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"Hang the classifications, and bring on more jazz art songs," —Terry Blain, Specialist to the Star Tribune (BBC Music Magazine, Opera Magazine U.K.)
It was an unlikely partnership: a jazz pianist/composer and international award-winning Schubert vocalist, but the sparks of Jeremy Walker and Clara Osowski‘s artistic collaboration appeared the first time they performed together. The result was Haunted Blue—music by Walker with poetry by Walt Whitman, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and lyricist Greg Foley. APM/Minnesota Public Radio’s New Classical Tracks observed the album was comprised of “songs that may reflect the future of classical music” and asked, “If Franz Schubert were composing songs today, would they sound like the songs heard on this new recording?”
"All the works revel in spectral zones between light and shadow, loss and connection, classical and jazz." —Classical Minnesota Public Radio
"They are certainly not 'crossover': The term is a tad demeaning and does scant justice to the subtleties and innovations achieved by Walker in his richly suggestive new cycle.” —Star Tribune
Mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski, "a rarely beautiful mezzo-soprano" who sings "from inside the music with unaffected purity and sincerity" (UK Telegraph), is an active soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe. In 2017, Osowski became the first ever American prize winner when she placed second at Thomas Quasthoff’s International Das Lied Competition in Heidelberg, Germany, and in September 2017, was awarded the Richard Tauber Prize for the best interpretation of Schubert Lieder at the Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation Song Competition in London. Recent wins include the 2018-19 McKnight Artist Fellowship, the Radio-Canada People’s Choice Award and third place in the song division at the 2018 Concours Musical International de Montréal where CBC Music reported she "had us on the edge of our seat." Other appearances include the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago and the Schubert Club International Artist Series in St. Paul, MN.
Jeremy Walker began his career as a saxophonist. In 2005, an undiagnosed medical condition (later discovered to be Lyme Disease) forced him to stop playing the saxophone; he turned to piano and composition, earning accolades including a Jerome Foundation Travel/Study grant, and collaborations with TU Dance, and Zenon Dance Company. He served as Adjunct Faculty at Bethel University. His release of original jazz art songs, Haunted Blue (featured on MPR’s New Classical Tracks) features award-winning mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski, Anthony Cox and Tesfa Wondemagegnehu. Walker’s suite 7 Psalms most recently performed to an audience of 1,700 at Orchestra Hall Minneapolis and included the launch of American Public Media’s Radio Choir. (Star Tribune raved, ”Compositions that attempt to fuse the worlds of jazz and classical aren’t often convincing, but here’s one that is.”) Other works include the oratorio, The Rage of Achilles, for classical voice and jazz ensemble, and Alma Gentil—five pieces commissioned by Consortium Carissimi for chamber choir with early baroque and jazz ensembles. In 2014, Walker founded the Jazz at Orchestra Hall in the Target Atrium series where he served as Artistic Director until 2019. Walker has worked with Anthony Cox, Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Ted Nash, Matt Wilson, Vincent Gardner, Ron Miles, Carei Thomas among others. His projects include writing the film score for Photographic Justice: The Corky Lee Story and authoring a series of articles on culture for Walker Art Center and mnartists.org.