Riley Mulherkar
       
     
Zubin Hensler
       
     
Andy Clausen
       
     
Willem de Koch
       
     
Riley Mulherkar
       
     
Riley Mulherkar

Riley Mulherkar has been recognized as a “smart young trumpet player” by The New York Times and praised by The Wall Street Journal as a “youngster to keep an eye on.” As a bandleader, Riley is a founding member of The Westerlies, a new music brass quartet that has premiered over 50 new works since its inception in 2011, creating the rarest of hybrids: music that is both “folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music). As a musical director, Riley has worked with a number of leading artists of our time, including NEA Jazz Masters Wynton Marsalis and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Riley also serves as Artistic Director for Jazz at The Joye in Aiken Festival, bringing leading young musicians, actors and dancers to the historic city of Aiken, South Carolina.

Born and raised in Seattle, Riley moved to New York in 2010 to study at The Juilliard School, where he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in 2014 and his Master’s in 2015, receiving the Knowles Prize for Jazz and the Peter Mennin Prize for outstanding achievement and leadership in music. He is also an inaugural recipient of Juilliard’s Marks Fellowship. In 2011, Riley was named a “rising jazz artist” by Wynton Marsalis in JET magazine, and in 2014 was the first recipient of the Laurie Frink Career Grant at the Festival of New Trumpet Music.

photo © 2015 Sasha Arutyunova 

Zubin Hensler
       
     
Zubin Hensler

Zubin Hensler was born in Seattle, now he lives in Brooklyn. He plays the trumpet, writes/records music, and produces albums. Sometimes, he sings.

As a trumpeter, Zubin plays regularly with The Westerlies, a new music brass quartet he co-founded in 2011. He toured/recorded with Vieux Farka Toure and Julia Easterlin as part of their critically acclaimed ‘Touristes’ project, with performances at Celebrate BK, POP Montreal, MASS MOCA, and elsewhere. His trumpeting can be heard in videos or albums by Daniel Rossen, Sylvan Esso, My Brightest Diamond, Half Waif, Relatives, and Alexander Turnquist. Additionally, he has shared the stage with Son Lux, Landlady, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, and many others.

As a composer, Zubin writes and records music for video, image, dance, and podcasts. He scored the feature length documentary Crossing Over, which premiered on Univision and Pivot. He wrote music for the acclaimed Camino project by photographer/writer Michael George, which was published by National Geographic both in print and online. Other films containing Zubin’s music have been released by The New Yorker, local PBS stations, Google, and a number of independent film festivals. In collaboration with dance, Zubin wrote and performed the score for Flinch by Elisabeth Motley, which was presented by Jacob’s Pillow and Gibney Dance. He has also worked with Juilliard Dance and performs regularly with choreographer/performer Maggie Segale.

As a producer, Zubin has had the great joy of making recordings with some of his closest friends and favorite musicians. He has done production work on recordings for The Westerlies (“2014’s best debut album” – Francis Davis, NPR Music), Touristes (“Bravely Original” – The Guardian), Half Waif (“Best New Track” – Pitchfork, “Knocks the wind out of me because it just sounds really cool” – Stereogum), Really Big Pinecone (one of “15 Best Albums You Didn’t Hear in 2015” – Rolling Stone), Hannah Epperson, FEATHERS+EYES, Michael., and others.

Zubin has a solo project called twig twig, for which he makes all the music and sings all the words. Twig has been praised by Noisey, Line of Best Fit (“like pillows or small furry animals…a damn good listen”), Impose (“feels like perpetual sunshine in a world of no night and no morning dawn”) and Clash Magazine (“a beautiful innocence, a fragrant naivety”).

Zubin likes to teach the things he has learned. He has co-led workshops with Found Sound Nation for the last three years, opening the ears of high schoolers to experimental sound composition and performance. He has privately taught trumpet lessons, both in Seattle and New York. With The Westerlies, he has worked with middle/high school/college students around the country, focusing on composition, playing in a chamber ensemble, brass technique, and friendship.

photo © 2015 Sasha Arutyunova 

Andy Clausen
       
     
Andy Clausen

Andy Clausen is a New York-based composer, trombonist, bandleader, and graduate of The Juilliard School. Hailing from Seattle, Clausen relocated to NYC in 2010 where he enjoys a diverse schedule collaborating with filmmakers, folk and blues artists, classical composers, as well as New York's jazz elite. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Frank Wess, Gerald Wilson, Kurt Elling, The After Midnight Orchestra, Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell, Jason Moran, Dave Douglas, Wayne Horvitz, Andrew D'angelo, The American Brass Quintet, Sylvan Esso, Feist, and My Brightest Diamond.

The New York Times has described his work as “sleek, dynamic large-group jazz, a whirl of dark-hued harmony and billowing rhythm...The intelligent sheen of Mr. Clausen’s writing was as striking as the composure of his peers...It was impressive, and not just by the yardstick of their age.”

An active educator, Clausen has taught workshops across the United States and currently serves as Artistic Director of The New York Youth Symphony Jazz Program. Clausen’s awards include the Gerald Wilson Prize for Composition from the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Emerging Artist of The Year, and Alternative Jazz Group of the Year Awards from the Earshot Jazz Festival, and the Lotos Foundation Prize. In addition, Clausen has been commissioned by The New York Times, Bloomberg, Dell, Freedom House, and Blue Chalk Media to compose music for film and television.

photo © 2015 Sasha Arutyunova

Willem de Koch
       
     
Willem de Koch

A native of Seattle, Washington, Willem de Koch enjoys a diverse career as a performer, composer, and educator. At home in a variety of musical styles, Willem has shared the stage with improvisational-music luminaries Wayne Horvitz and Bill Frisell, indie-rock phenomenon Feist, jazz legends Dave Douglas, Wycliffe Gordon, George Duke, and many others. He has played orchestral music under the batons of Leonard Slatkin, Kurt Masur, George Manahan, Philippe Entremont, and Gerard Schwarz. Willem has performed across the globe in a wide variety of settings, including the Vancouver Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz, and Carnegie Hall.

Willem places a high value on music education as a means for self-empowerment and a tool for social justice. He served as a teaching artist in Seattle Public Schools, and continues to teach masterclasses around the country and maintain a private teaching studio. Willem moved to New York in 2011, and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Manhattan School of Music in 2015. He lives in Brooklyn.

photo © 2015 Sasha Arutyunova