News: September 2016
UPDATE: Happy to share an interview I did recently ahead of this Sunday’s I=I’s concert. Read it HERE.
I am so excited to be leading the following project as pianist and co-artistic director! Sunday, September 4th at 3pm, The Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative (I=I) returns with an all-new program, “All Rivers at Once”, presented by the Ashkenaz Festival at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre. Connecting new and old music, innovative and traditional, classical and vernacular, political and artistic, “All Rivers at Once” brings together internationally renowned Iranian/Persian and Israeli/Jewish musicians to create a dialogue for peace through music. Referring in its name to a poem by the famed Persian poet Jelaluddin Rumi, invoking the interconnectedness and intersectionality of all peoples, “All Rivers At Once” presents brand new arrangements of traditional Iranian and Israeli songs as well as several original compositions by its performers.
I will be joined by tombak virtuoso Pedram Khavarzamini, Montreal kamanche master Saeed Kamjoo in a rare Toronto appearance, NYC based Persian-Jewish vocalist Galeet Dardashti, rounded out by Kianoush Khalilian on nay, Jacob Gorzhaltsan on clarinet and Toronto based jazz/world music stalwarts Andrew Downing, bass, and Anthony Michelli on drums. The ensemble will showcase collaboration across political boundaries, with this all-star cast of improvisers covering diverse idioms from jazz, folk and world music.
I=I has stormed the scene with a sold-out Toronto debut in 2015, making their mark with a distinctive integration of diverse musical worlds and bridging political distances. “All Rivers at Once” is no different, transcending cultural divergence through what will be an extraordinary kaleidoscopic tapestry of sound. I=I is proud to be presenting this concert at the 2016 Ashkenaz Festival, one of the largest and most prestigious festivals of Jewish music and culture in the world. The Ashkenaz Festival emphasizes cross-cultural projects and attracts a multi-cultural audience of over 60,000 people.
To learn more about the Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative visit our website.
Hello from Billy Bishop airport in Toronto, on my way to NYC for three performances with Israeli jazz guitarist and oudist Amos Hoffman. We’ll be at Cornelia Street Cafe on Friday August 5th, at Fat Cat with Saxophonist Asaf Yuria on the 6th and then at Smalls on the 9th. Really looking forward to playing again with Amos as well as Asaf, Eric Wheeler (bass) and Eric McPherson (drums).
TORONTO: Saturday, June 4, 2016. 7:15 Pre-Concert Chat/8:00pm Concert. Spectrum Music presents “The Tower of Babel” featuring Amos Hoffman, Peter Lutek, Noam Lemish, Justin Gray & Derek Gray. More Info: http://spectrummusic.ca/event/details/tower-of-babel/
I did a fun interview with Chelsea McBride from Spectrum Music in which I talked about the ideas and inspiration behind this collaboration. Check it out HERE.
Had a great time at Birmingham City University (UK) at the 4th Rhythm Changes Conference with its theme of Jazz Utopia. I presented my paper entitled, “Audiotopias of the Multi-Local Musician: Amos Hoffman, Transcultural Jazz and the Polyphony of Style” and delighted in learning about the incredible jazz research that scholars and musicians are doing all over the world.
Coming up May 6th, I am looking forward to attending and presenting a workshop at the Deep Listening Day at EMPAC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. The event is hosted by the Center for Deep Listening at RPI. I can’t wait to present our workshop of “Ancestral Voicings”: a Sonic Meditation that I have been working on with Jane Rigler (USA) and Björn Eriksson (Sweden) for the past few months. More Info and Full Day Program.
Also, a little bit later in May, I will be presenting a paper at the 9th annual International Society for Improvised Music (ISIM) Conference/Festival which takes place in Waterloo and Toronto.
NEW CD The Turning with George Marsh and Jim Kerwin featuring all new original compositions and improvisations now available for purchase online! Please visit CD Baby to get copy! (or click on the photo of the album cover). Listen to “Dee” from The Turning HERE
I will be returning to the Bay Area for two weeks of performances and the celebration of my new CD with George Marsh!
