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Jaimie Branch

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American avant-garde trumpeter Jaimie Branch is a forward-thinking performer with a style steeped in free jazz and modern creative improvisation.
In addition to releasing her own albums, she is an in-demand session and touring musician in several genres. She has played with several bands including Bullet Hell, Galactic Unity Ensemble, Keefe Jackson's Project Project, and New Fracture Quartet, and has also appeared with Spoon, TV on the Radio, and Belle Orchestre. She began recording under her own name with 2017's acclaimed Fly or Die and followed it up with Fly or Die II: Bird Dogs of Paradise two years later.
Born on Long Island and raised in Wilmette, Illinois, Branch took piano lessons growing up before picking up the trumpet in elementary school. By her teens, she was studying improvisation and playing in her high school jazz band. She also started trying to get into local jazz shows at clubs like Lounge Ax and the Velvet Lounge. After high school, she earned her undergraduate music degree at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, studying under luminaries like John McNeil, Joe Morris, and Steve Lacy. She also spent a semester living in Chicago where she gained valuable experience performing with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm's Lightbox Orchestra. After graduating NEC in 2007, Branch returned to Chicago where she began playing regularly with artists like Keefe Jackson, Jason Ajemian, and Tim Daisy, as well as her own Princess Princess collective with bassist Toby Summerfield and drummer Frank Rosaly. She also caught the ear of trumpeter Dave Douglas, who invited her to perform at his Festival of New Trumpet Music in New York City.
Over the next several years, Branch moved around, living in Chesterhill, Ohio on an arts residency, and spending two years pursuing her graduate degree at Baltimore's Towson University before relocating to New York in 2015. During this period, she also struggled with heroin addiction, a dependency for which she sought treatment. Settling in Brooklyn, she quickly established herself, playing shows with her own groups and curating shows at local clubs. In 2017, she delivered her full-length debut album, Fly or Die, which also featured bassist Jason Ajemian, cellist Tomeka Reid, and drummer Chad Taylor, as well as a guest appearance by cornetist Josh Berman. In August of 2019, she collaborated with flutist Anne La Berge and violist Ig Henneman on the collaborative album Dropping Stuff and Other Folk Songs on Relative Pitch and issued Fly or Die II: Bird Dogs of Paradise with Ajemian, Taylor, and cellist Lester St. Louis for International Anthem in October. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi

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