March is National Women’s History Month! We’ll be sharing stories about some of the most accomplished women in jazz, both nationally and locally. We hope you enjoy this tribute to the women of jazz.
Like so many jazz greats, pianist Renee Rosnes has been in training since the tender age of three. Born in British Columbia in 1962, the young talent stuck with her classical studies, even when a high school band teacher tried to derail her with his passion for jazz. Although she went to the University of Toronto still studying classical performance, a 1985 grant awarded to Rosnes by Canada’s Council of the Arts was just what it took to get her to New York City and a broader musical vision.
It didn’t take long for Rosnes to find her way. In 1986 she was hired by saxophonist Joe Henderson to play in his quartet; in 1988 she joined Wayne Shorter’s band; in 1989 she went with trombonist JJ Johnson’s quintet; and then spent 20 years with James Moody’s quartet. Rosnes became the go-to pianist for many of the day’s most successful musicians. In addition, she was a founding member of the SF Jazz Collective, playing with an all-star octet, made four Japanese trio recordings, toured Europe in 2015 with Ron Carter’s Foursight Band, and made “Double Portrait” with her new husband in 2010.
Altogether, Rosnes has so far put out 14 albums, many of them receiving Juno Awards (Canada’s equivalent of the Grammys). In 2003, she was named SOCAN’s Composer of the Year.
Rosnes’ newest album, “Written on the Rocks, was released just a few months ago and has been receiving wide critical acclaim – as well as a lot of air time on KUVO. Featuring all original works, this album is the manifestation of Rosnes’ talent, musical experience, and deep love of jazz. New York Times critic Nate Chinen says “Written on the Rocks” is “richly mastered” and confirms Rosnes’ “stature not only as a first-rate pianist but also a thoughtful and lyrical composer.”
Sweet words for any musician. We invite you to tune in to KUVO and judge for yourself.
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