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Stephen Lehman

2023 Jazz Road Creatives

Stephen Lehman

Recipient Information


Altadena, California

Project Title

Orbis Tertius

Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Jazz Road Creative Residencies Grant

Grant Amount


Fieldwork, the collaborative trio of composer-performers Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman, and Tyshawn Sorey, will engage in an intensive 5-day residency in Philadelphia, PA to collectively compose and develop "Orbis Tertius", an evening-length suite of music inspired by the Jorge Luis Borges short story of the same name.

About the Artist

Steve Lehman is an American composer and saxophonist known for his work in jazz and experimental music. He has gained recognition for his compositions, which have been performed by various international performers and orchestras.

Lehman was born in New York City and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in composition from Wesleyan University. He further pursued his education and earned a Doctor of Musical Arts with distinction in composition from Columbia University. Throughout his studies, he received guidance from notable figures such as Tristan Murail, George E. Lewis, Fabien Lévy, Fred Lerdahl, and attended classes with Jackie McLean at the University of Hartford Hartt School.

As a performer, Lehman leads several of his own ensembles and frequently collaborates as a sideman with artists including Anthony Braxton, Vijay Iyer, and Jason Moran. His album "Travail, Transformation & Flow," released in 2009, was acclaimed as the #1 Jazz Album of the year by The New York Times. His work has been reviewed in prominent publications such as Artforum, Down Beat magazine, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Wire, National Public Radio, and the BBC. Lehman was a Fulbright scholar from 2002 to 2003.

Currently, Lehman serves as a professor of Music at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. His achievements have been recognized with various awards and honors, including Jazz Album of the Year by The New York Times in 2009 for "Travail, Transformation & Flow," Best New Album in the NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll in 2014 for "Mise en Abime," a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015, and a Doris Duke Artist Award in 2014.