March 24 - April 02, 2023

Mali Obomsawin Sextet

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Mali Obomsawin Sextet

Mali Obomsawin Sextet
Portland, ME
Grant amount: $10,150

About the Artists

Mali Obomsawin is an award winning songwriter, bassist and composer from Odanak First Nation. With an expansive background in indie rock, American roots/folk and jazz, Obomsawin carries several music traditions, and plays primarily as an accompanist in the roots and avant-garde circuits of the east coast. Beyond the stage Mali is a community organizer and advocate for environmental justice and tribal sovereignty. She recorded and released her debut album as bandleader, Sweet Tooth, in October of 2022. The album foregrounds folk music and stories from Odanak First Nation, expressed through Mali’s arrangements and compositions in the idiom of improvised music. In the first month since its release, the album has garnered acclaim from The Guardian, NPR, Jazz Times, Financial Times UK, Citizen Jazz (Paris), and The Wire, launching Obomsawin into what should be a fruitful year of touring with her sextet.

Allison Philips, the newest member of the Mali Obomsawin Sextet, is a Brooklyn-based trumpet player, composer, and educator. From the traditional trio setting to genre-bending explorations via electronics, Allison is always searching for new ground. She holds a BFA in Jazz Performance from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City and an MM in Jazz Performance from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in The Netherlands.

Zack O’Farrill is a multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-musical artist who doesn’t believe in the walls that separate us. Growing up in a musical household, the son of classical pianist Alison Deane and jazz pianist, composer, bandleader Arturo O’Farrill, Zack and his brother, the trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, grew up playing and listening to a wide world of music. From the European-concert-music-influenced Afro-Cuban big band jazz of their grandfather, Chico O’Farrill, to the tongue-in-cheek free jazz of Carla Bley, to having a rotation of the Beatles, Steely Dan, Earth Wind and Fire, and Oscar Peterson in the car on summer road trips, growing up in the hip-hop generation, and extensive study of music in the new world derived from the African Diaspora, Zack has never viewed music with any particular regard to genre.

Noah Campbell is a recent Dartmouth College graduate, raised in Richmond, Virginia’s vibrant jazz scene. Primarily a tenor saxophonist, Noah brings spontaneity and passion to any musical context. His musical passions run tandem with his interest in Black political thought, especially in the context of music in the “jazz” idiom. Noah is now pursuing a PhD in Political Theory and/or Black Studies at Brown University.

Miriam Elhajli is a Venezuelan-Moroccan-American composer-improviser, guitarist, and vocalist whose work is influenced by the folkloric traditions of their heritage, creative new music, and improvisation in all forms. When not based out of a moving vehicle, Elhajli lives in Brooklyn & works as a puppeteer, performer, and as a researcher at The Association for Cultural Equity founded by Alan Lomax.

Allison Burik is a saxophonist, clarinetist, improviser, and composer based in Tio'tia:ke/ Montreal, Quebec. She has performed in festivals, residencies, and concerts in places as far reaching as France, South Korea, Canada, and the US. Though originally from Kansas City, Burik moved to Boston to receive her Bachelor's Degree in Performance (2016) at Berklee College of Music, and her Master’s degree in Contemporary Improvisation at the New England Conservatory (2020). Over the years Burik has studied with notable musicians including George Garzone, Joe Morris, Ingrid Laubrock, Ran Blake, Carla Kilhstedt, Anthony Coleman, Frank Tiberi, Bobby Watson, Jaleel Shaw, Shannon LeClaire, and Tia Fuller. Currently, Burik is an active member of the jazz and experimental music scenes in Montreal, and can be found at festivals and concerts throughout the region.


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