Coast Jazz Orchestra
Mali Obomsawin Sextet +

Coast Jazz Orchestra

January 01 - October 30, 2021

This event occurred as part of the 21/22 Hop Ensemble season. This is an archived view.

A night of creative music with the Dartmouth alum and her newly formed band, in a double bill with the orchestra.

21/22 Hop Ensemble

The evening's program includes Sweet Tooth, an extended suite of compositions, which Odanak Abenaki bassist/composer Mali Obomsawin began writing during her final year at Dartmouth College (2018) under the direction of Taylor Ho Bynum. The piece explores Indigenous identity, love, colonization and the blood politics in Indian Country.

Now she and Bynum reunite to revisit and expand Sweet Tooth, with a new band of exceptional young musicians fast emerging as leaders in the creative music community: vocalist/guitarist Miriam Elhajli, multi-reedist Allison Burik, drummer Savannah Harris, and tenor saxophonist (and recent Dartmouth alum) Noah Campbell. 

Then, led by Director Bynum, the student ensemble will perform a spectrum of composed and improvised music ranging from Duke Ellington to Sun Ra.

Generously supported by the Dartmouth Class of 1975, a gift to the Don Glasgo Fund in memory of Alan Gottesman '13, and a gift from Mark B. Weiss '86 and Terry Acebo Davis in honor of Paul E. Weiss P'86, Maya Wiley '86 and Keith Boykin '87

Photo: Ben DeFlorio

Taylor Ho Bynum is a composer, performer, interdisciplinary collaborator, producer, organizer, teacher and writer. His expressionistic playing on cornet and expansive vision as composer have garnered him critical attention on over 20 recordings as a bandleader and dozens more as a sideman, including The Ambiguity Manifesto, a top-10 choice in the 2019 NPR Jazz Critics' Poll. His varied endeavors include leading his own bands, his Acoustic Bicycle Tours (where he travels to concerts solely by bike across thousands of miles) and his stewardship of Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation (which he served as executive director from 2010-2018, producing and performing on many major Braxton projects, including two operas and multiple festivals). Bynum has worked with other legendary figures such as Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor and maintains current collaborative projects with Tomas Fujiwara, Mary Halvorson, Kyoko Kitamura, Joe Morris and Tomeka Reid, among others. He is currently the director of the Coast Jazz Orchestra at Dartmouth College, where he also teaches music history, composition and improvisation, and his writing has been published in the New Yorker, Point of Departure and Sound American.

Since graduating from Dartmouth College in 2018, Mali Obomsawin '18 released two critically acclaimed albums with the folk trio Lula Wiles on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, What Will We Do (2019) and Shame and Sedition (2021). She has also worked as an Indigenous rights activist, writing articles for The Boston Globe and Smithsonian Folklife Magazine, and founding the Bomazeen Land Trust, an organization dedicated to social and environmental justice in Wabanakiak.  
Kansas City native Allison Burik is a saxophonist and composer based in Boston. During her time in Kansas City she performed as a featured artist at venues such as the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts, Take Five Coffee+Bar, and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. Burik attended Berklee College of Music and received her Bachelor's degree in Performance in 2016. She is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Contemporary Improvisation at the New England Conservatory while maintaining an active career as a performer. Burik has released a solo EP, Some Days Like This, (2019) and a quartet album, Mythos, (2016). Since arriving in Boston in 2013, Burik has become an internationally known artist, having performed in festivals, residencies, and concerts in places as far reaching as France, South Korea, and Canada.   

Noah Campbell '21 holds a BA in Government from Dartmouth College. As a student he was a Coast Jazz Orchestra and Box Office Fellow. Campbell co-hosted the Coastin' Creative Music Conversations alongside Coast Jazz Orchestra director Taylor Ho Bynum.

Miriam Elhajli is a Venezuelan Moroccan American composer and vocalist whose work is influenced by the folkloric traditions of the Americas, avant-garde jazz and improvised music. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, she currently lives between London and New York City where she performs and works as a researcher at The Association for Cultural Equity founded by Alan Lomax. Elhajli's debut LP Observations was released this spring on her independent label Numina Records. Elhajli's sophomore album is set to be released this fall.
Savannah Harris is a drummer and writer currently studying journalism at Howard University, where she writes the Hilltop newspaper's Femiknowledge column. Growing up in Oakland, California, she learned drums at an early age, studying with her father Fred Harris and her step-father Khalil Shaheed. A member of the Howard University Jazz Ensemble, she has also performed independently with names such as Geri Allen and Marcus Belgrave. In 2014 she joined the world-renowned faculty at NJPAC's All-Female Jazz Residency Week. 

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