The attractions of ceramics lie partly in its contradictions. It is both difficult and easy, with an element beyond our control. It is both extremely fragile and durable. Like 'Sumi' ink painting, it does not lend itself to erasures and indecision.
"Vast, multifaceted, semi-abstract compositions that deal in dissonance and overload but often resolve into major-key resplendence."
The New York Times
We don't aim to be a "traditional" big band, nor do we aspire to be "avant-garde" for it's own sake. Rather, we allow the emotion or experience in the present moment to be the seed of the music we write, listening to what these feelings want to say musically and letting it grow on its own terms.
Founded in 2011, the 21-musician ESSBO performs a book of over thirty original compositions and arrangements by its two co-leaders. Over the course of nine years, the ensemble has performed in the New York City area over forty times in venues such as The Jazz Gallery, ShapeShifter Lab, Grace Church, the Slope Lounge, Capitol Repertory Theatre, and for a year held a monthly residency at InsaniTea in Montclair.
In August 2019, the ensemble went into Oktaven Audio to record their debut album, with renowned composer/bandleader Darcy James Argue producing and Grammy-winning engineer Brian Montgomery as engineer.
ESSBO's debut album is expected to be released in mid-2021.
Erica Seguine is a composer, arranger, conductor, pianist, and educator living in the NYC area. Erica’s compositions/arrangements have also been performed by many ensembles all over the world, including the Metropole Orchestra, the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, the Brilliant Corners Large Ensemble, the J-Orchestra, the Millenium Jazz Orchestra, the Zurich Jazz Orchestra, and many college ensembles. She received the 2013 BMI Foundation Charlie Parker Prize/2014 Manny Albam Commission for “The Ravine”/”...And the Tire Swing Keeps Spinning...”, three ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards, the 2014 ASCAP Foundation Johnny Mandel Prize for “Reel No. 1”, three ASCAP Plus Awards, and was one of 8 selected internationally to be part of the 2012 Metropole Orchestra Arranger’s Workshop under Vince Mendoza, with Kurt Elling as soloist. Erica loves to champion new music, particularly in the big band scene, and passes her knowledge on to her own composition and piano students, teaching private lessons as well as being a Women In Jazz Organization (WIJO) mentor.
Shan Baker moved to the NYC area in 2009. Since, Shan has performed in several different ensembles while also writing inventive, original music for various instrumentations. Courageous, heart-driven, and often immersing the listener into darkness, with moments of light, Shan's music is written from an intuitive awareness of energy and its influences on the human psyche. Feelings of grief, loss, isolation, and brokenness emerge to the surface through their music, resulting in clarity, hope, beauty, and healing.