If Brooklyn’s music circles draw a venn diagram, Angela Morris thrives in the loop between avant-jazz, new music, and pop. As composer and multi-instrumentalist, (known mostly as saxophonist, she grew up playing violin) she has performed throughout North America and Europe everywhere from basements to arenas.
The Webber|Morris Big Band, her 18-piece jazz big band, performs original compositions by Morris and co-leader Anna Webber. The New York Times praised their “ambitious original compositions” and “jagged-edged band that has begun to turn musicians’ heads.” The ensemble will release their debut album Both Are True on Greenleaf Music in 2020.
Morris’ vocal group Rallidae has released two albums: 2016’s Turned, and Was on the NYC-based label Gold Bolus Recordings and 2014’s Paper Birds, which AllAboutJazz called “a genuinely distinctive, and entertaining, combination of sounds and words… An exceptional debut by and exciting and innovative new band.”
As a co-leader, Morris is a member of TMT, a trio with Cat Toren on piano and Anthony Taddeo on drums, who recently released Asleep in the Dust – an art book and double CD collaboration with visual artist Jerry Birchfield. Another collaborative trio, Motel released like you always do, I always did too (Prom Night Records) 2017. And the band Skellettes with Nathaniel Morgan (saxophone), Jason Ajemian (bass) and Booker Stardrum (drums) performs at Winter Jazzfest in 2020.
Since 2016, Morris has organized the monthly, multi-disciplinary, experimental concert series Brackish – music & art at St. Lydia’s Dinner Church in Brooklyn.
Morris performs with Jessica Pavone String Ensemble, and performed on their 2019 debut album Brick and Mortar. She has performed with Myra Melford in duo and other formats. She is a frequent collaborator and touring band member with “cosmic synth-folk” musician Helado Negro, appearing on his records Private Energy (Expanded), This is How You Smile, and Helado Negro and the Smile Band – Live at KCRW.
A 2019 Composer Fellow at Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, Morris has also been artist-in-residence at Willapa Bay AiR, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Banff Centre. She holds an MA in Music Composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music at CUNY Queens College in New York and BA in Jazz Studies from Humber College in Toronto. She is an alumna of the BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop lead by Jim McNeely and studied composition with Darcy James Argue.