Here is a brief overview of these upcoming concerts:
February 12th, 7:00-10:00pm
at The Plaza Bistro in Sonoma
CD Release Party with George Marsh and Peter Barshay. Celebrating the release of our new album The Turning (2016)
February 13, 7:30pm
February 16, 6:00-9:00pm
February 20, 6:30-9:30pm
February 21, 3:00pm
at Occidental Center for the Arts
Noam Lemish Quartet presents and afternoon of original music and songs featuring Matthew Rothstein, Peter Barshay and Alex Aspinall. Advanced Tickets can be purchased HERE
Before heading to California for two weeks of performances in February, I have a very special concert coming up here in Toronto on February 2nd at the Rex. Internationally acclaimed Israeli jazz guitarist and oudist Amos Hoffman is coming to Toronto for a few days of performances and workshops and he will be appearing with my quartet on the 2nd, at 9:30pm. His visit will also include a masterclass at the University of Toronto on Friday, January 29th and a performance at the Emmet Ray on February 1st at 7pm. During his stay Hoffman will also be working with Spectrum Music composers in preparation for our big June 4th concert, The Tower of Babel which will showcase all new works composed especially for Amos Hoffman and an ensemble under my direction.
NEW TRIO RELEASE with George Marsh (drums) and Jim Kerwin (bass) set for FEBRUARY 2016. The Turning features several new original compositions and improvisations. I will be heading out west to California for a few performances to celebrate this release! Stay tuned for more information!
I am also delighted to share that my article, “Between Utopia and Destruction: The Making of ‘Jazz Rhapsody on Soviet Jewish Themes'” was just published earlier this month by the University of Toronto Journal of Jewish Thought. “Jazz Rhapsody on Soviet Jewish Themes” is my original composition for jazz quartet based on two very different songs by Soviet Jewish composers. In this essay I contextualize my work and analyze the compositional processes used.
Excited to announce a 2016 collaboration with Spectrum Music, in which I will serve as musical director and pianist for a concert featuring new works composed especially for globally acclaimed Israeli jazz guitarist and oudist Amos Hoffman. The concert titled “Tower of Babel” will take place on June 4, 2016 at the Alliance Francaise Theatre. For more info, please visit Spectrum Music.
The launch of the Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative with our concert “Converging Paths” was a smashing success. A sold out show, support from wonderful community and university partners and sponsors, and tremendous enthusiasm for our message and music from many corners of this city and the world. We are grateful and thrilled and looking forward to several more exciting events coming up this year.
The buzz is still going strong and reviews are still coming in, here is a great one from SEE Change Magazine and Elisa Birnbaum: “Converging Paths: Musical group bridges Israeli, Iranian divide,”.
For photos from the concert please visit our facebook page HERE.
MORE PRESS for I=I’s upcoming concert: Listen to our interview on CIUT 91.5FM “Global Rhythms” with Ken Stowar and read Spectrum’s feature: “Profile: Noam Lemish & The Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative,”.
UPDATE: The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz published a great article about the Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative and our upcoming concert! Read it here: “In Toronto, Iranians and Israelis Make Music, Not War,”.
I’m delighted to announce that several months ago I became a part of a collective of composers and musicians called the Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative (I=I). We have been working hard in preparation for a very exciting concert at the end of this month.
On Tuesday, March 31st at 7:30pm, the Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative will launch with a special collaborative musical performance at the Alliance Francaise Theatre in Toronto. Tickets are available online HERE.
The concert will present both the exciting world premiere of three new compositions, conducted by guest conductor Shalom Bard (Toronto Symphony Orchestra Resident Conductor 2012-2014) and a collaborative performance with renowned guest artist from Montreal, Saeed Kamjoo, Iranian Kamanche virtuoso. Supporting the evening’s debut are the Toronto Arts Council, co-sponsors the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto and partners the North York Arts and Koffler Center of the Arts.
The evening will reflect the encounter of Israeli-Jewish and Iranian cultures through original compositions by collective members Parisa Sabet, Dan Deutsch and myself. These pieces incorporate Jewish and Persian traditional music, the poetry of renowned Iranian poet Omar Khayyám and Israeli popular songs. I will also be teaming up with Dan piano and special guest Saeed Kamjoo, Kamanche, for a powerful improvisatory exploration of traditional music from Israel and Iran.
The Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative (I=I) collective, created in 2013 encourages an intellectual and cultural dialogue between individuals and communities through artistic creations. The project presents the fruitful possibilities of cross-cultural musical collaboration. For more info about I=I visit our website or facebook page.
I am really looking forward to the premiere of my new piece “Song for Lia” which I composed in celebration of my niece’s birth a few months ago. On Wednesday, February 11th I will be sitting in on piano with the University of Toronto 12TET (directed by Terry Promane) at Walter Hall.
A few months ago I joined Michael Brooker’s tentet MB10. A group comprised of fantastic musicians presenting Mike’s wonderful original music and arrangements. Check out the group’s first release on bandcamp at: http://mbrookermusic.bandcamp.com/releases
MB10 will be returning to The Rex on December 8th!
