Gwen Laster

Violin, Viola

Gwen Laster's work as a violinist, composer, and teaching artist reflects her European training and personal curiosity and exploration beyond that framework into improvised music rooted in the African diaspora. Jazz inside and free form, creative/experimental and global music. Her concepts and impetus for individual practicing, composing new works, and performing are influenced by her upbringing, personal experiences, social injustices, multi-disciplinary arts, movement, spoken word, theater, multiculturalism, ancient spiritual practices such as Yoga/Buddhism/Metaphysics, and current events. The process by which her art arises is usually through a melodic idea from a concept mentioned above. From there, rhythm, textures, and colors (harmonic progressions, choice of register) find their way to some kind of thematic beginning. Improvisation, free and or in-form is always weaved in and around through composed parts providing freedom, individuality, artistic intellect, and self expression for all collaborators. She is grateful for the collaborations and performances of so many innovative and creative modern masters who inspire her artistic vision such as Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, Alicia Keys, Rhianna, Shaggy, Aretha Franklin, Solange, Mark Anthony, Gladys Knight, Anthony Braxton, Nona Hendryx, Wadada Leo Smith, William Parker, Danny Elfman, Sun Ra Arkestra, Tyler the Creator, Emeline Michel, Brooklyn Raga Massive, Go Organic Orchestra, Andrew Baba Lamb, and theater work with The Vicksburg Project.

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