Brooklyn Jazz Underground is an association of independent artists with a shared commitment to creativity and community. Through cooperative efforts, the BJU aims to build a greater awareness of original music emerging from Brooklyn, NY.
Current BJU members are: Anne Mette Iversen (bass), David Smith (trumpet), Adam Kolker (tenor saxophone), Rob Garcia (drums), Owen Howard (drums), Tammy Scheffer (voice) & David Cook (piano).
"BJU is at its strongest when all of its engines are firing: Howard's 10-plus-minute 'Cowboys and Indians', particularly noteworthy for Iversen's vigorous, insistent bass work throughout, is the essence of collaboration, erupting in its final quarter into a swirling, riveting cacophony of high-note trumpet, waiflike voice and madly polyrhythmic drumming. It's breathtaking, really." - Jeff Tamarkin, JazzTimes Magazine
"Intelligent, exciting, very well-played (Ms. Iversen, in particular, sounds energized throughout.), the 7 members of the Brooklyn Jazz Underground display great creativity while they are having great fun." - Richard B. Kamins, Step Tempest
"Terribly vibrant session" - David Sumner, @BirdIsTheWorm
The Brooklyn Jazz Underground is an artist run association that is in constant motion and evolvement. Spring 2012 they announced the release of the first Brooklyn Jazz Underground Ensemble recording, A Portrait of Brooklyn, initiated by a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council, and featuring David Smith (trumpet), Adam Kolker (tenor sax, alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute), Dan Pratt (tenor sax, clarinet, flute), Anne Mette Iversen (bass) and Rob Garcia (drums). In 2011 the members of the Brooklyn Jazz Underground composed new music for their first collaborative effort, A Portrait of Brooklyn, for the premiere in May 2011 at Sycamore in Brooklyn. These performances marked the first time that the BJU members came together as an ensemble. Performing together proved to be such a wonderful experience that they unanimously decided to record and release this collection of music.
The press on A Portrait of Brooklyn:
“A Portrait of Brooklyn is an excellent collection of first-rate original compositions and terrific playing.” - In A Blue Moon
‘Best International Jazz Album, 2012‘ - Swiss daily: Nordwestschweiz
“The ensemble’s tightly-knit sense of its own intuitive communication is prominent...” - Downbeat Magazine, Editor’s Pick
“These days integrity counts for a lot. That’s what keeps jazz relevant in a fragmented music industry. . . . The Brooklyn Jazz Underground understand that it takes more than talent.” – NPR.org/music
“...the spirit of the organization is firmly rooted in Brooklyn. All of the members reside there, and they wanted to give a nod to the vitality of its scene.” – The Wall Street Journal