Artemis Quintet
Ebru Yildiz
Artemis Quintet

Natural chemistry

Jazz supergroup Artemis to appear at the Vermont Jazz Center on May 18

BRATTLEBORO-On May 18, at 7:30 p.m., the Vermont Jazz Center will present Artemis, voted the Jazz Group of the Year in DownBeat's 2023 Readers' Poll. This supergroup was initially organized by pianist and music director Renee Rosnes. The other members are trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, saxophonist Nicole Glover, bassist Noriko Ueda, and drummer Allison Miller.

The first incarnation of Artemis was formed in 2016 when Rosnes put together a band for a European tour. In an interview with Don Was of Blue Note Records, she recalled, "We had so much fun playing together [...]. We realized then that we had something special and that there was a natural chemistry that you can't make happen."

The band has evolved to its present format: a quintet of leader-level musicians who love performing and touring together so much that they collectively regard this project as a high priority.

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When asked by Was how the musicians came up with the name Artemis, Ingrid Jensen brought up her research on powerful ancient goddesses. She said she explored the "poetic and beautiful land of Greek gods and goddesses" and found Artemis. "It just jumped off the page - that's us."

Jensen discovered an image of a statue of Artemis online and, in digging deeper, she learned that Artemis was the goddess of the hunt.

"It was perfect," she said.

Later on, Miller wrote a song on her electric bass, which she called "Goddess of the Hunt." She said "the hunt-like, aggressive, repetitive bassline became what I felt was a representation of Artemis and reflected the determination of each member in this band."

"And then from there [that composition] became a way to feature each member in the band and a way to explore the qualities that I think make women so incredible and powerful," she said.

In an interview with Neon Jazz, Rosnes discussed the way the band collaborates as a collective. She said she was an "organizing force," but "it's all of our vision together."

"We do work well together, and since we're performing pieces from everybody (everybody's a composer or arranger)... whoever's piece we're working on conducts the rehearsal," she continued.

Rosnes said that she hoped the "music could be inspirational for young women so that they could look at a band like this and say, 'If they can do it, then I can do it - I can have a career in jazz.'"

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This inspirational group plays music that is carefully scripted and expertly performed. The arrangements are clear and tight, and the blend and dynamics are perfect.

Adventurous and improvisational elements of jazz are also embraced and encouraged. Each musician is a master improviser; the open sections in each tune are exciting forays into the unexpected, replete with charismatic interplay, melodicism, and virtuosity.

These players demonstrate an elevated level of energy that is often guided by the propelling rhythms of Miller's drums. Nonetheless, their displays of expertise are far from gratuitous; every note and gesture is geared toward the service of the music, and each composition is filled with intention and meaning.

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Rosnes has released a series of 18 albums as a leader, six of which have garnered Juno Awards, the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy. In 2003, she earned Composer of the Year award from SOCAN (Society of Canadian Composers).

Aside from leading her own bands, Rosnes is a member of bassist Ron Carter's quartet and often performs in a duo project with her husband, another wonderful pianist, Bill Charlap.

She has also toured and recorded in the bands of jazz legends Joe Henderson, J.J. Johnson, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Hutcherson, Buster Williams, and James Moody.

A review that Rosnes shares from The Boston Globe sums up her place in the spectrum quite clearly: "Rosnes has carved out for herself a reputation as one of jazz's new bright lights. She has impressed veterans of the bebop and free jazz wars with a crisp, uncluttered approach to improvisation that respects, but doesn't genuflect to, the music of the past."

Jensen has been hailed as one of the most gifted trumpeters of her generation. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1989, she went on to record three highly acclaimed CDs for the Enja record label and then settled in New York City, where she joined the jazz orchestras of Maria Schneider (1994–2012) and Darcy James Argue (2002–present).

More recently, Jensen has performed on Grammy-winning Terri Lyne Carrington's album The Mosaic Project and Helen Sung's Sung With Words: A Collaboration with Dana Gioia. She is a featured soloist on the Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra's Juno-award-winning album Treelines (2010) and its successor, Habitat (2013).

Jensen leads her own quintet, quartet, and organ trio and has recorded 10 albums as a leader. She was chosen as the 2019 recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association award for trumpeter of the year.

Glover has established herself as a rising star and a musician in great demand. Her most recent recording as a leader is "Strange Lands" (Savant, 2021), with the venerable pianist George Cables.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Glover moved east to attend William Paterson University. She is a member of a quintet led by bassist Christian McBride, and she performs often with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

In 2023, she toured Australia with JLCO, performing Marsalis's symphonic work All Rise with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Ueda studied jazz composition at Berklee College of Music on a scholarship before relocating to New York City.

Bass legend Rufus Reid has stated, "Noriko Ueda stands tall as a contemporary world class musician in my book." She has appeared at significant jazz venues around the world. She leads a trio, quartet, and full jazz orchestra and is the winner of the 2002 BMI Foundation's Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize for her original big band piece "Castle in the North."

Miller emerged as a serious contender in the New York scene in the late '90s. She has garnered recognition from the public, including being recognized as a "Rising Star Drummer" from DownBeat and "Best Jazz Drummer" from JazzTimes. A three-time Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department, she also leads her own inventive groups and has released 10 albums as a leader.

Her most recent project, Rivers in Our Veins, with Jennie Scheinman and Carmen Staaf, is an emotionally powerful 12-song cycle inspired by America's rivers and watersheds.

Writing in The New York Times, Nate Chinen called Miller "one of our most exacting and exhilarating drummers now working in the jazz tradition - as well as a composer who truly understands the assignment."

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In-person tickets for Artemis are offered on a sliding scale from$25 to $60 per person. Visit to purchase. For educational group discounts, email [email protected].

Reservations can be made by calling the Vermont Jazz Center ticket line at 802-254-9088, ext. 1. Mobility access is available by emailing [email protected].

This concert will be streamed for free at and at Donations are welcome.

Eugene Uman is director of the Vermont Jazz Center. The Commons ' Deeper Dive column gives artists, arts organizations, and other nonprofits elbow room to write in first person and/or be unabashedly opinionated, passionate and analytical about their own creative work and events.

This Arts column was submitted to The Commons.

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