Great poems are very difficult to put to music, because poetry is already music. So my suite is not “music to Tsvetaeva’s poems,” but rather an act of perception of her poetry, a perception by improvisation, a collective perception. An attempt to intuitively understand her poems, which I chose for this project. And the most interesting thing is how our feelings and our perception will unite in the process of collective music-making, how we, five human personalities, will create a single work as a dedication to Marina and an interpretation of her meanings and images. Therefore, the translations are not literal, but also images of the perception of these six works, my translation of the image and meaning from Russian into English. The rhythm changes, the vocabulary changes. You shouldn’t expect our suite to “interpret” poetry, it’s primarily music and most importantly, improvisational music. It’s similar to how an actress would play the part of Tsvetayeva in a “biopic” film, if there were such a film. But in this case the actors are we all, as a whole ensemble. And there are six “films”, each piece is a new story and a new “director’s cut”, where every ensemble member is a “director”.
I am honored and inspired to be a recipient of the Chamber Music America Artistic Projects commissioning grant, for my collection of songs written to the poems of the genius but little known in the US Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva, whose 130th anniversary will be celebrated on October 8 this year.
The song cycle, for improvising jazz ensemble, featuring a vocalist, will be premiered on October 2 in Manhattan, NYC and October 16 in Brooklyn, NY. Our musicians are: Kyoko Kitamura (voice), Jacob Sacks (piano), Ken Filiano (bass), Michael Sarin (drums) and myself on tenor and soprano saxophones. Read our press release on All About Jazzhere.
Hope to see you in person or virtually on one of these events. Please visit my Events page for details on ticketing and addresses.
Thursday, July 28, 2022 – Jazz At Lincoln Center, Dizzy’s Club A Tribute To Lee Konitz,
with Dan Tepfer, Jeremy Stratton, George Schuller and soloists – Joe Lovano, Ted Brown, Thomas Morgan, Ohad Talmor, Lena Bloch, Brad Linde:
LENA BLOCH AND FEATHERY feature in the Chamber Music Magazine, Winter 2018!
THE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN FOR FEATHERY QUARTET’S NEW ALBUM ROSE OF LIFTA
ended with funding of 111%!
On behalf of our quartet heartfelt gratitude for this amazing community’s generous support.
It was fascinating to see people from all over the world coming together to make this project happen.
to our patrons: Roberta Wroblewski, Gary Proctor, Paul Kenny,
To our sponsors: Rima Najjar, Harry Clark, Hossam Atlam, Tom Kohn, Ginevra Cucinotta, Jerry King, William Dennehy, Vincent Alia, Michael Magrath, Raff Ellis, Joel Fivis, Jess and Nate Cabana, Susan Mindel, Samuel Yates, Grant Brown, A.Reische, Karen and Philipp Frei, Sarah Roche-Mahdi, Hans Olav Brendberg, Mark Norrie, Natalya Brook!
To our dedicated supporters: W Gary Johnson, Kenny Gerber, Charles Imbimbo, Michael Steinman, Kasia Przewlocka, Ute Copeland-Fischer, Jason Douglas, Cheryl Fort, Layla Cable, Tom Yates, Jon Dreyer, Johan Viviers, Kevin Collins, Harry Appelman, Erik Lawrence, Joanne Quinn, Hiroyuki Hamada, Jaana Rehnstrom, Andy Simons, Stefan Erens, Rob Clutton, Gargi Shinde, Jaaky Krant, Deborah Masters, Richard Hogg, Abe Goldstein, Armando Gomez, Olegs Ovcarenko, Martin Denommee, Margaret Kanaan, Christoph Langel, Jim Warshauer, Frank Butera, Guenter Schenk, Annette Lengyel, Linda Cooper, Ellen Cantarow, Fabrizio Montero, Ronald Bleier, Simon Harding, Miriam Meir, Emmy Laybourne Podunovich, Jackie Mahmoud, Chris Pasin, Emilia Luotoniemi, Yoni Slotwiner, Bhowani, Kenneth Rockmore!
