Born: 1959 Primary Instrument: Bass
Bassist/composer Drew Gress performs extensively with artists on the cutting edge of contemporary improvised music. His latest project as a leader, 7 BLACK BUTTERFLIES (Premonition Records), features 9 of Drew¹s newest original compositions and will be released in MAY 2005. This is the follow up to 2001's SPIN & DRIFT, which received widespread critical acclaim and also featured Drew's pedal-steel guitar playing. He also leads the quartet Jagged Sky; their debut recording, HEYDAY(Soul Note) was released in 1998 and is now considered somewhat of an underground classic. Previously, he was a founding member of the cooperative quartet Joint Venture, producing three albums in the early 1990s for Enja: Joint Venture, Ways, and Mirrors.
When Drew is not leading his own ensembles, he can be heard within those of Ralph Alessi, Tim Berne, Don Byron, Uri Caine, Bill Carrothers, Ravi Coltrane, Marc Copland, Fred Hersch, John Hollenbeck, Andy Laster, Tony Malaby, Mat Maneri, Simon Nabatov, Ben Perowsky, and Tim Ziesmer.
(In a previous musical life, he grounded the performances of Buddy Hackett, Phyllis Diller, Zoot Sims, Cab Calloway, and yes...Pia Zadora).
Drew has toured North, South, and Central America, Europe, and Asia, and has served as Artist-in-Residence at St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia and at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The Gaurdian selected a concert given by his Spin & Drift quartet as London's Best Jazz Concert for 2002, and in the same year he received a SESAC Composer's Award; this in addition to previous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Meet the Composer. He currently resides in New York.