Artists in Residence
David Liebman’s career has spanned more than four decades, beginning with his "apprenticeship" period in the early 1970s, when he played with drummer Elvin Jones (Live at the Lighthouse) and Miles Davis (On the Corner). Since then, he has formed his own groups (Lookout Farm, Quest, the Dave Liebman Group) featuring musicians such as John Scofield, Richie Beirach, Billy Hart, Adam Nussbaum, Al Foster, John Abercrombie, and Vic Juris. Since 1973, Liebman has consistently placed among the top three in the DownBeat critics poll for soprano saxophone. In 2011, he won first place in both the DownBeat and Jazz Times critics poll. That same year, Liebman received the National Endowment for the Arts Masters of Jazz Award, the highest honor for jazz given by the United States government.
Liebman has been featured on nearly 350 recordings and has published several hundred original compositions. His repertoire is among the most eclectic of contemporary artists. In the education field, Liebman is a renowned lecturer, producing several instructional DVDs and books, most notably Self Portrait of a Jazz Artist, A Chromatic Approach to Jazz Melody and Harmony, and Developing a Personal Saxophone Sound. Liebman has also published multiple chamber music pieces for a variety of instrumentations. He is the founder and artistic director of the International Association of Schools of Jazz.
A creative force on the international jazz scene for the last two decades, drummer and composer Adam Cruz is best known for his work with Danilo Perez, Steve Wilson, David Sanchez, and Edward Simon. Cruz was born in New York City. He worked extensively with saxophonist David Sanchez and the Mingus Big Band during the 1990s. He then toured with Chick Corea, recording Origin: A Week at the Blue Note, and spent the end of the 90s touring in a duo setting with guitarist Charlie Hunter.
In recent years, Cruz has forged a steady musical relationship with pianist Danilo Perez and is a member of the Danilo Perez Trio, which also features bassist Ben Street. His teachers have included his father, percussionist Ray Cruz, as well as Frank Malabe, Keith Copeland, Kenny Washington, and Joe Chambers. He has also worked at various times with artists such as Tom Harrell, Chris Potter, Pharaoh Sanders, John Patitucci, Paquito D’Rivera, and many more. Cruz’s remarkable musicianship has made him one of the most in-demand drummers of today. In 2010, he was awarded a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music to record Milestone, his debut recording as a composer and bandleader, which was released on Sunnyside Records in 2011.
Ben Street studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston with Miroslav Vitous and Dave Holland before moving to New York in 1991. He has performed and toured with Danilo Perez, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Roswell Rudd, Lee Konitz, David Sanchez, James Moody, Mark Turner, Frank Foster, Clark Terry, Junior Cook, Charles Davis, Sam Rivers, Clifford Jordan, Billy Harper, Paul Motian, Billy Hart, Buddy Montgomery, and Jimmy Scott.
Street's selected discography includes The Next Step, The Enemies of Energy, Heartcore (Kurt Rosenwinkel), Til Then, Live at the Jazz Showcase (Danilo Perez), Coral, Cultural Survival (David Sanchez), La Bikina (Ed Simon), Morenica (Anthony Coleman), Holiday Songs and Lullabies (Shawn Colvin), At Last (Cyndi Lauper), Guilty (Ethan Iverson, Jorge Rossy, and Chris Cheek), Widening Circles (Barney McAll), Dust (Ben Monder Trio), Space Cowboys Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Purple Violets (Sam Rivers/Kresten Osgood), and Quartet (Billy Hart).