Bassoonist Dana Jessen (b. 1983) is a versatile musician with a concentration in contemporary and improvised music. Focused on expanding the role of the bassoon outside traditional settings, Dana has collaborated with composers, improvisers, visual artists, poets, filmmakers and chamber musicians around the world. Her strong ambitions to explore jazz and creative improvisation have led to performances with the Bik Bent Braam Ensemble, guitarist Joe Morris, reed players Michael Moore and Frank Gratkowski, and the Braam/de Joode/Vatcher Trio. She has performed at concert venues and music festivals throughout the United States and Europe including New York City’s The Stone, Berlin's Universität der Künste, Boston's Jordan Hall, Baltimore's Contemporary Museum, Amsterdam's World Minimal Music Festival, and the U.K.'s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
Dana's ongoing exploration and experimentation of new sound possibilities developed into a deep interest in composition. She has written acoustic and electroacoustic music, with a common element of improvisation. Her recent compositions, Storm Scenes for two soprano saxophones and sound samples and In Flux for bassoon, soprano saxophone and sound samples, include an electronic component that she created by recording her own sounds and layering them into an atmospheric backdrop. Playing the role of composer- performer, Dana continues to explore new performance techniques as a bassoonist while creating adventurous new ways to communicate with audiences through composition.