Steve Lehman

“The most exciting music in jazz today.”
– Wall Street Journal

“One of the transforming figures of early 21st-century jazz.”
– The Guardian

“2014's most robust and eventful music”
– NPR Music

“A quietly dazzling saxophonist”
– New York Times

“Music of genuinely visionary importance, a way forward for the art.”
– Penguin Guide to Jazz

“The most advanced compositional thinking in jazz today.”
– Philadelphia Weekly

“A quite extraordinary musician”
– The BBC

Described as “a state-of-the-art musical thinker” and a “dazzling saxophonist,” by The New York Times, Steve Lehman (b. New York City, 1978) is a composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across a broad spectrum of experimental musical idioms. Lehman’s pieces for large orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), So Percussion, the American Composers Orchestra, the JACK Quartet, the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, and the Talea Ensemble. His recent recording, Mise en Abîme (Pi, 2014) was called the #1 Jazz Album of the year by NPR Music and The Los Angeles Times. And his previous recording, Travail, Transformation & Flow (Pi, 2009), was chosen as the #1 Jazz Album of the year by The New York Times.

The recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, Lehman is an alto saxophonist who has performed and recorded nationally and internationally with his own ensembles and with those led by Anthony Braxton, Vijay Iyer, Bennie Maupin, Jason Moran, Georgia-Anne Muldrow, George Lewis, Meshell Ndegeocello, and HPrizm of Antipop Consortium, among many others. His recent electro-acoustic music has focused on the development of computer-driven models for improvisation, based in the Max/MSP programming environment. Lehman’s work has been favorably reviewed in Artforum, Downbeat Magazine, The New York Times, Newsweek, and The Wire, and on National Public Radio, the BBC, and SWR.

As a Fulbright scholar in France during the 2002-2003 academic year, Lehman began researching the reception of African-American experimental composers working in France during the 1970s. His article in the journal Critical Studies in Improvisation, “I Love You with an Asterisk: African-American Experimental Composers and the French Jazz Press, 1970-1980,” is based on his Fulbright research. More recently, Lehman has published writings and presented lectures on a wide range of topics, including jazz pedagogy, rhythm cognition, and European notions of American experimentalism. His current scholarship, including a forthcoming contribution to the Oxford Handbook of Spectral Music, examines the overlapping histories of spectral composition and jazz improvisation.

Lehman received his B.A. (2000) and M.A. in Composition (2002) from Wesleyan University where he studied under Anthony Braxton, Jay Hoggard, and Alvin Lucier, while concurrently working with Jackie McLean at the Hartt School of Music. He received his doctorate with distinction in Music Composition from Columbia University (2012), where his principal teachers included Tristan Murail and George Lewis.

Lehman has taught undergraduate courses at Wesleyan University, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, New School University, and Columbia University, and has presented lectures at Amherst College, UC Berkeley, The Berklee School of Music, The Banff Centre, The Royal Academy of Music in London, and IRCAM in Paris, where he was a 2011 research fellow.

He is currently a professor of Music at The California Institute of the Arts, and lives in Los Angeles.

Tour Dates & Avails

Tigran Hamasyan Fall/Winter

April 30, 2020 Lawrence University
Appleton, WI, USA

Theo Croker 'Star People Nation' Fall/Winter

September 14, 2019 Lodge Room
Los Angeles, CA, USA
September 16, 2019 Springfield Technical Community College
Springfield, MA, USA
September 20, 2019 – September 21, 2019 Blue LLama
Ann Arbor, MI, USA
September 23, 2019 Dizzy's Club (Big Brother Big Band)
New York, NY, USA
October 22, 2019 CBE
Cologne, Germany
October 27, 2019 Grillo Theater
Essen, Germany
November 1, 2019 The Loft, UCSD
San Diego, CA, USA

Gerald Clayton Quartet US Tour

September 23, 2019 – September 24, 2019 Lied Center (Solo)
Lawrence, AZ, USA
September 27, 2019 Monterey Jazz Festival
Monterey, AZ, USA
September 28, 2019 – September 29, 2019 Moss Theatre
Los Angeles, AZ, USA
October 1, 2019 Musical Instrument Museum
Phoenix, AZ, USA
October 3, 2019 The Outpost
Albuquerque, NM, USA
October 4, 2019 Santa Fe Music Collective
Santa Fe, NM, USA
October 6, 2019 Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society
Half Moon Bay, CA, USA
October 7, 2019 University of Nevada
Reno, NV, USA
October 8, 2019 The Triple Door
Seattle, WA, USA
October 10, 2019 – October 13, 2019 Jazz Standard
New York, NY, USA
October 19, 2019 Nashville Jazz Workshop
Nashville, TN, USA
November 20, 2019 Herb Alpert Music Center (Solo)
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Yosvany Terry Quartet Spring Tour

March 29, 2019 Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY, USA
April 28, 2019 Arlington Jazz Festival (Quintet)
Arlington, MA, USA

Buika Summer

June 29, 2019 Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Katonah, NY, USA
June 30, 2019 SummerStage
New York, NY, USA
August 1, 2019 Patio Theater
Chicago, IL, USA
August 3, 2019 Newport Jazz Festival
Newport, RI, USA

Roosevelt Collier Spring/Summer

June 21, 2019 – June 22, 2019 Jazz Bistro
St. Louis, MO, USA
June 23, 2019 Avondale Music Hall
Chicago, IL, USA
June 25, 2019 – June 26, 2019 Rochester Jazz Festival
Rochester, NY, USA
June 29, 2019 Pearl Street Warehouse
Washington, DC, USA

