Please enjoy some of the rough mixes to the first batch of songs for my new country-jazz -soft rock project J-Bird and the Interlopers:https://jacobvarmus.bandcamp.com
Stay tuned for news about placement of songs in film and television, and for reinterpretation by your favorite singers.
Aegean honored as 'favorite sextet/septet album of the year' by Jazz Times contributor Travis Rogers: http://travisrogersjr.weebly.com/a-love-of-music/the-jazz-owl-favorites-of-2015
Heartfelt thanks to Indian Summer Festival for their hospitality, professionalism, and grace under pressure.
It looks like I'm giving everything I have here because I am.
Thanks to the septet, Silvana, and executive producer Apostolos Georgopoulos for a successful album release for Aegean.
November 25th, 2013
I just had a full day of mixing (and soy empanadas, 'green' juice and donuts) with the masterful Jim Clouse. Jim's mixing room is part sorcerer's den, part laboratory. He is a distinguished musician himself and is like another key member of the band. Actually I shouldn't say 'like'. He hears what's going on in the music and also envisions along with me the shape and direction of the album.This project,to be produced by Apostolos Georgopoulos, features the two-keyboard band, a septet with Pete McCann, Leonard Thompson, Hashem Assadullahi, Broc Hempel, Sam Trapchak and Christian Coleman.
Also I'm preparing-writing new music and re-orchestrating/revisitng some of my other tunes- for a sextet concert funded by the DCA grant next month. This will feature new friends and old- Sebastian Noelle, Lee Tomboulian (on both piano and accordion), Jason Rigby (on tenor and flute), Michael Blanco and Christian Coleman.
April 1, 2013
New regular Thursday gig at Portalia in Astoria will continue with me next Thursday the 11th. Check the events page for personnel updates as I continue to book the series. Broc Hempel will cover the gig this week as I'll be at the Bar Next Door in the West Village with the new trio collective V.A.T. with Hashem Assadullahi and Leonard Thompson. The democratic process in a collective can be challenging or quickly bring irreconcilable differences to light. But so far this has been a welcomed break from leading projects centered around my own arrangements, and has given me a chance to explore music I would not otherwise get a chance to. The Bar Next Door is a truly wonderful room in the heart of Greenwich Village. Join us as we play a veritable i-pod shuffle of music for you.
The newly released Terminal Stillness was submitted to radio stations this week and was listed by CMJ Top 40 Jazz Chart as playing on the most stations (getting the most 'adds')of all jazz new releases this week (issue #1289).
January 14th, 2013
December 21st, 2012
New York Department of Cultural Affairs will fund a series of concerts in Queens, The Crow's Nest, that explore my original music in different combinations of seven musicians. The series will take place in Spring and Fall of 2013. I'm excited about expanding my tunes at to begin the process of programming for these events. Special featured guest artists to be announced soon! Please stay tuned for dates, venues, and lineups.
December 12th, 2012
Terminal Stillness CD's have arrived. Check back in January for links to purchase. CD release show slated for January 20th at Dominie's.
March 14th, 2012
Photo session today with Donnelly Marks at Hoboken train terminal for forthcoming album, Terminal Stillness.
Donnie is restlessly inventive and it was a thrill walking thru the terminal's vast spaces, cornet in tow, with plenty of curious (and also some disinterested) onlookers.
A video of the November 2009 performance of Genes and Jazz: The Music of Cell Biology is now available for free online viewing thru PBS Boston affiliate WGBH's Forum Network in conjunction with Boston Museum of Science. Enjoy!
JV and Harold Varmus will be guests on a special Science and Jazz edition of Jazz Connections hosted by Jeff Haas on Interlochen Public Radio. To air on Saturday February 5th at 7PM. Tune in at 91.5FM if you're near or in Interlochen, Michigan, or listen live online
Genes and Jazz Booked for Smithsonian
January 2009- The father-son collaboration Genes and Jazz will take stage again at the Smithsonian's Baird Auditorium in Washington D.C. after having completed two nights at the Guggenheim last November in New York. The program and presentation will be expanded to incorporate more imagery, music, and science play-by-play--especially in the controversial third act about cancer. Jacob's music, reflecting the cell biology, incorporates jazz-based dissections of melodic cells at times interwoven in mechanistic minimalism; with Coltrane-like expressionistic refrains, and bawdy bar-house blues shuffles. Harold Varmus narrates. The performance is scheduled for Friday May 29th at 7PM.
January 2009- NPR affiliate WJFF of the Catskills in New York will present a two-hour show combining an interview with selected tracks from Terminal Stillness, All the Things We Still Can Be, and a segment of Genes and Jazz. The show, Monday Afternoon Classics with Gandalf, typically features classical composers and instrumentalists, so will especially focus on Varmus long-form works. Visit our press section soon for an archive recording of the show.
Darwin's Natural Heir Score in Works
December 2008- Jacob has been asked to provide a score for Windfall Productions' biopic on evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson entitled Darwin's Natural Heir. The documentary originally aired last year on the PBS Nova series (with a different score). The new score for trumpet, flute, clarinet, piano, cello, viola, and bass will be recorded in the Spring and presented at the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation's frequent banquets around the world. Harrison Ford narrates in the film.
Guggenheim to Present Father-Son Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration
November 2008- The Guggenheim Museum's Works and Process Series will include two performances of Genes and Jazz on the 16th and 17th of November starting at 7:30PM both nights. The piece combining film, slides, narration by Harold Varmus, and Jacob's score, tells the story of how the work of cells and evolutionary principles affect cancer's growth and remission. With Erica von Kleist (flute, alto and soprano saxophone) , Kristjan Randalu (piano), Kevin Thomas (bass), Brian Woodruff (drums). Check our press page soon for reviews, podcasts and more.
Woodruff CD to be released thru Crows' Kin
October 2008- Drummer Brian Woodruff's recording The Tarrier -as in dawdler, not dog--will be released thru the Crows' Kin label next March. The independent label founded by Varmus in 2006 will now be a cooperative endeavor with long- time collaborator Woodruff. The album showcases Woodruff originals played by a piano-less sextet including Varmus (cornet, trumpet), Lisa Parrott (alto and soprano saxophones), Alan Ferber (trombone), Nate Radley (guitar), Matt Clohesy (bass) and Woodruff (drums). The album was recorded in January 2007 at Park West Studios in Brooklyn.
All the Things We Still Can Be Airplay Updates: April 30th- #40 for CMJ issue 1054; April 24th- #37 for CMJ issue 1053; April 17th- #23 for CMJ issue 1052; April 2nd, All the Things comes in at #38 on the CMJ Jazz Charts for issue 1051; March 23rd- All the Things We Still Can Be Featured on the nationally syndicated show Jazz After Hours with Jim Wilke. All the Things We Still Can Be Makes CMJ Jazz Charts March 18th, 2008- The JV debut album All the Things We Still Can Be came in at number thirty-nine on the CMJ (College Music Journal) Jazz Charts for issue 1049.
JV Receives Grant for 6-Part 2008 Library Series
January 2008- JV was awarded a New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Individal Artist grant thru Queens Council on the Arts to present six concerts, free and accessible to the public, in four different Queens Library branches' auditoriums this year. Each concert will include a different instrumentation and theme. Five of the six will focus on Varmus originals, with one American Songbook concert scheduled for Forest Hills in October. Stay tuned for schedule information.