The James Brandon Lewis Trio was established with one goal in mind … to chase energy!
Drawing on the legacy of great trios of the past such as Air, JBL 3 is a power trio with a Sax .. from hip-hop to punk rock … features amazing leaders in their own right: Chris Hoffman and Max Jaffe.
James Brandon Lewis (b.1983) is a critically- acclaimed composer, saxophonist, and writer. He has received accolades from NPR, ASCAP Foundation, Macdowell, and The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. He has been described as “ a saxophonist who embodies and transcends tradition” by The New York Times. “The saxophonist has balanced a deep, gospel-informed spirituality with Free-Jazz abandon and hard-hitting funk-meets-hip-hop underpinning,” says Rolling Stone Magazine. He has released several critically-acclaimed albums, most recently the highly touted Jesup Wagon, which was voted Record of the Year by Jazz Times magazine. Lewis is a member and co-founder of American Book Award winning ensemble Heroes Are Gang Leaders. James was recently voted Rising Star Tenor Saxophonist by Downbeat magazine’s 2020’s International Critics poll. He attended Howard University and received his M.F.A from California Institute of the Arts.
Christopher Hoffman is a cellist and composer who has performed in Henry Threadgill’s Pulitzer Prize winning ensemble Zooid for over a decade. He also currently performs with the grammy-nominated Anat Cohen Tentet, James Brandon Lewis Trio & Red Lily Quintet, Rudy Royston’s Flatbed Buggy, Kenny Warren Trio, Tony Malaby and his own Christopher Hoffman Quartet. He has worked with Martin Scorsese, Yoko Ono, Bleachers, Butch Morris, Marc Ribot, Lee Konitz, Christina Courtin, Spring Awakening, Ryan Scott, Anthony Coleman, FLH, Marianne Faithfull, Ryan Adams, Iron & Wine, Jeremiah Cymerman, Michael Pitt, Pagoda & many others. “Christopher Hoffman hardly needs to prove his bona fides as an agile improviser and ensemble player,” says Nate Chinen, “But with Asp Nimbus…Hoffman distinguishes himself further as a bandleader.”
Max Jaffe expands the boundaries of possibility for composition and collaboration through the drum set. His music draws from many different genres and seeks to break down the boundaries between them. He is part of a cutting edge of drummers that have embraced SUNHOUSE and their Sensory Percussion technology that has shifted the paradigm of the instrument. His powerful solo performances exploit the physicality of the drums to create narrative through movement, defying visual expectations and logic for what a “drum solo” can express. As a collaborator, he is a longtime member of experimental rock collective JOBS and Amirtha Kidambi’s Elder Ones, and has performed internationally with Chrome Sparks, Peter Evans, Rubblebucket, Cass McCombs, and many others. In 2021 he completed an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Music Technology and was a Pioneer Works Music Resident.