The internationally renowned Cuong Vu Trio (Cuong Vu, Ted Poor, Stomu Takeishi) collaborates with School of Music faculty composers Richard Karpen and Juan Pampin and Vietnamese master musician Nguyễn Thanh Thủy (Six Tones Ensemble) on a new improvisational work for trumpet, drums, bass, piano, đàn tranh, ghuzheng, and live electronics.
Richard Karpen, piano
Richard Karpen is a composer and researcher in multiple areas music and the arts. His compositions for both electronic media and live performance are widely known, recorded, and performed internationally. Over the last 30 years he has also been one of the leading pioneers in the development of computer applications for music composition, interactive performance, and sonic arts. He has recently returned to the stage as a pianist.
Karpen is currently Director of the School of Music at the University of Washington where he is also a Professor of Music Composition. He previously served at the UW as Divisional Dean for Research in the College of Arts and Sciences and Founding Director of the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS). He has been the recipient of many awards, grants, and prizes including those from the National Endowment for the Arts, the ASCAP Foundation, the Bourges Contest in France, and the Luigi Russolo Foundation in Italy. Fellowships and grants for work outside of the United States include a Fulbright to Italy, a residency at IRCAM in France, and a Leverhulme Visiting Fellowship to the United Kingdom. He received his doctorate in composition from Stanford University, where he also worked at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Karpen is a native of New York, where he studied composition with Charles Dodge and Gheorghe Costinescu.
Karpen has composed works for many leading international soloists such as soprano Judith Bettina, violist Garth Knox, trombonist Stuart Dempster, flutists Laura Chislett and Jos Zwaanenberg, guitarist Stefan Ostersjo, and oboist Alex Klein. Along with numerous concert and radio performances, his works have been set to dance by groups such as the Royal Danish Ballet and the Guandong Dance Company of China. Karpen's compositions have been recorded on a variety of labels including Wergo, Centaur, Neuma, Le Chant du Monde, DIFFUSION i MeDIA, Fleur du Son, and Capstone.
Juan Pampin, live electronics
uan Pampin is Associate Professor of Music Composition at University of Washington and founding faculty member of the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) for which he currently serves as Director. He received an MA in Composition from Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon, France and a DMA in Composition from Stanford University, where he studied with composer Jonathan Harvey.
His works explore the concepts of site, memory, and materiality using algorithmic strategies to produce aural phenomena. Pampin considers listening an active process of self reflexion, his sound installations consist of site-specific and interactive sonic environments, with locations ranging from bathrooms to urban public spaces. Pampin's music compositions, including works for instrumental, digital, and mixed media, have been performed around the world by world-class soloists and ensembles. His work "On Space" –for percussion sextet and 3D electronic sounds– has been recently released on CD as part of Les Percussions de Strasbourg 50th anniversary historical edition box. As a researcher, Pampin has developed new techniques for sound processing and spatialization, including the ATS software for spectral modeling and the Ambisonics Toolkit library (ATK, developed in collaboraation with Joseph Anderson). His recently patented Moving Ultra-Sound Technology (MUST) will be installed publicly for the first time as part of the Sanctum project.
Cuong Vu, trumpet
Cuong Vu is widely recognized by jazz critics as a leader of a generation of innovative musicians. A truly unique musical voice, Cuong has lent his trumpet playing talents to a wide range of artists including Pat Metheny, Laurie Anderson, David Bowie, Dave Douglas, Myra Melford, Cibo Matto, and Mitchell Froom.
As a youngster, Cuong's intense dedication and love for music led him to a full scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz studies with a distinction in performance. Transitioning from his studies in Boston, he moved to New York in 1994 and began his career actively leading various groups while touring extensively throughout the world. As a leader, Cuong has released five recordings, each making critics’ lists of the 10 best recordings of their respective years. Each record displays how he has carved out a distinctive sonic territory on the trumpet while blurring all stylistic borders while developing his own compositional aesthetic.
