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
Chloe Rowlands is a trumpet player, composer, and music educator living in New York City. Born in Seattle and raised in Phoenix, Chloe moved to NYC in 2010 to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. She enjoys performing a wide variety of styles and can be found in various musical settings such as leading the brass section in the orchestra for Loft Opera productions, playing flugelhorn, synthesizer, and singing background vocals in the Indie-Rock band Cape Francis, and composing and producing music for film and media. Chloe is the newest member of The Westerlies, a new music brass quartet.
She has shared the stage with many notable musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Charli Persip, Marcus Printup, Arturo Sandoval, Wayne Bergeron, Donny McCaslin, Terell Stafford, Brian Lynch, Paquito D’Rivera, and has played in bands such as Fleet Foxes and Frances Cone. Chloe has performed across the world at various festivals and venues such as the Monterey Jazz Festival, Voodoo Music Festival, South by Southwest, Marian’s Jazz Room and the Bern International Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Jarasum International Jazz Festival in South Korea, and the Java International Jazz Festival in Indonesia.
She is the 2nd place winner of the International Trumpet Guild’s Jazz Trumpet Competition, and a recipient of the Theresa Perez Directors Award and the Eubie Blake Scholarship award.
Andy Clausen is a New York-based trombonist, composer, educator, and graduate of The Juilliard School. He is Artistic Director for Jazz at New York Youth Symphony and co-founder of acclaimed new music brass quartet, The Westerlies. An active collaborator across genres, Clausen has toured and/or recorded with Fleet Foxes, Common, Theo Bleckmann, Vieux Farke Toure, John Zorn, Dave Douglas, and The American Brass Quintet. Recent performance highlights include Newport Jazz Festival, Newport Folk Festival, Coachella, Panorama, The Hollywood Bowl, Red Rocks, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Jazz At Lincoln Center, SF Jazz, Radio City Music Hall, and Celebrate Brooklyn. 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.” His compositions have been performed by The Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, New York Youth Symphony Jazz Band, The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, and Seattle Chamber Players. An active composer for film and television with numerous feature films to his credit, Clausen has been commissioned by The New York Times, Bloomberg TV, Carnegie Corporation, Dell, The Whitney Museum, and Freedom House and his scores appeared at the DocNYC Festival, Austin Film Festival, Reykjavik International Film Festival, and LA Shorts Fest.
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Willem de Koch is a trombonist, composer, and educator. He is co-founder of The Westerlies, the brass quartet whose music “occupies a lively territory between jazz, Stephen Foster-styled folk and chamber music with bracing melodies and, crucially, an undeniable sense of fun” (Chris Barton, LA Times). The Westerlies have produced two critically acclaimed albums of genre-defying chamber music: their 2014 debut, Wish the Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz, and a 2016 double-CD of primarily original compositions, The Westerlies. Sought-after collaborators, The Westerlies were recently featured on Fleet Foxes’ Crack-Up (2017), and Dave Douglas’s Little Giant Still Life (2017); they spent much of the past season touring with Fleet Foxes in support of their new release, including performances at Coachella, Red Rocks Ampitheatre, and Hollywood Bowl. The Westerlies’ 2017-18 season included featured performances at Musical Masterworks (New Lyme, CT); Clefworks (Montgomery, AL); Mobile Chamber Music (Mobile, AL); Joye in Aiken (Aiken, SC); Bologna Performing Arts Center (Cleveland, MS) and The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
In addition to his work with The Westerlies, Willem has performed with a wide variety of artists including improvisational-music luminaries Wayne Horvitz and Bill Frisell, electronic music duo Odesza, indie-rock songstress Feist, and jazz legends Wycliffe Gordon and George Duke, among others. Willem has performed in a wide variety of venues, from the world-renowned Carnegie Hall and Hollywood Bowl, to hole-in-the-wall jazz clubs and living rooms. He strives to bring people together to build strong communities through music, and seeks to break down the barriers of genre to create a more integrated and inclusive musical landscape.
Willem places a high value on music education as a means for self-empowerment and a tool for social justice. He has served as a teaching artist in public schools across the country, including with Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Jazz for Young People, Seattle Youth Symphony’s Endangered Instruments Program, and Bridge Arts Ensemble in upstate New York. Willem has given masterclasses with The Westerlies at various colleges and universities including The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Yale School of Music, and others. Willem moved to New York in 2011, and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Manhattan School of Music in 2015. He is currently pursuing his MA in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship at The New School (2019). He lives in Brooklyn.