New England Conservatory’s Jazz Studies Department has appointed renowned flutist, saxophonist and composer Anna Webber to join the NEC faculty as Co-Chair of the Jazz Studies Department beginning in the fall of 2023.
Webber, whose interests and work live in the aesthetic overlap between avant-garde jazz and new classical music, has been widely heralded for her “visionary and captivating” music (Wall Street Journal).
“I'm thrilled to welcome flutist, saxophonist and composer Anna Webber to the NEC faculty and administration. Anna's creative work has been justly celebrated for its inventiveness and soul. And I know that her artistry and leadership will contribute significantly to the education of our NEC students,”
said Ken Schaphorst, NEC's Jazz Department Chair.
A Guggenheim Fellow, Webber’s firm roots in classical music provide a strong foundation for her work in many idioms of jazz, particularly experimental and contemporary. Her open, cross-genre approach is well suited to NEC’s expansive vision of musical education.
“NEC is an incredible school with top-tier students and a creative and open-minded aesthetic. I am thrilled to be joining their exceptional faculty,”
said Webber, who is no stranger to NEC, having taught in its classrooms and coached ensembles. Whether heading a residency or appearing as a guest artist, her skill and creativity when working with students demonstrates a seamless understanding and embrace of NEC’s artistic values and approach. Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
“I’ve loved my past experiences connecting and working with NEC students,” says Webber, “and am excited to build on that in my new role."
Anna Webber conducting the NEC Jazz Composers' Workshop Orchestra in her recent works for quartet and big band in February 2022.
Anna Webber (b. 1984) is a flutist, saxophonist, and composer whose interests and work live in the aesthetic overlap between avant-garde jazz and new classical music. In May 2021 she released Idiom, a double album featuring both a trio and a large ensemble, and a follow-up to her critically acclaimed release Clockwise. That album, which the Wall Street Journal called "visionary and captivating," was voted #6 Best Album of 2019 in the NPR Jazz Critics Poll, who described it as “heady music [that] appeals to the rest of the body.” Her 2020 release, Both Are True (Greenleaf Music), co-led with saxophonist/composer Angela Morris, was named a top ten best release of 2020 by The New York Times. She was recently named a 2021 Berlin Prize Fellow and was voted the top “Rising Star” flutist in the 2020 Downbeat Critic’s Poll.
The trio featured on Idiom is Webber’s “Simple Trio”, her working band of almost a decade which features drummer John Hollenbeck and pianist Matt Mitchell. A prolific bandleader, Webber also leads a quartet and a septet in addition to the above-mentioned large ensemble and co-led Webber/Morris Big Band. She has performed and/or recorded with projects led by artists such as Dan Weiss, Roscoe Mitchell, Ranja Swaminathan, Jen Shyu, Dave Douglas, Matt Mitchell, Ches Smith, John Hollenbeck, and Trevor Dunn, among others.
Webber is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow. She has additionally been honored with the Margaret Whitton Award (administered by the Jazz Gallery); grants from the Copland Fund (2021 & 2019), the Shifting Foundation (2015), the New York Foundation for the Arts (2017), the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Canada Council for the Arts; and residencies from Exploring the Metropolis (2019), the MacDowell Colony (2017 & 2020), the Millay Colony for the Arts (2015), and the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts (2014). Webber is originally from British Columbia.