Oberlin Artist Recital Series Presents Artemis

2023 DownBeat Readers Poll “Jazz Group of the Year” to perform in Finney Chapel. While on campus they’ll also work with students.

March 5, 2024

Jarrett Hoffman '14

five women some standing some sitting with blue curtain backdrop

What do the words powerful, wonderful, extraordinary, appealing, undeniable, palpable, natural, immediate, unique, organic, and brilliant have in common?

They are all adjectives that have been used to describe the musical chemistry of Artemis, the collective of modern jazz bandleaders and composers that was named “Jazz Group of the Year” in the 2023 DownBeat Readers Poll.

The results of that musical chemistry?

“All of us know each other so well now, and we know each other’s playing, so it’s fun and inspiring to write for each person’s strengths,” says pianist and musical director Renee Rosnes.

“And musically, I would say we’ve all become a bit more adventurous with how we play together because we know that everyone’s got each other’s back. We always allow the music to flow in the moment, so that if somebody wants to take things in a certain direction, we’re all there.”

Northeast Ohio audiences will hear that chemistry in action when Artemis appears on the Oberlin Artist Recital Series on March 13 in Finney Chapel.

Rosnes will be joined in Oberlin by trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, tenor saxophonist Nicole Glover, bassist Noriko Ueda, and drummer Allison Miller. Naturally, the ensemble’s 2023 album In Real Time—which includes six originals and two arrangements of pieces by Lyle Mays and Wayne Shorter—will make up an important part of the program.

“And we’ve also got a few newer things in the book,” Rosnes says.

Among the possible meanings behind the title In Real Time is the fleeting, immediate nature of music—how, unless recording is involved, it is heard right at the moment when it is created, and no longer than that.

“For this last album, we were able to do a week at Birdland in New York City before heading into the studio, which enabled us to kind of workshop the new compositions. So, by the time we got into the studio, the band was in a good state of flow, allowing each piece to unfold in—well, in real time.”

Both that album and their 2020 self-titled debut were released on Blue Note Records, which signed Artemis after their acclaimed performance at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival. “It was really wonderful when the president, Don Was, invited us to be on the label,” Rosnes says. “I feel like Blue Note has been a central figure in the history of jazz, so we’re all very excited about being part of that family.”

The group’s Oberlin itinerary will also include a visit to the Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse on March 12, when Artemis will give a short performance and presentation in addition to participating in a Q&A led by members of the Crimson Collective, a group of female and non-binary Oberlin students dedicated to performing Black American music.

With that in mind, it’s notable that the formation of Artemis came when a promoter asked Rosnes to put together an all-female band in celebration of International Women’s Day 2017. But since then, the pianist says, gender has not been part of the group’s self-concept.

“After that, we all just had so much fun playing together, we wanted to keep it going. For all of us, I think it’s about the power of the music, not the gender—that’s not something that we think about in terms of our art. And I wish more people would see it that way. Think about how many all-male bands there are, and gender doesn’t need to be mentioned. Why can’t it be the same for any gender?”

She doesn’t discount the impact that Artemis has had on audiences as an all-women ensemble in the disproportionately male world of jazz. “I’m often moved by the emotional reactions we receive from people of all genders who relay to us how inspiring it is to witness and listen to a band such as ours. But having said that, we really don’t think about it.”

Concert details
Artemis
7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 13
Oberlin College Finney Chapel
90 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH 44074

Tickets:
$35 Public | $30 OC Staff/Faculty/Alumni, Seniors, Military | $10 Students

Concert tickets are available online and by phone at 800-371-0178. Patrons may also purchase them in person between noon and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at Oberlin College's Central Ticket Service, located at 67 N. Main Street, in the lobby of the Eric Baker Nord Performing Arts Complex.

Free Artist Recital Series tickets for enrolled Oberlin College and Conservatory students are available through the Claim Your Seat program, made possible through the generosity of Richard ’62 and Linda ’62 Clark.   

Learn more about the Arts at Oberlin.

This program is proudly supported by Ideastream Public Media, official media partner of the Artist Recital Series.


Jarrett Hoffman ’14 is a freelance writer and clarinetist based in New York.

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