Greg Osby

2012 Pew Fellow

Greg Osby, 2012 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.

“I have dedicated my career to creating work that is unpredictable and to inspiring musicians to hear and play in ways that are truly new.”

Greg Osby (b. 1960) has made an indelible mark on contemporary jazz over the past 20 years, leading his own ensembles and performing with musical icons such as Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, and others. Highly regarded for his insightful and innovative approach to composition and performance, Osby strives to keep his musicians on their toes and to entice his audiences, blending familiar musical components with more challenging and advanced concepts. He says he works to inspire musicians to hear and play in ways that are truly new, without resorting to automatic responses and stock phraseology. Osby is the recipient of numerous awards for his recordings and passionate live performances, including a Doris Duke Composition Fellowship and the Chamber Music America Composers Award. He is also highly invested in the survival of the art form, having established a record label in 2007, Inner Circle Music, which promotes new and progressive artists in the contemporary jazz scene. Osby hopes to host emerging talents at summer composition labs at his home in Valley Forge, and to establish a local music cooperative that pairs young musicians with experienced artists for fruitful protégé-mentor relationships. In May 2014, National Public Radio included Osby in its list, “Take 75: Great Solos in Blue Note Records History.” He has recently performed with Center grantee PRISM Quartet as part of Music for Saxophones: Heritage/Evolution, blending disparate saxophone traditions across multiple performances and culminating in a recording with Innova Records.

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