"music that's as pure in spirit as it is honest to the improviser's art." All About Jazz
"Chamber-like rapport" Nate Chinen WBGO
Draw[ing] on both the post-1970s Chicago and New York downtown scenes exploring the blues-based and alt. Rock as well as the free jazz aspects of the sounds coming from those highly significant jazz niches.” Jazzwise
Often the label experimental is used to denote a sound that defies convention or category. And maybe that word is too small to capture what is going on with No One Is Any One. DownBeat
Pretty irresistible after a few listens Jazzwise
the collective process is stunning on this recording All About Jazz
The group's collective improvisational spirit is effortless JazzTimes
The Brooklyn, NY based collaborative trio Ember (previously Curtis+Garabedian+Sperrazza) finds itself at the crossroads of musical and personal exploration resulting in true band-hood and non-hierarchical playing. Each of the members - Caleb Wheeler Curtis (alto saxophone, trumpet), Noah Garabedian (bass), and Vinnie Sperrazza (drums) - are integral parts of the NY creative music community as leaders, collaborators and instigators. The music in this trio is organized but open and expressive. Their music opens up the true freedom of improvisation, exploration, and creativity.
Their latest release, "No One Is Any One" with Orrin Evans on piano, is available everywhere now from Sunnyside Records.
Brooklyn, NY based saxophonist and multi instrumentalist Caleb Wheeler Curtis “lives at the junction of rigorous preparation and willingness to explore.” (Jazz Speaks) He appears on two GRAMMY Nominated albums by Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band. His playing and compositions are informed by a constant searching, at times introspective, brash and melodic. In addition to band-leading, Caleb is a core member of Walking Distance (Sunnyside Records), Orrin Evans & The Captain Black Big Band (Smoke Sessions Records), Josh Lawrence & Triptych (Posi-Tone Records), Ember (Curtis+Garabedian+Sperrazza) (Sunnyside Records), and the Fat Cat Big Band. His latest album, Ain't No Storm, was released on March 17th on Imani Records. Caleb is a 2021 MacDowell Fellow and records for Imani Records.
Legendary pianist Mulgrew Miller said “Caleb has a wonderful, singing, projecting sound. To me, that's the ultimate for a horn player.” His album Brothers (produced by Orrin Evans and featuring Josh Lawrence, Eric Revis, Luques Curtis, Mark Whitfield Jr. and Seamus Blake) was released in 2018 on Imani Records. All About Jazz said the music was “sharp-witted, bracing, and, at times, wonderfully brash.” Neighborhood (Ropeadope Records), the 2015 debut album from the Brooklyn based collective quartet Walking Distance, for which Caleb composes and plays alto saxophone, was met with critical acclaim. Their new album Freebird feat. Jason Moran (Sunnyside Records) has been widely praised by The New York Times, DownBeat Magazine, Bandcamp (best of September 2018), JazzTimes and others. The New York Times wrote that “[Walking Distance] tears into the new stuff it has created, sounding ageless”, that the music is “utterly fresh”, and selected it as one of the 20 best jazz recordings of 2018.
Caleb holds a Bachelor's of Music (Jazz Studies) from Michigan State University, and a Master's in Music (Jazz Performance) from William Paterson University. Caleb frequently travels for international performances and also performs regularly at the Blue Note, Jazz Standard, Smalls, Smoke, Zinc Bar, Dizzy's and other NYC clubs. Caleb's individualistic approach to improvisation and sound has led to being hailed as “one of the most interesting altoists in a long time.”(Jazzwise)
In addition, Caleb has played with many extraordinary musicians including Jason Moran, Mulgrew Miller, Orrin Evans, Gerald Cleaver, Duane Eubanks, Houston Person, Eric Revis, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kevin Eubanks, Buster Williams, Lenny White, Gene Jackson, Jack Walrath, Kevin Hays, Saul Rubin, David Gibson, Lafayette Harris, Ralph Bowen, Ben Williams, Justin Brown, Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Gregorio Uribe, Ben Wolfe, Luques Curtis, Seamus Blake, Marquis Hill, Marta Sánchez, Stacy Dillard, Jon Irabagon, EJ Strickland, Matt Clohesy, Vinnie Sperrazza, Jeremy Siskind, Glenn Zaleski and many others.
