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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson

Composer, trumpeter, and singer-songwriter Sarah Wilson has premiered her music nationally and internationally, earning widespread critical acclaim for her 2010 Brass Tonic Records release, Trapeze Project. Wilson didn't come to music through the usual channels. After completing an undergraduate degree in anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, the lapsed high school trumpet player moved east to work with Vermont's renowned Bread and Puppet Theater company.

In 1993, she moved to New York City to concentrate on music, studying with trumpeters John McNeil and Laurie Frink. Through her affiliation with Bread and Puppet Theater, she soon found herself the musical director and composer at Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival’s annual puppet program. Wilson also absorbed other sources of inspiration from the eclectic downtown New York new music scene of the 1990s.

A native of California, Wilson moved back in 2005 and hit the music scene with her critically acclaimed CD Music for an Imaginary Play on Evander Music. Wilson has since received numerous accolades, including a 2010 Center for Cultural Innovation Artistic Innovation Award, as well as funding from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, East Bay Fund for Artists, the de Young Cultural Encounters Initiative in collaboration with Intersection for the Arts, and Meet the Composer MetLife Creative Connections program. She was also a 2010 Djerassi Resident Artist.

The Project

This fall, Sarah Wilson and Catch Me Bird will premiere Off the Walls, a site-specific, collaborative performance that combines the music, aerials, and dance. The show will begin with a dance performance by Catch Me Bird in Wilsey Court, followed by an aerial performance in the Koret Auditorium, all set against the dynamic musical stylings of Sarah Wilson. This project is funded by the 2011 Composers Collaborative grant from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Catch Me Bird

Equal parts reality show and high-powered contemporary dance, Catch Me Bird (C. Derrick Jones and Nehara Kalev) transforms the ups and downs of relationships into artistic journeys. Catch Me Bird debuted in Los Angeles in 2004, combining experimental dance, improvisation, aerial skills, and madcap reality theater. Through performances, master classes, residencies, special commissions, and educational projects, the company focuses on the act of collaboration as a springboard for human progress and growth.

Catch Me Bird has been honored to receive vital support from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Flourish Foundation, the Durfee Foundation, the Scripps Foundation, and the Center for Cultural Innovation. In 2010, Kalev and Jones were invited to participate in the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, where they met composer Sarah Wilson and began cooking up Off the Walls.

The Collaborating Partners

Founded in 1993, Z Space is a hub for artists and audiences to revel in the creation, development, and production of outstanding new work. It commissions, develops, and produces a full season of new works from a variety of disciplines including theater, dance, music, performance art, and new media. It fosters opportunities around the nation for these works and for their Bay Area artists. It engages diverse audiences through direct interaction with the process, the projects, and the artists.

The Stags' Leap Winery Artist in Residence program began almost 20 years ago as a poets' weekend to celebrate the winery's 100th Anniversary. Over the years, the program has included poets laureate, painters, sculptors, and conceptual artists from all over the United States. Today, with Sarah Wilson's residency, Stags' Leap Winery is very excited to welcome its first musician to the Artist in Residence program. Stags' Leap Winery looks to providing a setting that serves as an inspiration to Sarah, as she fills the vineyards with ethereal musical vibrations.

Photos of the artist on Flickr