“Jessica Lurie is considered one of the most exciting interpreters of music today, pushing stylistic barriers not simply to ramble from one genre to another, but to construct new musical landscapes, to daydream with an extreme sense of purpose.” – *Giuseppe Segala, All About Jazz* *Italy*
“Playing saxophone and accordion as well as vocalizing, Jessica Lurie wears many hats in this adventurous but melodic group.”—Nate Chinen, New York Times
“… a terrific sound-scape, songs and music composed and performed by Jessica Lurie … suggestive of a Balkan John Coltrane or klezmerized Sonny Rollins.”—off-off blogway
Seattle and Brooklyn-based Jessica Lurie is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser, performing on saxophones, flute, voice, accordion and electronics. Influenced by her parent’s love of classical, jazz, broadway and Americana, combined with having come up in the diverse Seattle music scene of the ‘90s on, she calls on a wide range of musical influences, including, funk, jazz, Americana, gospel, Klezmer, Balkan, Latin, and Afro-Cuban music, as well as a great love for free improvisation.
Jessica released her newest recording “LONG HAUL” in early 2018, featuring Jessica on saxophones and flutes, Todd Sickafoose on bass, Allison Miller on drums, Mike Gamble on guitar, Brian Marsalla on piano and special guest Naomi Seigel on trombone.
She has received critical acclaim from Downbeat, Emusic, Jazz Times, All About Jazz and more. Known for “melding lyrical pop, stinging rock, rhythmic Eastern European folk music and improvisation-heavy jazz with a dose of free-wheeling avant-groove-meets-grind” (Dan Oulette), she has performed at festivals, universities, clubs, social centers and workshops in the US, Canada and Europe. Current projects include The Jessica Lurie Ensemble; Tiptons Saxophone Quartet & Drums; Living Daylights Trio; Bill Horist / Jessica Lurie Duo; Sephardic Sofie Salonika with Katie Down; Jewish Afro-beat band Zion80; experimental Far Cry Flutes and Seattle based improvising ensembles Slingshot Songs and Full Fathom Five +, featuring Skerik, Kate Olson, Naomi Seigel, Evan Flory-Barnes and D’vonne Lewis.
As a leader, side-person, composer and collaborator, Jessica is featured on over 60 recordings. She composes for multi-media, dance, theater and film, and has collaborated on over 30 multi-media works with visual artist Danijel Zezelj, theater companies Great Small Works and Circus Amok. Collaborations with international artists include Fred Frith, Billy Martin, Skerik, John Zorn, Cyro Baptista, OU, Todd Sickafoose, David Krakauer, Bill Frisell, Jenny Scheinman, Chris Cochrane, Bill Horist, Robert Dick, Jamie Baum, Joe Dorias’s McTuff, Chuck D, The Indigo Girls, Mark Ribot, Eyvind Kang, Karl Denson, Frank London, Allison Miller, Vinicio Caposella, Nels Cline, Amy Denio, Jacob Fred Jazz Odessy, Kenny Wolleson, Sleater Kinney, Bernie Worrell and Ivan Neville among others.
Highlight appearances include the NYC Winter Jazz Fest, Vienna Klezmore Festival, SXSW, Motovun International Film Festival, Athens Babel Arts Festival, Earwing No Jazz, JVC Jazz Festival, CMJ, High Sierra Music Festival, Canadian Music Festival, Bumbershoot International Music Festival and the Seattle Earshot Jazz Festival. Her music has been reviewed and acclaimed in All About Jazz (NY and Italy), Jazziz, Jazz Times, Downbeat, Chicago Jazz Magazine, The New Yorker, Jambase and the International Review of Music.
In 2000, Lurie started her own label, Zipa! Music, and has released 8 recordings as well as being a part of over 35 recordings. In 2006 Jessica was awarded a Sundance Music Institute Fellowship for film composition, and her work as a composer has been supported by national and international granting organizations, and she is featured in the new jazz documentary Icons Among Us (2009). Jessica is currently teaching saxophone, flute and voice, as well as composition and improvisation.