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Steven Lugerner

A Bay Area transplant to the NYC scene, multi-reedist Steven Lugerner maintains an active bi-costal performance schedule - as both a leader and sidemen. Since his relocation to New York City, Lugerner has fostered contacts, study and collaboration with such artists as: Grammy nominated pianist Fred Hersch; soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom; flutist/composer Jamie Baum; trumpeter Ralph Alessi; pianist Myra Melford; percussionist Matt Wilson; percussionist/composer John Hollenbeck, bassist John Hebert, pianist Jason Moran, trumpeter Darren Johnston; saxophonist Dayna Stephens & SFJAZZ Collective member Miguel Zenon. He is a skilled and diversified woodwind doubler on saxophone, bass clarinet, Bb clarinet, oboe, english horn, flute and alto flute. As a sideman & leader, Lugerner has had the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall, The SFJAZZ Festival, Dizzy’s Coca-Cola Club, Smalls Jazz Club, Cornelia St. Cafe, Le Poisson Rouge, The Red Poppy Art House, The Jazzschool and Yoshi’s Oakland.

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“The seven pieces on These Are the Words are based on verses from the Torah and draw their “intervallic relationships … time signatures, and tempo markings,” as well as their melodies, harmonies, and improvisational gambits, from his application of an ancient practice known as Gematria, “a method favored by medieval Kabbalists” involving assigning numerical values to Hebrew letters. I hope being told this doesn’t give the impression that Lugerner’s music is arcane and emotionally impenetrable, because nothing could be further from the truth… What counts is how the results fall on the ear, and in Lugerner’s case, this means a textured, nearly seamless blend of composition and improvisation of the sort that die-hard jazzists might complain is really modern chamber music… Lugerner here and elsewhere achieves orchestral color by assigning his horn and Johnston’s a role usually given to bass, and along with the free rein he allows his fellow improvisers (the wonderful Melford, in particular), pieces that might have sounded rigid and schematic come across as spontaneous and engaging.” -Francis Davis (The Village Voice) on These Are The Words

“Multi-Reedist Steven Lugerner leads his septet featured on one half of his recent double-CD release (the half titled Narratives, to be exact), showing off his songful, cinematic midsize-ensemble works.” - Time Out New York on Narratives

 “Two discs, two different bands playing two different sets of compositions, and hardly a note is wasted

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