Anthony Branker is crafting some of today's finest compositions
The music of composer and Origin Records recording artist Anthony Branker stands firmly on jazz traditions while simultaneously pushing the boundaries in bold and beautiful new directions. Over the years, Branker has led two jazz collectives (Anthony Branker & Ascent and Anthony Branker & Word Play) and has seven releases in his fast growing and musically rich discography as a composer that include The Forward (Towards Equality) Suite (Origin, 2014), Uppity (Origin, 2013), Together (Origin, 2012), Dialogic (Origin, 2011), Dance Music (Origin, 2010), Blessings (Origin, 2009), and Spirit Songs (Sons of Sound, 2006). These projects have featured such artists as David Binney, Ralph Bowen, Conrad Herwig, Jim Ridl, Kenny Davis, Donald Edwards, Renato Thoms, Alison Crockett, Mark Gross, Tia Fuller, Steve Wilson, Antonio Hart, Andy Hunter, Clifford Adams, Eli Asher, Jonny King, Bryan Carrott, John Benitez, Belden Bullock, Adam Cruz, Ralph Peterson Jr., Wilby Fletcher, Kadri Voorand, and Freddie Bryant.
Dr. Branker holds an endowed chair in jazz studies and is director of the Program in Jazz Studies at Princeton University, where he directs an extensive list of ensembles and teaches courses in jazz theory through improvisation & composition, jazz performance practice in historical and cultural context, jazz composition, evolution of jazz styles, and the improvising ensemble. He has served as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in Tallinn, Estonia and has been a member of the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts, Hunter College of the City University of New York, and Ursinus College. Dr. Branker was visiting composer at the Southern Danish Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Odense/Esbjerg, Denmark; Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, Germany; and the Estonian Academy of Music & Theatre.
As a composer, Dr. Branker has received composition prizes, commissions, served as composer-in-residence, and has had his music featured in performance in Italy, Denmark, Finland, Australia, France, Germany, China, Russia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Japan; as well as in performance at such venues as the Iridium Jazz Club, Sweet Basil Jazz Club, The Five Spot, Symphony Space, the Fez under the Time Café, Trumpets Jazz Club, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture. His works have also been performed and/or recorded by Steve Nelson, Stanley Jordan, Talib Kibwe, Victor Lewis, Eddie Henderson, Curtis Lundy, James Weidman, Steve Kroon, Rick Margitza, Jann Parker, and the Spirit of Life Ensemble featuring such guest soloists as Kenny Barron, Winard Harper, John Hicks, Valery Ponomarev, Joe Ford, Cecil Brooks III, Onaje Allen Gumbs, and Alex Blake.