New York’s BOPTARTS featuring SEAMUS BLAKE
Co-Led by Lauren Falls-Bass & Vickie Yang-Piano
Seamus Blake & Frasier Calhoun-Saxes,
Jon Challoner-Trumpet, Carsten Rubeling-Trombone,
Trevor Giancola-Guitar & Trevor Falls-Drums
Boptarts is a new project co-lead by bassist Lauren Falls and pianist Vickie Yang. Hailing from Vancouver Island Canada, the two first met at band camp during high school, and later, both completed a Bachelors degree at Humber College in Toronto. Vickie moved to New York first, to attend New York University where she majored in composition. Lauren was not far behind and eventually pursued her graduate studies at Manhattan School of Music. They not only share their west coast roots and east coast experiences, but also an affinity for songful melodies and a passion for composing. The Boptarts weave bold improvisation with savvy orchestration to create music that is clear, thoughtful and fun.
Their next performance is scheduled for April 11th and 12th at the Rex in Toronto. The ensemble features Jon Challoner on trumpet, Fraser Calhoun on alto saxophone and flute, Carsten Rubeling on trombone, Trevor Giancola on guitar, Trevor Falls on drums and special guest Seamus Blake on soprano and tenor saxophones. They will perform all original material by Vickie and Lauren.
Canadian Bassist Lauren Falls has come a long way from the small town of Port Alberni BC and is making a big impact on the New York jazz scene playing at venues such as Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Cornelia Street Cafe, Fat Cat and Cleopatra’s Needle. Having toured all over North America, Lauren has performed at the Kennedy Center and at jazz festivals including The Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival in Washington DC, Ottawa International Jazz Festival and The Vail Jazz Festival. Lauren has been an artist-in-residence at The Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program, has performed at The Rivinia Steans Institute and was a member of The Sisters in Jazz of the IAJE. She has shared the stage with such jazz greats as Dave Douglas, Mike Stern, and Kurt Elling.
Primarily a performer with an unexpectedly strong command of the bass, Lauren is also an accomplished composer having performed her original music with her self-titled group extensively in Canada at such venues as The Rex, The Red Guitar and The Opal Jazz Lounge. She holds a Masters degree in Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music as well as a Bachelors degree in Jazz Performance from Humber College in Toronto, having studied with Dave Liebman, Phil Markowitz, Jay Anderson, and Justin Diccicio. Additional coaches include James Moody, David Baker, Billy Childs, Nathan Davis, Geri Allen and John Clayton.
Vickie Yang, although still only in her twenties, is well on her way to being one of the most in demand composer/arrangers. Vickie is now hard at work as musical director, composer and arranger on the latest documentary film project entitled ‘Cape Spin’, by Means of Production. Two of Vickie’s compositions were recently performed by the United States Navy Band at the 2010 International Saxophone Symposium, and three compositions were performed by saxophonist Seamus Blake while a Guest Resident Artist with the Northeastern State University Jazz Ensemble. They will be featured on the NSU Jazz Ensemble’s upcoming album.
Vickie was born in Victoria, Canada where she studied classical piano from the age of four with the Royal Conservatory of Music. She completed a Bachelors degree in Jazz Performance at Humber College and in May 2008, graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Arts Degree in Jazz Composition from New York University where she studied with Vijay Iyer, Justin Dello Joio, Ralph Alessi, Gil Goldstein and Jim McNeely and participated in ensembles with John Scofield and Dafnis Prieto.
In addition to working on music for an upcoming documentary film, she is currently writing for her own projects, Vickie Yang Orchestra and Boptarts. Vickie also continues to be an active participant in the BMI Jazz Composers’ Workshop led by Jim McNeely and Mike Holober in New York City.