As many of you know, I am a composer who is passionate about producing music that crosses boundaries between contemporary classical, jazz, rock, and hip hop. I write music for big band, opera, large ensemble, small ensemble, dancers and artists. I have enjoyed so many wonderful opportunities along the way collaborating with talented musicians and artists from diverse musical and artistic backgrounds.
I was raised in Northern NY and became a classically-trained performer focusing on violin, French horn, piano, and voice. As an undergraduate at Cornell University, I began pursuing composition. This project will encompass and enhance my composition of the music, and my performance as a vocalist.
My passion to bring musicians from various backgrounds together started with musical relationships created with friends and colleagues back when I was studying at Eastman School of Music. In 2009, The New Jazz Ensemble Director Dave Rivello approached me about writing a piece for his ensemble, and I was inspired and encouraged to take pieces that I wrote for a classical ensemble and create alternate versions. I was hooked; creating music that incorporates improvisation with my style of music was exactly what I wanted to do artistically. I experimented with different styles and instrumentation, and continued on an exciting path collaborating with musicians who were equally enthusiastic with what I was doing.
This is an mp3 of a recording from a performance of a piece originally written for jazz players, then arranged to combine both jazz and classical: jazz trumpet, string quartet, vibraphone, piano, bass, and drums. Jazz trumpet player Mike Kaupa approached me about writing this piece for him and his colleagues at Eastman School of Music in 2012. This piece is titled “Out of the Shadows”:
Currently residing in Las Vegas, while teaching at UNLV, I have another opportunity for my growth as an artist; sharing ideas and collaborating with and getting to know the musicians. Last May, in a discussion with a fellow composer, I was introduced to the short story by Charles Baudelaire titled, “The Generous Gambler”, and encouraged to create a concept album based loosely off the story. While envisioning what my own concept album would be, I re-listened to some influences of mine such as Wax Tailor and Pink Floyd. I revised older pieces, composed new ones, and incorporated compositions like “Out of the Shadows”. The album will be a tour through different levels of her own faults and desires. This is a recording from the first rehearsal of “Familiar Stranger” involving UNLV musicians.
This summer was spent composing and planning out how, when and where I will record. I will be using both the UNLV and Eastman studios to record. After rehearsals , December 4-6 will be the days I will record with UNLV musicians. Over winter break I will be traveling to Rochester, NY in order to record with Eastman musicians the pieces that involve jazz improvisation. The pieces have varied instrumentation, ranging from smaller ensemble pieces featuring soprano, piano, electric guitar and bass, to larger ones that feature voice, string quartet, woodwinds, percussion and a rapper.
Creating an album has been a longtime dream of mine, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share and create my music with such wonderful musicians here in Las Vegas and in Rochester, NY. In order to complete this album, I need to make sure that I have the necessary funding for: time in the recording studios, mixing, and fair compensation for the talented performers taking time to prepare and record my music.
Please help me in making my dream a reality by contributing in any way you are able, whether it be by donation or sharing with your friends on social media.
Please visit this link for more details on how to support my album!
Click here to view Jennifer Bellor’s Indiegogo Campaign