Bass player and composer Noah Garabedian holds a BA in Ethnomusicology from the The University of California Los Angeles, and a Master's of Music Performance from New York University. He is a 2022 Calouste Gulbenkian In View grant recipient; 2021 Artist Fellow with Creative Armenia and AGBU; 2016 Fulbright Specialist Grant recipient; 2011 finalist for the International Society of Double Bass Competition; 2007 finalist for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz; 2006 John Coltrane National Scholarship recipient.
As an educator Mr. Garabedian was a visiting professor through Fulbright to teach jazz music for one month at Silpakorn University, in Bangkok, Thailand. He currently works with the music outreach program at Jazz At Lincoln Center, Jazz For Young People. He is also currently part-time faculty at The New School in New York City and works at the Stanford Jazz Workshop. In the past he has served as adjunct faculty at NYU, taught with The Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall, and participated in the music outreach program between UCLA and the Los Angeles Unified School District.
As a sideman, Mr. Garabedian has performed and toured with Ravi Coltrane, Jeff Tain Watts, Andy Milne, Kris Davis, Ralph Alessi, Myron Walden, Nir Felder, Frank LoCrasto, Okkervil River, and Julian Pollack. Mr. Garabedian has represented the US State Department on two separate tours as a musical ambassador where he performed for the public, taught workshops on music, and collaborated with local musicians.
In October 2020, he premiered a new composition, The Tragedy of Hate, commissioned by the Peace Resource Center at Wilmington College. The piece was inspired by stories and pictures of survivors of the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of those events.
Vinnie Sperrazza is a Brooklyn-based jazz drummer. Born in 1979 in Utica, New York, music and drumming is a family affair for Sperrazza. His father plays and taught drums in Central New York, and his mother sang at church and did live sound for his father's bands.
He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at William Paterson University in 2002 and moved to Brooklyn later that year. Performances with noted jazz pianist James Williams (his mentor at William Paterson University), sometimes including Mulgrew Miller, Richard Davis, Clark Terry, and other jazz legends, were his main focus until Williams' death in 2004.
From 2004 until 2013, Sperrazza was focused on teaching drumset and jazz ensembles, privately and at local music schools. Meanwhile, he continued his musical studies in harmony, counterpoint, and composition with Paul Caputo. Performances with groups he organized at New York venues IBEAM, Cornelia Street Cafe, and Korzo, began to coalesce into bands. Sperrazza made a few noted recordings at this time, including John McNeil's Hush Point and 40twenty with trombonist Jacob Garchik.
By 2014, when Apocryphal, his first album of original compositions was released, Sperrazza was moving away from teaching to focus on performing. He has made a mark on the New York jazz community with his swinging, enthusiastic playing and his commitment to original projects.
He toured with Stew and Heidi Rodewald in Stew and The Negro Problem from 2012 to 2014, and again in 2018, culminating in a show at Lincoln Center's Appel Room. In 2017, he premiered the Mark Morris Dance Group's Pepperland in Liverpool, England, with a score by pianist and composer Ethan Iverson, and has continued to tour with the company. He is a member of the Hank Roberts Sextet and Hank Roberts Trio, tours and records with the groups Landline, the Choir Invisible, Curtis-Garabedian-Sperrazza, Hearing Things, Vinnie Sperrazza-Jacob Sacks-Masa Kamaguchi PLAY, and trioTrio, works with bandleaders/composers Mike McGinnis and Michael Formanek, writes music, leads his own bands Apocryphal and Small Cities, organizes improvising groups, and continues his musical studies.