A recipient of numerous awards and honors, Cuong was awarded the Colbert Award for Excellence: The Downtown Arts Project Emerging Artist Award. As an assistant professor in jazz studies, he was recently awarded the University of Washington's prestigious Distinguished Teacher Award and is a Donald E. Petersen Endowed Fellow. In 2002 and 2006, Cuong was a recipient of the Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album as a member of the Pat Metheny Group. He’s been recognized as one of the top 50 young Jazz Artists in an article called “The New Masters” from the British magazine, “Classic CD” and in 2006 was named the Best International Jazz Artist by the Italian Jazz Critics’ Society. Amazon listed Vu’s “Come Play With Me” on their “The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time”.
Cuong is a "Yamaha Performing Artist", playing the Yamaha Custom YTR8310Z trumpet.
Ted Poor, drums
After graduating from the Eastman School of Music in 2003, drummer Ted Poor moved to New York City, where he has made a deep impression on the jazz and improvised music scene. Modern Drummer describes his playing as “adventurous, truly dynamic, and forward-thinking.” Jazz Review writes, “Ted has an uncanny ability to shape the music and a refreshingly unique, organic approach to playing the drums.” This unique approach has caught the ears of many of jazz’s most established musicians and quickly placed him amongst those drummers most in demand.
Ted has toured the world over and is a regular member of many bands, including those of Grammy award winning trumpeter Cuong Vu, guitarist Ben Monder, Bad Touch, and the Respect Sextet. Ted’s most recent project as a leader is called Mt. Varnum. Formed in August of 2011, Mt. Varnum reconciles a life-long love of deep swing with an equally earnest adoration of classic and indie rock. The band’s forthcoming debut release “Wounded Caroline” is a powerful and complete manifestation of that union.
As an in-demand sideman, Ted has appeared on dozens of recordings and has shared the stage with many world renowned artists such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Bill Frisell, Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Kenny Werner, Maria Schneider, Aaron Parks and Ralph Alessi. As a guest soloist and educator, Poor has held residencies at, among others, the Eastman School of Music, Berklee College of Music, Cal Arts, Lawrence University, the University of Oregon, and the HR Big Band of Frankfurt. He is currently an Artist in Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Stomu Takeishi, bass
Stomu Takeishi has played electric fretless bass in a variety of jazz settings throughout the ’90s and 2000s. A member of Henry Threadgill’s Make a Move and Zooid, Myra Melford’s Crush Trio (with drummer Kenny Wollesen), and Erik Friedlander’s Topaz (with brother Satoshi Takeishi on percussion), Stomu Takeishi has also played in trumpeter Cuong Vu’s group Vu-Tet, and in the North Indian-influenced Alankar. Takeishi performs on Satoko Fujii’s album, South Wind, and has played with such musicians as Henry Threadgill, Don Cherry, Randy Brecker, and Wynton Marsalis. Takeishi has toured internationally with these various groups, from N.Y.C. to Finland’s Tampere Festival.
Nguyễn Thanh Thủy, đàn tranh
Nguyễn Thanh Thủy was born into a theatre family and was raised with traditional Vietnamese music from an early age in Hà Nội. She studied at the Hanoi Conservatory of Music where she received her diploma in 1998, followed by a Master of Arts at the Institute of Cultural Studies in 2002. Since 2000 she holds a teaching position at the Vietnam National Academy of Music. She has toured in Asia, Europe, the USA. She has received many distinctions, in 1992 First Prize in the Contest of Traditional Instrument Performance on Television and Radio, Vietnam, as well as in 1998 First Prize and the Best Traditional Music Performer Prize in the National Competition of Zither Talents, 1998, Vietnam. Nguyễn Thanh Thủy has recorded several CD’s as soloist with orchestra and solo CDs: Độc tấu đàn tranh Nguyễn Thanh Thủy Vol.1 (Solo dan tranh Nguyen Thanh Thuy Vol.1) – 2005, Tranh Improvisation (with Jakob Riis, laptop). Suối Tranh, (2012) (Nguyen Thanh Thuy Vol.2) and The Six Tones: Signal in Noise (2013) on dB Productions, Sweden. In 2013 she published a book chapter in an edited book on Cambridge Scholars Publishing, and live recordings and a book chapter in (re)thinking improvisation: artistic explorations and conceptual writing, (a box with two CDs, a DVD and a book, published by Lund University Press.) In 2014 she published a book chapter on cross-cultural musical learning in “Spår av Musik”, a book edited by Stefan Östersjö on Lund University Press.