Saxophonist and composer Remy Le Boeuf was named the winner of the BMI Foundation’s 18th annual Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize and Manny Albam Commission at the 29th annual BMI Jazz Composers Workshop Concert, held on June 6, 2017, at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theatre in New York City. The award is presented annually for the best original work created in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, an internationally renowned forum for big band composition, and honors the memory of jazz icon Charlie Parker. Le Boeuf’s piece, Sibbian, was chosen as the winning work by a distinguished judging panel that included 2015 Charlie Parker Prize winner Miho Hazama and award-winning jazz musicians Chris Byars and Slide Hampton.
Included in the Prize is a $3,000 commission, named in honor of the Workshop’s late founder and longtime musical director Manny Albam, to write a new work for premiere at the following year’s showcase concert. Last year’s Prize winner Dan Block premiered his new piece, “Kompa-row,” during this year’s event. Le Boeuf, who was born in Santa Cruz, California and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, will premiere his commissioned piece at next year’s concert.
Le Boeuf envisions his approach to composition and improvisation as never veering far from the roots of language. He often employs literary elements to fuel his compositions, as in is his recent collaboration with Le Boeuf Brothers + JACK Quartet entitled imaginist. Le Boeuf is known for his unique blend of modern jazz, contemporary classical music, and indie-rock styles. After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music in 2009, Le Boeuf has gone on to perform as a member of the Grammy Award-winning Bob Mintzer Big Band, the Donny McCaslin Saxophone Quartet, and bands led by Linda Oh, Alexis Cuadrado, and Danya Stephens. In addition, he has received commissions and awards from SFJAZZ, Chamber Music America, The Jerome Foundation, National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, American Composers Forum, New York Youth Symphony, Keio University, BMI, and the ASCAP Foundation.
His latest album imaginist is a collaboration between Le Boeuf Brothers (co-led with twin, Pascal Le Boeuf) and JACK Quartet, one of New York’s premier string quartets devoted to contemporary classical music. The hybridized 9-piece chamber ensemble also features a collection of longtime collaborators including Grammy-nominated tenor saxophonist Ben Wendel, alternating bassists Ben Street and Martin Nevin, and alternating drummers Justin Brown and Peter Kronreif. The term "imaginist" refers to the early 20th century Russian poetry movement characterized by sequences of arresting images and long chains of metaphors. Imaginist is structured to unfold like a book – complete with a prologue and epilogue. The album includes a piece based on Franz Kafka's short story, "A Dream" narrated by actor Paul Whitworth, an exquisite corpse series based on the imaginist-esque collaborative poetry game in which a collection of words or images are collectively assembled, and "Alkaline" a hard-driving polyrhythmic mosaic.
Past projects include House Without A Door (2009) "an impressively self-assured new album, which reaches for the gleaming cosmopolitanism of our present era" (New York Times); In Praise of Shadows (2011), which "deftly blends elements of electronica with touches of indie rock and sophisticated jazz writing on this genre-defying project" (JazzTimes); and Remixed an "open-minded and masterfully crafted precursor of things to come" (All About Jazz) featuring remix collaborations with David Binney, Knower, Tim Lefebvre, and others.
About the BMI Foundation
The BMI Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1985 to encourage the creation, performance, and study of American music. The Foundation’s programs include competitive scholarships for songwriters and composers, operating grants for nonprofit arts presenters, and support for innovative music education initiatives in schools and communities across the country. For more information about the work of the Foundation, please visit our website at www.bmifoundation.org. For exclusive news and content, follow @bmifoundation on Twitter and Instagram, and like “BMI Foundation” on Facebook at facebook.com/bmifoundation.