Happy summer! I am really looking forward to my upcoming visit in the Bay Area with performances set in San Francisco, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Sacramento and Occidental. Indeed, I am deep in preparation for the world premiere and recording of Allaudin Mathieu’s The Magic Clavier. July 26th, I will be joining Allaudin for a concert at the Occidental Center for the Arts, presenting two world premieres of his work (Twenty-Four Almost Easy Pieces will be performed by Allaudin and The Magic Clavier by myself) and performing improvisations separately and together.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, it is such a profound delight and honor to have been asked by Allaudin to play his music and it has been a true joy spending time and working on the pieces this past year. I can’t wait!!!
July 26th, 2014. 8pm. OCCIDENTAL CENTER FOR THE ARTS (Occidental) Allaudin Mathieu & Noam Lemish: New Music for Piano
For more info visit the OCA’s website.
I am also thrilled to have the opportunity to reunite with some of my favorite musicians for performances across the Bay Area. Here is info about these exciting performances:
July 19, 2014. 6:30-9:30pm HOTEL HEALDSBURG (Healdsburg) with Peter Barshay (bass) & Alex Aspinall (drums)
July 20, 2014. 5:00-8:00pm JB’s LOUNGE (Sacramento) with Matthew Rothstein (sax), Jason Carr (bass) & Alex Aspinall (drums)
August 1, 2014. 7:00-10:00pm PLAZA BISTRO (Sonoma) with Peter Barshay (bass) & George Marsh (drums)
August 3, 2014. 4:00pm. Chez Hanny Jazz House Concert Series (San Francisco) duo with George Marsh (drums)
Very much looking forward to the Toronto debut of “The People’s King” as part of the 12th Annual Small World Music Asian Music Series on Thursday, April 24th (8pm) at The Music Gallery, Toronto’s home for creative music. The Music Gallery is a truly wonderful venue! I will be joined by Sundar Viswanathan (reeds), Justin Gray (bass) and Derek Gray (drums). The evening will also include my multimedia presentation on the music and culture of Bhutan. Tickets are available HERE.
As many of you know, while I was teaching music in Bhutan during the 2009/2010 academic year I had the great honor of being commissioned to compose a multi-movement suite in celebration of His Majesty the King of Bhutan’s 30th birthday. Upon my return to North America, I arranged the suite for jazz quartet and this new adaptation made its world premier at the 2011 Healdsburg Jazz Festival. Since then I have performed the suite on numerous occasions. I am thrilled to launch “The People’s King” project online with a brand new website at www.thepeoplesking.com Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. I hope you enjoy the music and story behind it as much as I cherished the experience that led to its manifestation. Keep in touch for updates on upcoming concerts and other news about the project.
Happy New Year! Coming Up in 2014:
- I am deeply honored and excited to have been asked by pianist, composer, author (and also my longtime teacher) W.A. Mathieu to premiere and record his new set of piano pieces, The Magic Clavier. The world premiere is scheduled for July 26th in Sonoma County, California. Stay tuned for details.
- Upcoming CD releases in 2014 include Sonic Truffles, an album of improvisations with Will Johnson.
- I will be premiering new compositions and arrangements with the University of Toronto 12TET and University of Toronto Vocal Jazz Choir.
- Northern California performances in July and August 2014!
December 4th, a brand new piece of mine will be premiered by the University of Toronto Vocal Jazz Ensemble directed by vocalist extraordinaire Christine Duncan. The work, titled “Loving Kindness Practice” is composed for SSAA and jazz rhythm section. I have been having a terrific time working with the group ahead of this concert and I am really looking forward to hearing it!
Earlier this month, the University of Toronto 12TET released their new album, which features my composition “Rebirth” as the title track. The album is available on iTunes. We will be celebrating the release of this recording on Tuesday, November 19th, 7:30pm in Walter Hall at the Faculty of Music. The concert will also feature a performance of my composition, “The Nagila Mayster” in a new arrangement for this terrific ensemble!
Looking forward to a return appearance at The Rex on October 14th, this time featuring a quintet playing my original music. Also, later this month, on the 25th, excited about returning to the Gate 403 with a trio.
UPDATE: Just Published by MAKE: A Literary Magazine, my book review on the “Anthology of Essays on Deep Listening”.
Towards the end of this month, bassist Miles Wick will be coming to Toronto from NYC and joining me for a couple of shows while also presenting a set of his original music at the Tranzac. Performances include August 28 @ Tranzac and August 30th @ Gate 403.
