a “Rising Star” on flute, following the release of Sean Jones’ record The Search Within, featuring Erica as a soloist. While performing is her primary passion, Erica has proven herself a prolific and gifted composer. As a composer and graduate of the Juilliard School, Erica has drawn upon influences such as Wayne Shorter, Duke Ellington, and Stevie Wonder, and has been commissioned to write for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, The Juilliard School and the Afro - Latin Jazz Orchestra. Erica is currently a regular orchestra member at The Addams Family on Broadway, and can be heard on the original Broadway cast recording featuring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth.

Major news publications such as The New York Times, Travel & Leisure Magazine, All About Jazz and DownBeat Magazine have all praised Ms. von Kleists’ talents with jazz critic Ben Ratliff stating, “Superb!” Since 2006, Erica has been honored with several awards from ASCAP, and also received the prestigious Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in March 2009.

As a follow-up to her 2006 CD Project E, Erica released four singles with her new band No Exceptions, featuring Zaccai Curtis, Luques Curtis, John Davis, Nadje Noordhuis, Dan Pratt, as well as special guest Dan Nimmer from the Wynton Marsalis Septet. Her single "Dirty Martini" won praise at this year's ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Awards. Erica debuted her new compositions at The Jazz Gallery, Tutuma Social Club and Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, as part of a special presentation by WBGO radio. The most recent singles will be compiled into an album for release in November, and will set the stage for Erica's first US/Canada Winter 2010-2011 tour.