Pianist-composer Sylvie Courvoisier, a native of Switzerland, has earned just renown for balancing two distinct worlds: the deep, richly detailed chamber music of her European roots and the grooving, hook-laden sounds of the downtown jazz scene in New York City, her home for more than two decades
Few artists feel truly at ease in both concert halls and jazz clubs, playing improvised or composed music. But Courvoisier – “a pianist of equal parts audacity and poise,” according to The New York Times – is as compelling when performing Stravinsky’s iconic Rite of Spring in league with flamenco dancer-choreographer Israel Galván and pianist Cory Smythe as she is when improvising with her own widely acclaimed jazz trio, featuring bassist Drew Gress and drummer Kenny Wollesen.
Then there are her ear-opening collaborations with such avant-jazz luminaries as John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith, Evan Parker, Ikue Mori, Ellery Eskelin, Susie Ibarra, Fred Frith, Andrew Cyrille, Mark Feldman, Ken Vandermark, Nate Wooley and Mary Halvorson.
In music as in life, Courvoisier crosses borders with a creative spirit and a free mind; her music-making is as playful as it is intense, as steeped in tradition as it is questing and intrepid. JazzTimes has said: “Courvoisier keeps you on the edge of your seat because it feels like the piano cannot contain her. Her careening solos seem to overwhelm and overflow the keyboard and keep spilling.”
Her most recent albums include SEARCHING FOR THE DISAPPEARED HOUR (Pyroclastic, 2021) a duo with Mary Halvorson ; TIME GONE OUT ( Intakt, 2019), a duo with Mark Feldman; the Sylvie Courvoisier Trio with Drew Gress & Kenny Wollesen: FREE HOOPS (Intakt, 2020) and D'AGALA (Intakt, 2018); LOCKDOWN (Clean Feed, 2021), a Trio with Ned Rothenberg and Julian Sartorius.
She currently teaches at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.