Jessica Lurie is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser, exploring world-soul, folk, funk, electronic music and improvisation-heavy jazz and groove. She composes for several active ensembles, and composes for multi-media performances, dance, theater and film. She leads her own Ensemble and co-leads the all-female Tiptons Saxophone Quartet & Drums; jazz-funk trio Living Daylights; Sephardic music ensemble Sophie Salonika; Ethiopian jazz-inspired Freethiopiques; and collective improvisation groups Slingshot and Far Cry Flutes. She teaches privately, for NYC’s Center for Arts & Education, Musicworks and Jack Straw Productions, leading music awareness and creative workshops on improvising and composition in the US and Europe.
Jessica’s 2018 release Jessica Lurie Ensemble: Long Haul (Chant Records) made “best of 2018” lists (All About Jazz, Bird is the Worm, ZealNYC). She garnered recognition in the 2016 and 2017 Downbeat’s “Rising Star for Alto Sax” poll. Jessica has received of grant support for composition, performance and residencies from Sundance (Composers’ Fellowship program), the NEA, Meet The Composer, Soros Foundation, Artslink International, MidAtlantic Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Commission, Seattle Arts Commission, Pratt University, Great Small Works, Percussia Ensemble, and the Sound Symposium and Earshot Jazz Festivals.
She is featured on over 70 recordings as a leader and special guest, receiving critical acclaim for her work in Billboard, Downbeat, New York Times, eMusic, Jazz Times, All About Jazz, Seattle Stranger, LA Weekly, Earshot Jazz, as well as national and international radio features by NPR, Italian, Austrian, German, Croatian and Slovenian National Radio stations.
Performances / collaborations include international artists such as Taylor Mac, John Zorn, Devotchka, Helen Gillet, Fred Frith, Billy Martin, Mike Clark, Todd Sickafoose, Bill Frisell, Jenny Scheinman, Indigo Girls, Mark Ribot, Frank London, Allison Miller, Nels Cline, Kenny Wolleson, Bernie Worrell and Ivan Neville. Jessica collaborated on over 30 multi-media works with Croatian visual artist Danijel Zezelj, Great Small Works Theatre Co. and Circus Amok.
Jessica is often performing and collaborating in new Jewish music and performance scenes with Jewish band leaders Frank London, Michael Winograd, guitarist Yoshie Fruchter, Jon Madof’s critically acclaimed Zion80, and performances with NYC Lab/Shul. With co-leader Katie Down she explores new interpretations of Sephardic music in Sofie Salonika, and regularly composes for Yiddishist Jenny Romaine’s Sukkos Mob, Purim Schpiel, and Great Small Works “Muntergang” performances.
Jessica is currently working on a new music for her next recording, The Tides that Bind, using field recordings and exploring themes immigration and global environmental and social change.