NOW Ensemble bios

NOW Ensemble bios

Lisa cay Miller is equally comfortable with modern jazz, contemporary composition, improvisation and the avant garde. She is first and foremost a musician, interested in sound and creativity, regardless of genre. Lisa Miller has composed for de Bijloke ensemble (Belgium) the Tetzepi Bigtet and Anne La Berge  (Amsterdam), mmm… (Tokyo), Pianorquestra (Brazil), the Quatuor Bozzini  (Montreal), Vancouver New Music, Standing Wave, Turning Point Ensemble, Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, François Houle and Jane Hayes (Vancouver), and The Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, The Left Coast Ensemble and Earplay (San Francisco). Lisa Miller has performed with Audrey Chen, Nicole Mitchell, Butch Morris, Ig Henneman, Wilbert de Joode, Anne La Berge, Michael Moore, Jean Yves Evrard, Jaochim Badenhorst, Kenney Wollesen and Eyvind Kang, Dylan van der Schyff, Peggy Lee, Brad Turner, Jesse Zubot, François Houle, Ron Samworth the NOW Orchestra, Orkestra Futura and ion zoo. Her CDs, The lisa miller octet; Sleep Furiously, the music of lisa miller, Q,Q; waterwall and The lisa miller trio; open have received rave international reviews.

JP Carter's unique approach to the trumpet and versatility as an improvisor and composer have made him a vital contributor to the Vancouver music community. JP is currently involved with a multitude of Vancouver-based groups, including Destroyer, Dan Mangan, Fond of Tigers, the Tony Wilson 6tet, Mary Margaret O'Hara & Peggy Lee's Beautiful Tool, Gordon Grdina's Haram, Michael Blake's Variety Hour, and Orkestra Futura (NOW Orchestra). Meanwhile, his main projects as a composer/performer continue to be Inhabitants, Aeroplane Trio, and Carsick. These three long-standing original projects have all released albums on Vancouver's Drip Audio label. JP is also currently working on a solo trumpet project, and is planning to record and release a debut album of solo work later this year (2013).
Skye Brooks (drums) began to explore the city's vibrant improvised music scene in the late 90's and since then has become an active and sought-after figure as a musician and composer in Vancouver's creative music community. He loves the challenge of playing in diverse settings, and regularly drums, tours and records with Inhabitants, Veda Hille, Fond of Tigers ( 2011 JUNO award winners ), Tony Wilson 6tet, the Orkestra Futura, Tyson Naylor Trio, Ndidi Onukwulu, Longhand, Aeroplane Trio and others.  From 2000 to 2005, he co-curated the weekly improvised music series Parallelatuesdays, which featured out-of-town and local musicians at both the Sugar Refinery and Chroma Books.  He also performs as a singer, guitarist and songwriter with his own rock band Copilots.  As a composer, Skye's background in experimental jazz takes on its own voice in recordings by groups such as the Inhabitants and Almost Transparent Blue. For the 2009 Juno Awards, Inhabitants received a nomination for Best Instrumental Album of the Year.
James Meger is an active bassist and composer currently residing in Vancouver. His practice extends primarily to the fields of jazz, free improvisation and rock music. He’s received education in music from Capilano College in Vancouver and also from Mcgill University in Montreal, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Jazz performance and spent time studying with drummer/composer Chris McCann. James’ main creative project these days is co-leading and composing for a saxophone trio called Braveheart. To date the group has released one studio album, with plans for a couple more in the coming year, toured around Canada and most recently, spent time at the Banff Centre in Alberta doing a three-week creative music residency. James is busy in Vancouver collaborating as a sideman with many local groups such as: the Bruno Hubert Trio, Squareheart, the Jaclyn Guillou Quintet, Sick Boss, the Spiritual Unity Quartet and many others.

Jesse Zubot, (violin) of Vancouver, B.C., is a founding member of the acoustic roots group 'Zubot & Dawson'. Their recent recording was produced by Lee Townsend (Bill Frisell, John Scofield) and released on True North Records in Canada.  Zubot is also a member of the Great Uncles of the Revolution, which includes Toronto bassist Andrew Downing and trumpeter Kevin Turcotte. Both groups are Juno Award winning recording acts (2002-03).  In the past few years, Jesse has delved heavily into the world of improvised & creative music working with artists such as François Houle, Peggy Lee, Dylan van der Schyff, Eugene Chadbourne, Dave Douglas, Joe Fonda, Ron Samworth, Nels Cline, Jean Martin, Justin Haynes, Tony Wilson, David Tronzo, Fred Frith, Humcrush, Gerry Hemingway, Henry Kaiser and others. In 2005, Jesse released two albums entitled LaConnor and Zubotta on his new Drip Audio label. LaConnor, a disordered electro-acoustic album, was included on many year-end best-of lists including Exclaim! Magazine's Top Ten Experimental/Avant-Garde albums. Zubotta spent a lot of time on !Earshot's Electronic music chart and received airplay on programs such as CBC Radio 3.  Jesse spends a lot of his time performing live with these various projects and has appeared at some of the worlds more prestigious festivals including the Monterey Jazz Festival, Era Jazzu (Wroclaw, Poland), Mulhouse Jazz Festival (France), the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the New York Guitar Festival, Dobrofest (Trnava, Slovakia), the Atlantic Jazz Festival (Halifax, NS), The Edmonton Folk Festival, Traz & Folk Fest (Rudolstadt, Germany) and The Guelph Jazz Festival.  Other awards Jesse has received for his work include West Coast Music Awards and Violinist of the Year (2003) at Canada's National Jazz Awards.