UPDATE: Very nice article by Nicolas Grizzle of the Bohemian ahead of my performances this month. http://www.bohemian.com/northbay/deep-listening/Content?oid=2465763
Arrived in the Bay Area a few days ago and looking forward to an exciting month of performances here in California. The highlight comes on July 21st, when George Marsh and I celebrate the release of our second album, Nightfall at Sonoma State University. Here is a brief summary of my upcoming performances. Check the performance page for complete details about venues.
- July 12, 7:00pm. Plaza Bistro, Sonoma. Trio w/ Jim Kerwin & George Marsh
- July 14, 5:00pm. JB’s Lounge, Sacramento. Quartet w/ Matt Rothstein, Bill Douglass & George Marsh
- July 19, 6:00pm. Larkspur’s Friday Night Jazz. Quartet w/ Kasey Knudsen, Jeff Denson & Alex Aspinall
- July 21, 2:00pm. CD Release Concert at Sonoma State University. Noam Lemish & George Marsh
- July 26, 8:00pm. The People’s King @ Occidental Centre for the Arts. Quartet w/ Bob Afifi, Jim Kerwin & Alex Aspinall
- July 27, 6:30pm. Hotel Healdsburg. Trio w/ Jim Kerwin & George Marsh.
Our Kickstarter Funding Campaign has been a smashing success! Thank you everyone for the generous contributions and support. George Marsh and I will be celebrating our new CD Release July 21st at Sonoma State University. Visit Sonoma’s music department page for more info HERE. I am very much looking forward to my upcoming July visit to the Bay Area! There are several exciting performances scheduled. Please check my Performances page for detailed listing of all of my July shows in California.
MAY 12 UPDATE: Drummer George Marsh and I have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the completion of our second CD together. We’ve prepared a short video about our campaign (look for it on the right) and have some audio for you to enjoy on our Kickstarter page. Hope you consider supporting our project!!
May 8th, I will be performing all new original material at the Tranzac Club with Mark Godfrey on bass, Evan Cartwright on drums as part of a double bill with pianist Tania Gill.
April 23rd, I will be joining the TPE ensemble to record my composition “Rebirth” (written for TPE) at Revolution Recording in Toronto. Looking Forward!
Performed on Tuesday March 5 (at the MaRS center) for the University of Toronto reception welcoming the new UofT President designate, Meric Gertler. Photo from the performance HERE. Later this month, on March 25th, I will be re-joining the TPE ensemble for a second performance of my newest composition “Rebirth”, this time @ The REX.
My latest composition, “Rebirth” will be premiered February 12 by the Terry Promane Ensemble (TPE) at the University of Toronto. The TPE is a fantastic 12tet and I am delighted to be joining them on piano for my piece. Later on in the month (February 28) I will discuss the music of Michel Petrucciani as part of the UofT Jazz Listening Lecture Series. March 1st I will be leading a trio @ The Rex performing an all originals set, showcasing new material!
Happy New Year!
Video from my November participation at the Array Session #14 is now available on YouTube courtesy of Array Music:
- November 10th I will be performing a few original compositions piano solo at a special fundraiser concert for Tryptych Concert & Opera. Concert starts at 7:30pm at Trinity Presbyterian Church West Hall Theatre (2737 Bayview Avenue). www.tryptych.org
- Delighted to be invited by Rick Sacks, artistic director of Array Music to take part in the upcoming Array Session #14, an evening of improvisation, experiments and interaction. November 26th, 8:00pm @ Array Space (155 Walnut Street). www.arraymusic.com
October 18th I will be presenting at the University of Toronto, Jazz Department Listening Lecture Series on the music of Abdullah Ibrahim.
