October 20th, 2021 9pm Stage 2
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Michigan native Stratøs is a saxophonist, composer, producer, and film photographer whose presence in the modern jazz scene is rapidly growing. His improvisational style is rooted heavily in the subtle melodicism of the cool jazz tradition and extends to the bold, complex nature of the modern electronic jazz scene. His compositions explore a combination of elements between jazz and other styles such as hip-hop, metal, electronica and classical. His recent works include The Archangel Suite, a four-movement collection written for electronic jazz ensemble and accompanied by live visual projections, and "Obsidian Galaxy," a collaboration project between the Western Michigan University Advanced Jazz Ensemble and electronic composer Dr. Christopher Biggs. In 2019, he won the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award for this piece. He went on to win the same award in 2020 for his piece “Nexus” as well as the ASCAP foundation’s Johnny Mandel Prize. In 2021, Stratøs received the Herb Alpert award a third time for his piece “I. Gate’s Opening,” and was also selected as a winner of the National Sawdust New Works Commission Contest. This prize awarded him with the opportunity to compose a piece for the renowned JACK Quartet.
In 2016, Stratøs founded “Lushh,” an electronic jazz ensemble that went on to win two awards for best collegiate blues/rock/pop ensemble from Downbeat Magazine. During its time, Lushh also opened for Grammy nominated saxophonist Boney James at the Kalamazoo State Theatre in April 2019.
Stratøs’ latest project, Planets, is a full length album entirely produced by the saxophonist which features the likes of Alekos Syropoulos (Mac Miller, Anderson .Paak, Vulfpeck), 2019 JUNO award nominee Andrew Rathbun, John Hébert (Fred Hersch, Maria Schneider), and renowned saxophonist/composer/producer David Binney (Donny McCaslin, Knower). The album is the amalgamation of the producer’s diverse musical identities. Reaching from the visceral, distorted sounds and grooves of the death metal world to the serene soundscapes akin to Hayao Miyazaki film scores, Planets seeks to connect a narrative throughline between these juxtaposing elements. The record is set to be released October 1st, 2021.