Peggy Lee (cello) arrived in Vancouver from Toronto via a winter stint in Banff. After finishing a degree in performance at the University of Toronto she spent a winter at the Banff Centre working with a string quartet. It was here that she first encountered improvisation. Upon arriving in Vancouver in 1989 she has performed in numerous creative contexts across the musical spectrum. She has worked with actors and dancers, notably EDAM, improvising to movement. She has worked in a more popular vein with Veda Hille. More pertinent is her long standing collaborations with Talking Pictures and the Tony Wilson Sextet. Recently Peggy has also been performing as part of Dave Douglas’ “Mountain Passages Project “ which toured Italy in August 2003. Lee is also a member of the NOW Orchestra, which has made their musical presence felt through their work with the likes of Barry Guy, René Lussier, Koch, Shutz and Studer, Butch Morris and most recently, George Lewis. Another big bandsetting well worthy of mention here is her work with Vinny Golias Large Ensemble. Lee also works with Standing Wave, a new music ensemble dedicated to performing new works, principally by Canadian composers. Lee was awarded the Mayor’s Art Award by the city of Vancouver in 2013. Other performance collaborations, too numerous to detail, include work with saxophonist Peter van Bergen, electro-acoustic composer Paul Dolden, trumpeter Dave Douglas and illustrious Vancouver figures, François Houle and Paul Plimley. In addition to her Spool recording, These are Our Shoes, with Dylan van der Schyff, Lee has also recorded withTalking Pictures (Red Toucan), Vinny Golia (Nine Winds), the NOW Orchestra (Maya and Victo), with Carlos Zingaro from an acclaimed concert recorded at the Vancouver Jazz Festival (Hatology) and on François Houles new John Carter Project which features Lee along with Dylan van der Schyff, Dave Douglas and Mark Dresser (Songlines).

Nikki Carter (saxophone) is a performer/composer/producer/educator whose career has been focused on the discipline and practice of musical improvisation. As the Artistic Director of the New Orchestra Workshop Society (an organization the he has been involved with since 1978) Coat was the founder and leader of Vancouver’s Orkestra Futura an ensemble internationally lauded as one of the premier improvising ensembles in the world. With this ensemble he has toured Canada, the USA and Europe performing in major festivals in Berlin, Lisbon and Chicago. His latest releases High Wire and Conversations are available on the NOW Orchestra Records Label. 

Brad Muirhead (bass trombone) is well known to audiences across Canada and Europe for his powerful sound and inventive improvising and has been contributing to the Vancouver music scene on a full-time basis since 1980. He has recorded and toured extensively with his own groups Koan, Primal Orbit and Brass Roots as well as Vancouver's three most important large jazz ensembles: the NOW Orchestra (now Orchestra Futura), Hugh Fraser's VEJI, and the Hard Rubber Orchestra. He has been extensively involved with Vancouver's jazz / new-music community as a performer and composer with numerous small and large ensembles, both as a leader and sideman. He is an active freelance musician, music educator and community music facilitator.

Mike Dowler is a full-time freelance [bass]clarinetist specializing in classical and new music. He holds a B.Mus. and M.Ed. from U.B.C., where he studied with J. Wesley Foster, and a M.Mus. from the City University of New York where he studied with Charles Neidich. He is second clarinet/bass clarinet with the Kamloops Symphony, and is a member of the Ventos Wind Quintet ( An active performer and advocate for new music and Canadian compositions, he has worked with organizations such as Vancouver New Music, Turning Point Ensemble, Sonic Boom/Vancouver Pro Musica, the NOW Society, and has twice received grants to present "New Music in New Places" for the Canadian Music Centre. As a member of the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra performing newly composed works for Asian and Western instruments combined, Mike has a keen interest in the possibilities of mixing musical cultures. Mike performs regularly with Lisa Cay Miller's improvised music ensemble "Hejira's Brew".

DB Boyko is a specialist in experimental voice. DB has performed with a variety of artists fromt helocal and international creative music scene such as Paul Plimley, François Houle, Brad Muirhead, Paul Dutton and Evan Parker. She has had several guest engagements with the legendary NOW Orchestra/Orkestra Futura, Talking Pictures and the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra. She is the co-founder of several improvising ensembles including Hextremities (1980s), the all women VIEW Ensemble (1990s) and the Crossing Borsders Ensemble (2000). She is part of Idiolalla, a vocal tour-de-force with fellow vocalist Christine Duncan and drummer/spin doctor Jean Martin. She recently completed a Canadian tour with Duncan performing “Stall”, a commissioned work by Victoria composer Christopher Butterfield examining the lore of public washrooms.

Chad MacQuarrie is a guitarist/composer who lives in Vancouver British Columbia Canada. He is active on numerous front of music ranging from jazz to rock to improv., as well as other styles. Projects fronted by Chad include Karen Foster, Assertion and Swanvista.  As a sideman/collaborator they include Benzine, Copilots, The Meta Five, Darkblueworld, Orkresta Futura, Doundounba and Carol Pope. MacQuarrie's guitar playing and composition is known being both critical and highly energetic. His original recordings have been archived here-