The Westerlies (“prevailing winds from the West to the East”) are a New York-based brass quartet comprised of childhood friends from Seattle: Riley Mulherkar and Chloe Rowlands on trumpet, and Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch on trombone.

 “Skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers” (NPR’s Fresh Air), The Westerlies explore jazz, roots, and chamber music influences to create the rarest of hybrids: music that is both "folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music). 


Following the quartet's critically acclaimed self-titled 2016 release, the ensemble has engaged in a number of high profile collaborations on stage and in studio with Fleet Foxes, Common, Vieux Farke Toure, Dave Douglas, and Theo Bleckmann.

Equally at home in concert halls and living rooms, The Westerlies navigate a wide array of venues and projects with the precision of a string quartet, the audacity of a rock band, and the charm of a family sing-along. 

The Westerlies '17-'18 season included concerts at the National Gallery of Art, The Cilburn, Mobile Chamber Music, Musical Masteworks Old Lyme, Joye in Aiken, and Delta State University, in addition to residencies at Clefworks Montgomery, AL, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, Bay Chamber Concerts Rockport, ME, and Yellowbarn. The ensemble was also featured with Fleet Foxes at Coachella, Hollywood Bowl, The Greek Theatre Berkeley, Red Rocks, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Santa Fe Opera, Outside Lands SF, Panorama NYC, and Pitchfork Music Festival.

Educational and community engagement is a core element of The Westerlies' mission. Each season, the ensemble reaches thousands of students around the country with their innovative and inspiring assemblies and masterclasses. 

The Westerlies in Performance

Praise for "The Westerlies" 

The original repertoire is so strong and varied that the Westerlies represent a kind of bastard child, standing fiercely between genre cracks with works that evoke the Americana of Aaron Copland and John Philip Sousa on the one hand but seeming to translate the rhythmically spastic machinations of EDM on the other (check out “So So Shy”). There are plenty of other stops in between, all delivered with stunning clarity and richness.
— Chicago Reader
The Westerlies’ rendition [of “Saro”] has no vocals, but you still feel the heartache....What a distinctly American twist: to flip a story of sorrow on its head, opening it up to a future bright with possibility.
— NPR Music
at once a plainly beautiful release shot through with genius technique and considerate musical planning, and an innovative exploration into what the future of acoustically-driven music could be. The fearless choices The Westerlies have made on this release lead the way for acoustic music in the face of an increasingly computerized musical landscape, while at the same time creating a sublime listening experience that can be enjoyed for its simplicity and peace.
— Second Inversion
How does a four-piece trumpet and trombone instrumental combo earn raves from both indie-leaning music blogs and public radio while also performing at the Newport Jazz Festival and local rock clubs? The answer can be heard in the sprawling self-titled album due Oct. 7. Over two discs the New York City-based, Seattle-born brass band occupies a lively territory between jazz, Steven Foster-styled folk and chamber music with bracing melodies and, crucially, an undeniable sense of fun.
— L.A. Times
an all-brass rave-up...a rapid dance of melodies that will have your heart racing and your body tapping along.
— Stereogum
This is a virtuosic outfit capable of playing with immense grace and poise in one setting (Mulherkar’s scene-setter “A Nearer Sun” a representative example), its members clearly attuned to one another and demonstrating great sensitivity to dynamics and texture, and then performing the boisterous next with declamatory abandon....Heartfelt ballads, playful fanfares, elegant chorales, chamber works, hymnal meditations, luminous unison playing, robust soloing...the set certainly serves as a powerful statement of intent on the group’s behalf.
— Textura

Praise for The "Wish The Children would come on home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz"

The Westerlies play this music clean as a whistle, with attention to detail born of long rehearsals. And they infuse the lyrical passages with deep feeling...The Westerlies represent a breed of musicians rare when Wayne Horvitz was coming up, skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers.
— Kevin Whitehead, Fresh Air
Their Horvitz interpretations convey a sense of sky and soil (not to mention the occasional circus or parade) that immediately calls to mind Aaron Copland, Bill Frisell, late-1950s Jimmy Giuffre, and maybe Brian Blade’s Landmarks and Charles Ives. It’s proof, if any be needed, that the same music can be both folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous. (Also my choice as 2014’s best debut album.)
— Francis Davis, NPR Music
One of the more remarkable albums to cross my path this spring....an impressive feat from almost any angle...Take note of these players. You’ll be hearing more from them soon.
— Nate Chinen, Jazz Times
A beautiful take on what the future sounds like.
— Revive Music
It is that rare combination of approachable and unusual that can challenge listeners who want to be challenged and entertain those who don’t.
— NYC Jazz Record



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