Back in Toronto after a terrific summer in California and now, an exciting new chapter begins at the University of Toronto as I embark on my Doctoral studies towards a DMA in Jazz Performance at the Faculty of Music. Here are a few other notes:
- September 17th: Performing with Dan Fortin & Fabio Ragnelli @ The Emmet Ray (Details)
- September 27th: Have the great honor of performing at the Memorial for celebrated Czech-Canadian author, Josef Škvorecký @ Hart House, University of Toronto. Here are a few articles about Škvorecký:
UPDATE: Excellent article by Andrew Gilbert (Berkeleyside) about “The People’ King” ahead of our performance at the Jazzschool in Berkeley. Noam Lemish: Swinging in Shangri-la
July is packed with exciting performances all across the Bay Area! Please visit my performances page for a full listing of upcoming concerts. Highlights include:
- The Noam Lemish Quartet will present “The People’s King”at the Jazzschool in Berkeley and at JB’s Lounge in Sacramento
- Trio performances with Jim Kerwin and George Marsh are scheduled for Sonoma and Healdsburg
- I will join the Sonoma State Faculty Jazz Ensemble for a concert at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and will present my own concert in the same series with vocalist Lorin Benedict
- One final performance for this summer with vocalist Shea Breaux Wells at Vin Couture in Healdsburg
It’s been an exciting start to the month with performances alongside Jim Kerwin and George Marsh both in Healdsburg as part of the opening weekend of the Healdsburg Jazz Festival and in Oakland at the Piedmont Piano Company concert series. A few days ago, I also had the great pleasure of accompanying Sheila Jordan (recently designated a Jazz Master by the NEA) in her Healdsburg Jazz Festival masterclass, playing alongside her regular bass player, Cameron Brown. More performances coming up later this month include two dates with Shea Breaux Wells at Vin Couture in Healdsburg and appearances with Doug Miller and Alex Aspinall.
A great delight to be back in the Bay Area for the summer! George Marsh and I are hard at work preparing towards the release of our second album later on this summer. In May, I am looking forward to playing with Peter Barshay and Lorca Hart at the Hotel Healdsburg and later on in the month, I will be appearing with Doug Miller and Alex Aspinall at Jupiter in Berkeley, and Osteria Divino in Sausalito. I have also recently discovered that I will be joining the fabulous vocalist Shea Breaux Wells for a series of performances throughout the summer at Vin Couture in Healdsburg (a new venue) on Saturday nights! Please visit my performances page to learn more about these and other concerts coming up.
As I mentioned in my previous update, in January, among other things, as part of my role as composer-in-residence for gamUT (the University of Toronto contemporary music ensemble) I was busy finishing up my next composition for the ensemble. My new piece, ‘Divertimento’ (for fl, ob, cl, sop. sax, tbn, two violins, vla, vlc and db) will make its premier on March 17th at Walter Hall in the Edward Johnson Building at the University of Toronto, conducted by Patrick Murray. Rehearsals are in full swing and I’m very much looking forward to the performance. Also coming up in March is a return date to The Trane Studio on March 27th!
Happy New Year! 2012 began with a fantastic trio concert with Jim Wall and Ron Coulter in Carbondale, Illinois. Now back in Toronto where thankfully, for the time being, winter seems to still be in a slumber and looking forward to my upcoming performance January 11th at The Trane Studio with Trevor Hogg, Daniel Fortin and Fabio Ragnelli. January will also be a busy month of composing as I will be completing a new piece for a March 17th world premiere by the University of Toronto’s gamUT ensemble.
December brings with it a short visit back to the Bay Area that includes several Northern California performances as well as an opportunity to visit dear friends and enjoy some sunshine!
Now back in Toronto after a wonderful summer in California. As composer-in-residence in 2011-2012 for the University of Toronto Contemporary Music Ensemble, gamUT, I have recently completed my first composition for the ensemble. Titled, “The Nagila Mayster”, (this invented English-Hebrew-Yiddish title translates to the “Master of Joyfulness”) and dedicated to percussionist George Marsh, it will be premiered at Walter Hall, at the University of Toronto, on November 30th, 7:30pm by gamUT. This 12 minute composition is scored for 2 sopranos, woodwinds, brass, marimba, percussion, piano, double bass and drum-set and will feature Greg Harrison on drums and myself on piano.
After being away from California for two years (a year teaching music in Bhutan and a year of Graduate Studies in Toronto) I am back in the Bay Area for the summer. It’s been wonderful to visit friends and play music with so many of my favorite musicians.
It was a great delight to perform my original music on opening night at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, June 3rd, 2011. The band featured Matthew Rothstein, Jason Carr and Alex Aspinall. Among other pieces, we premiered my original, Bhutanese inspired, multi-movement suite “The People’s King” in its jazz arrangement. You can learn more about “The People’s King” HERE and listen to a track from the Healdsburg festival concert HERE. I hope to have some video clips from this concert up on the website soon.
One of my exciting projects this summer involves composing a score for the short documentary film, “Shirt Out, Game Over!”. A film about Bhutan, directed by Eric Paternot.
I still have several more performances coming up this summer before I head back to Toronto to complete my Masters studies in Music Composition at the University of Toronto. Visit my calendar for concert listings.Poster