“Lemish’s talent and music are vital and interesting and alive in a way few artist’s work ever are. In the moment, and in the memory. Everything is charged with the joy of being alive.” – Jeff Langley, Composer and Director of the School of Performing Arts, Sonoma State University
Pianist, improviser and composer, Noam Lemish (b.1982), is a multi-faceted artist whose performances and compositions, often characterized by intense lyricism and energy, defy categorization. Based in Toronto, Canada, Lemish is presently engaged in a diverse array of projects including a duo with percussionist George Marsh, a quartet with Israeli jazz guitarist/oudist Amos Hoffman, a quartet presenting his original multi-movement suite “The People’s King: Music from Bhutan” and as co-artistic director of The Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative (I=I).
In February 2016, Lemish and master percussionist George Marsh released The Turning, their third album of original compositions and improvisations. This follows their two earlier releases, Nightfall (2013) and Yes And (2008). Also released in spring of 2016 Lemish’s recording presenting W.A. Mathieu’s The Magic Clavier (Book I). Lemish has appeared in numerous performances across the US, Canada, Europe, Israel, and in Bhutan having played and performed with such musicians as: Sheila Jordan, John Handy, Julian Lage, James Newton, Dayna Stephens, Amos Hoffman, Eric McPherson, Frances-Marie Uitti, Donald “Duck” Bailey, Mel Graves, Babatunde Lea, Cameron Brown, Mel Martin, and many others.
While teaching in Bhutan during the 2009/2010 academic year, Lemish was commissioned by The Royal Office of Media to compose a special piece in celebration of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan’s 30th Birthday. “The People’s King” is a multicultural, multi-movement suite bringing together classical Western music, jazz, and traditional Bhutanese folk music. The recorded composition was delivered to His Majesty on his birthday February 21, 2010, followed by a live performance of selected portions before His Majesty on July 5, 2010. Since returning to North America, Lemish has rearranged the suite for jazz quartet and has performed it in numerous venues.
Lemish began his jazz and classical studies in Israel. In 2002 he moved to Sonoma County, California to study under the tutelage of W.A. Mathieu. His extensive studies with Mathieu, a noted improviser, composer and theorist, were most formative and have left a lasting influence. Simultaneous to his private studies with Mathieu, Lemish completed his BA (Summa Cum Laude, With Distinction) in music at Sonoma State University in California, where he studied with Mel Graves, Will Johnson, and Marilyn Thompson. After a year of teaching music in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, Lemish returned to North America in 2010 undertaking graduate studies in Toronto. While completing his masters degree in composition at the University of Toronto, he served as 2011-2012 Composer-In-Residence for “gamUT” – the University of Toronto Contemporary Music Ensemble. At present, Lemish is continuing his studies at the University of Toronto as a doctoral student in the Jazz Performance program.
His composition “Rebirth” commissioned by the University of Toronto 12TET was released in 2013 as the title track of the 12TET’s first recording. “Song for Lia”, a composition Lemish wrote to celebrate the birth of his niece appears on the University of Toronto 12TET’s second recording Trillium Falls which was released in Fall of 2016. Lemish also appears on Shea Breaux Wells’ album, Piece Of The Light (2006) and Jason Bodlovich’s 2010 release The Culprit. In addition to his original projects and work as a sideman, Lemish toured with Tony award winning theater company The San Francisco Mime Troupe (2003). He has composed chamber, choral and piano compositions, numerous jazz compositions as well as music for traditional Bhutanese instruments. He has also composed music for theater, dance, and film, most notably: UBU RULES! (2005); Verlaine: Muse and Music Maker (2005) and Article 13 (2009).
“As a musician he is deeply engaged, highly disciplined and his talent is without doubt world-class. I have every confidence that his music and thought will encourage his generation.” – W.A. Mathieu, pianist, composer, author and teacher