Fall 2020 – Spring 2021 Visiting Artists

Spring 2021

Mea Liedl & Dave Linnenbank from Bitwig Studio

Mea Liedl worked for music labels and in A&R, and has now been head of strategic partnerships and artist relations at Bitwig for almost a decade. She enjoys co-producing good festivals and concerts, and sometimes (don't tell!) making music.

Dave Linnenbank is a musician, technologist, and teacher. Over the past 20 years, he has crafted musical tools for pop and jazz artists, Broadway musicals, and desktop electronic musicians everywhere. Linnenbank is part of Team Bitwig in Berlin, regularly making YouTube tutorials and more.

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Erika Bell

Erika Bell is a Los Angeles-based musician. Their work explores visceral textures through both traditional and experimental sound-making practices. Having quickly developed a distinctive style and approach to composition, Bell has found a niche in the experimental music underground. Recently, they have expanded their approach, embracing songlike structures and creative processes that might be more familiar to a rock band than a traditional composer. The latter style can be heard on their debut full-length Precept (2020), while the former is heard on long-form ensemble works such as Moving Like Icebergs Against Each Other and Sucking Stones. Their work retains a signature sound as a through line, generally revolving around dissonant harmonies, cyclical loops, drone, and a sculptural approach to sound.

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Camila Meza

Camila Meza, equally prized as a vocalist, guitarist, and composer, has brought a sound full of warmth, intricacy, and rhythmic clarity to the New York jazz scene ever since her arrival from Santiago, Chile in 2009. Inspired by jazz, South American music, and American popular song of many eras and genres, she has uplifted audiences worldwide with her rare combination of talents: assured and beautiful singing; highly advanced guitar (both self accompaniment and blistering solo work); and vividly colorful, melodic songwriting that reveals complex layers with every listen. Debuting in 2007 with Skylark, Meza followed up in 2009 with Retrato, again in 2013 with Prisma and in 2016 with the ambitious Sunnyside release Traces (produced by Matt Pierson, featuring Shai Maestro, Matt Penman, and Kendrick Scott, among others). She won two Independent Music Awards for Best Adult Contemporary CD and Best Latin CD. Hailed by The New York Times as “a bright young singer and guitarist with an ear for music of both folkloric and pop intention,” Meza has also broken ground leading her ensemble The Nectar Orchestra with bassist/arranger Noam Wiesenberg whose CDAmbar will be released in 2019. She also performs as a member of Ryan Keberle’s Catharsis and Fabian Almazan’s Rhizome, among other top jazz ensembles.

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Dorian Wood

Dorian Wood seeks to glorify both the sanctity and irreverence of intimacy. Through the use of their corpulent body and booming voice, Wood revels in challenging the artist-audience separation, using subject matter informed by their own perspective as a non-binary brown person and an autodidact. Their work has been showcased in concert halls and performance spaces around the world, including at institutions like The Broad (Los Angeles), REDCAT (Los Angeles), Museo Nacional Del Prado (Madrid), the City Hall of Madrid, and Teatro de la Ciudad Esperanza Iris (Mexico City). 

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This event is open to Jazz & Urban Experimentalism students only. RSVP using this form.

Jlin is one of the most prominent electronic producers of the current generation, first appearing on Planet Mu’s second Bangs & Works compilation, which had a huge impact on electronic/club music. Though she is known for bringing footwork to a wider audience, Jlin doesn’t consider herself a footwork artist. Hailing from Gary, Ind., a place close yet distant enough from Chicago to allow her to develop a different perspective on the genre, she has morphed its sounds into something entirely new. Released in 2015, her debut album Dark Energy's innovative sound propelled it to the top of many of the year’s "Best Of" lists. Jlin’s sophomore album Black Origami was recently released to even greater critical acclaim and attention. In 2017, Jlin also composed the music for a major new dance work by Wayne McGregor, one of the UK’s best known choreographers.

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Angie Crabtree

Angie Crabtree is a painter whose current body of work uses precious gemstones as a means to unpack the psychology and allure of luxury culture. Growing up in Northern California, Crabtree would find crystals and rocks on walks with her grandfather who was a gold mining hobbyist. 

Using oil paint, she creates magnified portraits of real gemstones. Her most well-known commissions include The Pink Promise diamond and Chopard’s massive 342 carat Queen of Kalahari diamond. Crabtree painted her first diamond—at five feet tall—in 2012 for her exhibition Living the Dream. Inspired by the success of her first big exhibition and the abstract patterns, Crabtree fell deeper in love with gems and continued painting more.

Diamonds and gemstones come from nature, and are recut by human hands—this collaboration between artisans and nature’s artifacts yield what society agrees are some of the world’s most valuable objects. Crabtree's work offers a rigorous study of light and optics and how these formal characteristics of painting are intertwined with our perception of excess, wealth, and luxury. The artist approaches the subject matter as portraiture for modern day relics for a world that loves beautiful trophies.

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Zachary Watkins

Zachary James Watkins studied composition at Cornish College. In 2006, Watkins received an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College where he studied with Chris Brown, Fred Frith, Alvin Curran, and Pauline Oliveros. Watkins has received commissions from Cornish College of The Arts, The Microscores Project, the Beam Foundation, sfsound, The Living Earth Show, Kronos Quartet, and the Seattle Chamber Players, among others. His 2006 composition Suite for String Quartet was awarded the Paul Merritt Henry Prize for Composition and has subsequently been performed at the Labs 25th Anniversary Celebration, the Labor Sonor Series at Kule in Berlin Germany and in Seattle as part of the 2nd Annual Town Hall New Music Marathon featuring violist Eyvind Kang. Watkins has performed in numerous festivals across the United States, Mexico and Europe. Watkins releases music on the labels Sige, Cassauna, Confront (UK), The Tapeworm, and Touch (UK).

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