B’shnorkestra was created by composer Samantha Boshnack in 2011 in an effort to create a new large ensemble that explodes boundaries and brings musicians from many different musical communities together. The compositions incorporate improvisation and groove into intricate orchestral music. In September 2011, B’shnorkestra premiered with a brand new repertoire with funding from regional government and national agencies (Meet The Composer, 4Culture, and the Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs). In 2012, B’shnorkestra was accepted into Artspire, a fiscal sponsorship program of the New York Foundation for the Arts, to record an album, put on a concert, and do educational workshops in Seattle. B’shnorkestra recorded eight original tracks at Bear Creek Studios in June 2012 which was released in August 2013 on Present Sounds Recordings. This critically acclaimed record, entitled “Go To Orange”, debuted on the CMJ Top 40 Jazz Charts on September 5, 2013 and has been there ever since – peaking at #4. B’shnorkestra played in the 2012 and 2013 Earshot Jazz Festivals. The ensemble is conducted by Joshua Kohl, co-founder and composer for The Degenerate Art Ensemble. The string section features concert-master Alex Guy, who tours with Laura Veirs and Mirah, and Jherek Bischoff, bassist who collaborates with the likes of Amanda Palmer, David Byrne and Caetano Veloso. The remaining string players are all classically trained but perform in a variety of settings with such groups and artists as; Macklemore, Jim Knapp’s Scrape, Seattle Modern Orchestra, the Passenger String Quartet, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Cat Power and DJ Spooky. The brass/woodwind section features members of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. The rhythm section features Greg Campbell co-leader of the traditional Ghanaina drumming group- Anokye Agofomma, Adam Kozie of the Pollens and Tim Carey a member of the Jovino Santos-Neto Trio.
Prolific composer/trumpeter Samantha Boshnack is based in Seattle, where she leads three ensembles of her own music, as well as performs and composes with countless other bands, projects, and recordings. A featured artist in the Frye Art Museum’s Moment Magnitude exhibit (showcasing exceptional artistic practice in Seattle), and one of only 16 artists selected for an Artist Trust Fellowship, she was named Emerging Artist of the Year by Earshot Jazz in 2012. Her music can be heard with the B’shnorkestra and the Sam Boshnack Quintet. Since 2004, Boshnack has also co-led the modern jazz group Reptet, releasing three critically acclaimed full-length records primarily comprised of her originals, and one single on vinyl. Boshnack has toured Europe, Africa, Asia, Canada, and extensively in the US. She also composes for the Cuban-inspired band, Picoso. She is a contributing composer to two leading modern big bands – WACO (Washington Composers Orchestra, formally the New York Composers Orchestra featuring Wayne Horvitz, Robin Holcomb, and Tom Varner) and Seattle Jazz Composer Ensemble. In 2013 she was commissioned by the Seattle Rock Orchestra. Boshnack earned a BA in Music Composition from Bard College in 2003. While there, she studied with Joan Tower and Erica Lindsay. She has received support and commissioning funds from Meet The Composer, 4Culture, Artist Trust, Jack Straw Productions, ASCAPlus, Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, New York Foundation of the Arts, and Earshot Jazz. She was also accepted and attended, through a national call, the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute 2012 presented by The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University and American Composers Orchestra in cooperation with The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. She has performed or recorded with artists such as: Butch Morris, Eyvind Kang, Oliver Lake, Bobby Previte, David Byrne, Terry Riley, Stuart Dempster, Skerik, Wayne Horvitz, Robin Holcomb, Tom Varner, Sumi Tonooka, Jessica Lurie, Amy Denio, Paul Kikuchi, Paul Rucker, among others.