JD Allen

April 2, 2019 – April 3, 2019 Jazz Standard
New York, NY, USA
July 10, 2019 Unterfahrt, Munich, Germany
Munich, Germany
July 12, 2019 Duc des Lombards
Paris, France
July 13, 2019 North Sea Jazz Festival
Rotterdam, Netherlands
January 25, 2020 Jefferson Center
Roanoke , VA, USA

New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

April 13, 2019 Exit Zero Jazz Festival (NOJO 7)
Cape May, NJ, USA
April 28, 2019 New Orleans Jazz Festival
New Orleans, LA, USA
May 8, 2019 – May 11, 2019 St. Lucia Jazz Festival
Pidgeon Island, Saint Lucia
September 1, 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival
Detroit, MI, USA
December 13, 2019 – December 14, 2019 JALC with René Marie
New York, NY, USA

Richard Bona Spring/Summer

May 25, 2019 Atlanta Jazz Festival
Atlanta, GA, USA
June 22, 2019 Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Aspen, CO, USA

Marcus Lewis Big Band

September 3, 2019 Des Moines Jazz Festival
Des Moines, IA, USA

Maurice 'Mobetta' Brown & Soul'd Out Spring/Summer

March 28, 2019 – March 30, 2019 Black Cat
San Francisco, CA, USA
April 28, 2019 New Orleans Jazz Fest
New Orleans, LA, USA
May 10, 2019 Spokane Falls Community College
Spokane Falls, WA, USA
June 27, 2019 Duck Down BBQ
Brooklyn, NY, USA

KNOWER + Louis Cole Spring/Summer

March 29, 2019 – March 30, 2019 Cape Town International Jazz Festival
Cape Town, South Africa
June 30, 2019 La Tristienda
Buenos Aires, Argentina
July 3, 2019 Teatro NESCAFÉ de las Artes
Santiago, Chile

Steve Lehman Trio “The People I Love” Album Release Tour

September 17, 2019 – September 18, 2019 The Blue Whale
Los Angeles, CA, USA
September 19, 2019 Kuumbwa
Santa Cruz, CA, USA
September 20, 2019 SFJAZZ Center
San Francisco, CA, USA
September 21, 2019 Constellations
Chicago, IL, USA
September 24, 2019 – September 25, 2019 Jazz Standard
New York, NY, USA

Sullivan Fortner Trio Fall/Winter

September 14, 2019 – September 16, 2019 AVAIL USA
September 23, 2019 – September 24, 2019 Boise Jazz Society
Boise, ID, USA
October 3, 2019 – October 6, 2019 Jazz Standard
New York, NY, USA
December 18, 2019 – December 19, 2019 Paris Philharmonie
Paris, France

Camila Meza & The Nectar Orchestra

August 4, 2019 Newport Jazz Festival
Newport, RI, USA
September 14, 2019 Lake George Jazz Festival
Lake George, NY, USA
September 28, 2019 Tempe Arts Center
Tempe, AZ, USA
October 12, 2019 Mondriaan Jazz Festival
The Hague, Netherlands
November 8, 2019 SFJAZZ
San Francisco, CA, USA
November 15, 2019 – November 16, 2019 Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Theo Croker 'Star People Nation' Spring/Summer

April 3, 2019 Just Jazz Series
Los Angeles, CA, USA
April 17, 2019 Soul'd Out Music Festival
Portland , OR, USA
May 8, 2019 The Django (Big Brother Big Band)
New York, NY, USA
May 9, 2019 Virginia Arts Festival
Norfolk, VA, USA
May 10, 2019 BlackRock Center for the Arts
Germantown, MD, USA
May 11, 2019 THEARC
Washington, DC, USA
May 22, 2019 – May 26, 2019 Black Cat
San Francisco, CA, USA
June 13, 2019 – June 16, 2019 Jazz Standard
New York, NY, USA

Marcus Strickland Twi-Life

March 6, 2019 Lodge Room
Los Angeles, CA, USA
March 7, 2019 – March 10, 2019 The Jewell
Omaha, NE, USA
March 23, 2019 Scullers
Boston, MA, USA
May 25, 2019 Atlanta Jazz Festival
Atlanta, GA, USA
May 27, 2019 Blue Note
New York, NY, USA
August 4, 2019 Newport Jazz Festival
Newport, RI, USA

Joel Ross 'Good Vibes' 'Kingmaker' Release Tour

May 22, 2019 Roulette
Brooklyn, NY, USA
May 25, 2019 Atlanta Jazz Festival
Atlanta, GA, USA
May 28, 2019 Blues Alley
Washington, DC, USA
June 4, 2019 – June 5, 2019 Jazz Standard
New York, NY, USA
June 6, 2019 Scullers Jazz Club
Boston, MA, USA
July 10, 2019 – July 11, 2019 Pizza Express
London, United Kingdom
July 14, 2019 North Sea Jazz Festival
Rotterdam, Netherlands
July 16, 2019 – July 17, 2019 Umbria Jazz Festival
Umbria, Italy
July 19, 2019 Plaza de Europa
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
July 20, 2019 Plaza de Santa Ana
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
August 3, 2019 Newport Jazz Festival
Newport, RI, USA
August 30, 2019 Chicago Jazz Festival
Chicago, IL, USA
November 21, 2019 Annenberg Center
Philadelphia, MA, USA

Sullivan Fortner Trio Spring/Summer

June 28, 2019 – June 29, 2019 Rochester Jazz Festival
Rochester, NY, USA
July 2, 2019 Skidmore Jazz Institute
Skidmore, NY, USA
July 28, 2019 Woods Hole Jazz (Solo Piano)
Falmouth, MA, USA


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