New Jersey-born jazz drummer, pianist, composer, and educator Tyshawn Sorey is a MacArthur fellow who is an expressive performer and recording artists with an ear for modern creative acoustic jazz and expansive avant-garde classical works. He contrasts his gifts for manifested physicality with a keen ear and restrained approach for intimate spaces, and sparse, interconnected textures though his desire for noisy, frictional interaction is never far behind. He introduced his approach on his debut-leader offering, That/Not in 2007, and continued to hone it, alternately adding and subtracting elements with each new album, and performing longer works. With 2017's landmark Verisimilitude, he confused some critics by virtually erasing the lines between modern classical composition and jazz improvisation, while endearing himself to others. He is also an in-demand touring and studio collaborator for a number of well-known jazz innovators including Anthony Braxton, Marilyn Crispell, Roscoe Mitchell, and Vijay Iyer, to name a few.
Born in 1980 in Newark, Sorey holds an undergraduate degree from William Paterson University and a Master of Arts in composition from Wesleyan University. He has studied composition on the doctoral level at Columbia University and has taught at the School for Improvisational Music, the New School, and Wesleyan University.
As a solo artist, Sorey debuted in 2007 with That/Not, followed by Koan in 2009. He also collaborated on several trio albums with pianist Kris Davis and saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, including 2010's Paradoxical Frog. He has released several classical-leaning albums on Pi Recordings, including 2011's Oblique - I and 2014's Alloy. In 2015, he was awarded the Doris Duke Impact Award from the Doris Duke Foundation Performing Arts Awards. The following year he released his fifth album, The Inner Spectrum of Variables, which showcased his composition for piano trio and string trio. 2017's Verisimilitude saw Sorey continue to blur the boundaries between composition and improvisation. ~ Matt Collar