Superstar flutist Jamie Baum describes her music as “modern jazz with global and classical influences.” In fact, along with her skillful playing, it’s those cross-cultural influences that led the US State Department to send her on tour to South Asia and other countries around the world.
Following the earthquakes in Nepal earlier this year, Baum produced a benefit concert in New York, featuring eight bands that raised money in the aftermath of the disaster. Her recent compositions have been inspired by her experiences traveling in Nepal, making her upcoming concert at the Rubin Museum especially poignant.
“I went to Nepal in 2003 and then again in 2009, performing at the Jazzmandu Festival. Each trip included several performances, workshops and collaborations with local musicians as well as sight-seeing trips,” Baum said. For a 2009 Jazzmandu performance called “Jazz at Patan,” Baum and her band were joined by traditional Nepali musicians who rehearsed with them to blend jazz and Nepali music. The group performed at Patan Museum square in Kathmandu. “One of my favorite shows,” Baum recalled, “It is a beautiful venue with a magical atmosphere, I had to pinch myself that I was there.”
At her upcoming concert at the Rubin, Baum says she hopes to create an experience that draws from the vibe and energy created by the space as well as the stories from the chosen artifacts. “Performing in a museum offers an intimacy, focus, and connection with the audience, since there are no other distractions,” she said. “I approach our performance as I would a recording”¦thinking about an arch of a beginning, middle and end with a variety of color, tempos and textures”¦hopefully creating a mood and telling a story.”
The Jamie Baum Septet will bring global and classical influenced jazz to the Rubin Museum on November 13. In the meantime, you can see Jamie in action in this video of the group performing at the 2014 NYC Winter Jazz fest: