"For me, finding the essential energy of what I want to express, and attuning carefully to the means to create it, is the most important thing I can do as a composer. If we are connected with ourselves, tones can resonate in different parts of our bodies, harmonies can either swoop us into the clouds or hold us safely to the ground, and rhythm can shift us through a spectrum between chaos and peace. In a way, it’s an act of connecting deeply within self through this sound energy, and then sharing it out with the world. I also strive for honesty and openness in my music, expressing feelings and experiences that are sometimes seen as taboo and scary to share."
Erica Seguine is a composer, arranger, conductor, pianist, and educator living in the NYC area. In 2011 she co-founded, with composer Shan Baker, their 21-musician ensemble, the Erica Seguine/Shan Baker Jazz Orchestra (ESSBJO.) Since then, they have performed over forty times around NYC, including the Jazz Gallery, ShapeShifter Lab, Tea Lounge/Slope Lounge, Grace Church, and a monthly residency for one year in Montclair, NJ. In 2017, New York Music Daily has said “In terms of majestic sweep, cinematic scope, and clever outside-of-the-box humor, it’s hard to think of a more interesting group in big band jazz...” They were also written about in a 2019 New York Times article by Giovanni Russonello about the current big band scene. In August 2019, the orchestra went into Oktaven Audio to record their debut album, with Darcy James Argue producing and Brian Montgomery engineering. It is expected to be released in 2020.
In addition to writing for and conducting the jazz orchestra, Erica is also the resident conductor and one of the resident composers of the Meetinghouse Jazz Orchestra, a big band that rehearses new music by emerging composers, as well as traditional big band repertoire, weekly in the city and puts on a few concerts annually. She is also a conductor with The D.O.M.E. Experience, a multimedia experience with dance, film, and studio orchestra, and has also conducted performances with Remy LeBoeuf’s Assembly of Shadows, Meg Okura, and PJ Rasmussen’s Boardwalk Big Band.
Erica’s compositions/arrangements have also been performed by many other ensembles, including the Metropole Orchestra (The Netherlands), the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, (Los Angeles) the Brilliant Corners Large Ensemble (Japan), the J-Orchestra (NYC), the Millenium Jazz Orchestra (The Netherlands), the Zurich Jazz Orchestra (Switzerland), PJ Rasmussen’s Boardwalk Big Band (NYC), Greg Ruvolo’s Big Band (NYC), and many college ensembles. She received the 2013 BMI Foundation Charlie Parker Prize/2014 Manny Albam Commission for “The Ravine”/”...And the Tire Swing Keeps Spinning...”, three ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards, the 2014 ASCAP Foundation Johnny Mandel Prize for “Reel No. 1”, three ASCAP Plus Awards, and was one of 8 selected internationally to be part of the 2012 Metropole Orchestra Arranger’s Workshop under Vince Mendoza, with Kurt Elling as soloist.
Erica has been blessed to study under many inspiring teachers. She graduated with a BM in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media- writing concentration from the Eastman School of Music in 2009, studying composing/arranging under Bill Dobbins and piano under Harold Danko and Tony Caramia. She continued her studies at William Paterson University, receiving an MM in Jazz Arranging in 2011, and studied composing/arranging with Jim McNeely and Rich DeRosa. She was also a member of the long-standing BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. Erica loves to champion new music, particularly in the big band scene, and passes her knowledge on to her own composition and piano students, teaching private lessons as well as being a Women In Jazz Organization (WIJO) mentor.