Primary Instrument: Viola
Judith Insell, a New York native, has been an active member of the New York jazz scene since the mid nineties. Ms. Insell is on a personal mission: spreading the word that the Viola can play any style of music! Lee Konitz, Greg Osby, Steve Coleman, Antonio Hart, and Miguel Zenon are just a few of the many jazz greats with whom Ms. Insell has had the pleasure of performing and recording. She has recently been performing throughout the eastern United States with the chamber jazz string group Sojourner. As a founding member of Sojourner, Ms. Insell has not only explored self expression through improvisation, she has also ventured into the realm of composition with the title track of the group's new CD Journey and arranging such standards as Thelonious Monk's I Mean You.
Her debut CD, Dark Wood Explorations, a duo project with acclaimed jazz bassist Joe Fonda, was released in September 2008.
Ms. Insell has also had an active career on the pop music scene performing and recording with artists Beyonce Knowles, India.Arie, Jessica Simpson, and Joe. As a member of the Soldier String Quartet, she was on an extensive world tour with rock legend John Cale throughout the nineties.
Judith attended the Manhattan School of Music where she was classically trained: receiving both her Undergraduate and Masters degrees. She has performed with the New Jersey Symphony, the National Chorale Orchestra and is currently a member of the Greenwich Symphony. She has also performed on Broadway in the orchestras for Gypsy, Ms. Saigon, Tommy, Carousel, and Kiss of the Spider Woman.
She is the former Director of the String Program at The Collegiate School, The Juilliard School-MAP Program and The Bloomingdale School of Music and has just completed a 1-year association with Education Through Music, as a Teaching Artist.
Ms. Insell has also been a contributing writer for All About Jazz since January 2006. She is currently working on a series of interviews focused on the improvising string community of the NYC area, to be published at All About Jazz.