Feathery Quartet is so happy and excited to be performing at the Showcase for the 40th National Chamber Music Conference January 2018!We are about to join these exceptional ensembles during CMA’s 40th Anniversary Conference Showcase!
Track of the day on All About Jazz,
November 18, 2018 – Heart Knows (Fresh Sound):
“The stunning thing about every performance here is the delicate blend of composed music and spontaneous invention.” — Donald Elfman, NYC Jazz Record
“The odd, flexible, bone-deep gorgeousness…complex, compelling and beautiful, sounds of the highest quality and inspiration.” ~ Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz
New album “Heart Knows” by Feathery (Russ Lossing, Lena Bloch, Cameron Brown, Billy Mintz) is out on September 25 – on Fresh Sound New Talent! Buy it here! “It is a rare and most pleasant surprise to encounter music that is new and different and find it instantly likable. “Heart Knows” – a most impressive debut by a most impressive quartet–or rather, four equals perfectly attuned to each other…
“Collective” is the key word here, to this listener, for this is truly musical togetherness, creating a sound all its own.” -Dan Morgenstern, liner notes
WONDERFUL REVIEW OF OUR DUO CONCERT
WITH ROBERTA PIKET BY Michael Steinman – with embedded videos!
“OVER THE ROUGH ROAD TO THE STARS: ROBERTA PIKET and LENA BLOCH at THE DRAWING ROOM (May 20, 2017)
Posted on July 2, 2017 | 1 Comment
“Here are two of my favorite explorers, captured in a marvelous series of duets. My title may seem a touch fanciful: the only climb a session at The Drawing Room, Michael Kanan and Stephanie Greig’s serene studio, necessitates, is a few flights of stairs. But the music created the night of May 20, 2017, by Lena Bloch, tenor saxophone, and Roberta Piket, piano, makes me think of limitless vistas full of stars. Listen and I think you will agree.” Read more and listen here!
Our current Feathery quartet has Russ Lossing on piano, Cameron Brown on bass and Billy Mintz on drums. We perform original compositions by Lena Bloch and Russ Lossing, featuring each musician in the band. Please check my page “Performances” for our upcoming shows.
“Although Lena Bloch’s FEATHERY Quartet resembles a traditional tenor saxophone quartet, it’s really a small orchestra of shape-changers. Melodic lines pass from one player to another, and there is no clear dividing line between “horn” and “rhythm,” with equal emphasis given to sonic masters Billy Mintz and Cameron Brown. The group offers compositions by Bloch and pianist Russ Lossing, extended forms, pensive, rollicking, or dark, leisurely thoughtful dances. At the end of a Feathery set, one has done more than hear improvisation; one has taken gentle zigzag journeys.”
Michael Steinman, JAZZ LIVES
/Feathery at iBeam Brooklyn, 2016
My debut Album “Feathery” (Thirteenth Note Records, with Dave Miller (guitar), Cameron Brown (bass), Billy Mintz (drums) is one of the Top 10 Jazz CD’s 2014:
Voted as one of the Best Jazz CD’s 2014 and Best Debut Album 2014 at the NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll by Dan Morgenstern and Elzy Kolb:
Great thanks to all friends who supported us on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, I am very moved by your encouragement, sending you my love. Special thanks to Michael Steinman Jazz Lives, K.C. and Gearldyne Marsh, Gary Foster, Ted Brown, Gary Levy, Bob Arturs, Roberta Piket, Chris Drukker, Meredith Whittaker, Vermont Jazz Center, Paul Arslanian, Andy Fite, Mala Waldron, Ohad Talmor, Seunghee Han, Clare Daly, Dori Levine, Joop Van Der Lei, Stephen Mosca, Steve Ascolese, Greg Burk and all my dear friends all over the world.
Read Lena Bloch’s interview in the Jazz Inside Magazine (April 2014): Read the PDF here