Born: November 20, 1985 Primary Instrument: Band/orchestra
The Marty Isenberg Big Band is a New York-based group that breathes new life into the tradition of independent big bands. Skillfully juggling styles, Marty Isenberg’s compositions have all the layered emotions of a symphonic composer with the gritty cleverness of an alternative rocker. The band was formed in 2006 by a frustrated undergraduate at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, whose dwindling composition program failed to offer him the performance opportunities he though were necessary in the development of a composer. Not rounding up the typical high profile players at the New School, Marty sought players who thought less rigidly about music, and would share his passion and vision for a large ensemble that played without boundaries. After a year of searching, the band was formed, not based on the instruments usually considered necessary for a ‘jazz big band,’ but instead on highlighting the individual personalities of the band members. Today the Marty Isenberg Big Band performs all over the New York scene at clubs like the Tea Lounge, the Bowery Poetry Club, Rehab (formerly Club Midway), and Arnold Hall. They’ve cut a demo at Excello Studios in Williamsburg, and are considering a digital distribution deal with Izzy Gold Records. They’ve begun working with a very talented established singer named Natalie John, and have built a sizeable repertoire of original compositions and arrangements of standards. Most importantly, they are heading toward the future with determination and an excitement that only comes from a commitment to uncompromised and uncompromising music.