The Erica Seguine/Shannon Baker Jazz Orchestra: Pictures and Recordings
Seguine and Baker approached big band like a live oil painting. Colors were arranged by vibrancy and emotional content, not necessarily by section (high instruments with other high instruments, for example). The co-leaders took a controlled but liberalized approach to big band, where Bach, Dave Holland and the poetry of Rainier Marie Rilke are all fair game. (Dan Lehner, All About Jazz)
Elegant but shapeshifting original compositions and a quirky sense of humor (and a Bach tango), a pleasant change from your usual big band fare. (New York Music Daily)
The 18-musician Erica Seguine/Shannon Baker Jazz Orchestra seeks to create large, original musical landscapes based on a wide variety of experiences. Much of Seguine's music tends to explore the sensory realm by painting pictures of nature, inner states, and reinventing traditional styles through sound, while Baker's music leans more towards direct emotional intensity, interspersed with messages of light. Both composers, however, convey their message through mixing instrumental colors, textures, harmonies, and styles, while delivering a personal story to the listener.
The Orchestra is based in NYC and has performed in venues such as: ShapeShifter Lab (Brooklyn), Tea Lounge (Brooklyn), Somethin' Jazz Club (New York), Trumpets Jazz Club (Montclair, NJ), and the Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, NY. The Jazz Orchestra also held a monthly residency for a year at InsaniTea in Montclair, NJ, and has performed at various festivals in the New York area as well.
Check out some clips from our live performances!
Bach Adagio a la Tango (arr. by Erica Seguine). Tenor Saxophone solo played by Steve Kortyka. Performed live at ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, NY, April 30th, 2014.
The New Day Bends Light (composed by Shannon Baker). Alto Flugelhorn solo performed by Scott Reeves, also featuring Sonia Szajnberg on voice. Performed live at ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, NY, April 30th, 2014.
The Ravine (composed by Erica Seguine). Alto Saxophone solo played by Ben Kono. Performed live at ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, NY, April 30th, 2014.
B Flick (Ed Wood Goes to the Beach) (Shannon Baker) Caleb Curtis, Alto Saxophone. Live at the Tea Lounge, Brooklyn, NY
Phases of Water- Mvt. 1: Snow (Erica Seguine) Billy Test, Piano; Scott Reeves, Trombone. Live at InsaniTea, Montclair, NJ, January 7th, 2014.
You can find out about us by reading on, or you can Find_out_more_about_us_from_the_eyes_of_a_reviewer (review of Oct. 20th, 2011 concert by Dan Lehner of All About Jazz)
About Erica Seguine:
Erica Seguine, originally from Albany, NY, is a composer, arranger, pianist, and teacher in the New York City area. Composer/Arranger of 35 big band charts, her writing often paints pictures through instrumental color and tells a story. She was the winner of the 2013 ArtEZ International Composition Contest, the 2013 BMI Charlie Parker Composition Competition/Manny Albam Commission, and the 2014 ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Awards/Johnny Mandel Prize. In 2012, she was selected for the Metropole Orchestra's Arrangers Workshop, led by Vince Mendoza, where she had the opportunity to arrange "Time to Say Goodbye" for Kurt Elling and the orchestra.
In addition to her own co-led jazz orchestra, Seguine has been a guest composer with the Meetinghouse Jazz Orchestra for the 2014-2015 season, and her works/arrangements have also been performed by: The Metropole Orchestra, the Millenium Jazz Orchestra, New York Youth Symphony Jazz, the Zurich Jazz Orchestra, the BMI-NY Jazz Orchestra, and the Empire State Youth Jazz Ensemble, amongst others.
About Shannon Baker:
Composer, arranger, saxophonist/reed player Shannon Baker made the move from warm Tampa, FL to the New York City area in 2009. Since her move, she has performed in several different ensembles in the city while also writing inventive, original music for various instrumentations. Her compositions/arrangements have been performed by her co-lead jazz orchestra, Bernie Williams and the William Paterson Jazz Orchestra, and the University of North Florida’s top jazz ensemble. Baker graduated with a BM in Jazz Performance from the University of North Florida and earned an MM in Jazz Arranging from William Paterson University. Over the years, her teachers have included Jim McNeely, Bunky Green, Rich DeRosa, Laura Dwyer, and Rich Perry.