Aug 13, 2014
“Swinging, grooving, clean and tricky playing. This is the group that, once you’ve heard them, you’ll realize they always needed to exist. Unique, original, exciting. And simply killing in the best sense.”- Dave Douglas on The Westerlies.
The Westerlies are a New York based brass quartet comprised of four friends from Seattle, Washington. Avid explorers of cross-genre territory, Riley Mulherkar (trumpet), Zubin Hensler (trumpet), Andy Clausen (trombone) and Willem de Koch (trombone) are a collectively run ensemble dedicated to the cultivation of a new brass quartet repertoire that exists in the ever-narrowing gap between American folk music, jazz, classical, and indie rock.
After three years of getting prestigious gigs at the Shapeshifter Lab and Earshot Jazz Festival, the Westerlies were invited to perform the music of Wayne Horvitz at The Stone in May 2013. The project was later recorded during the The Westerlies annual residency on Lopez Island, WA and has been released to critical praise as their debut album Wish The Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz (Songlines Recordings).
I spoke with Andy Clausen as he returned to New York City prior to the band’s August tour of the West Coast. An avid explorer of cross-genre territory, drawing inspiration from folk music, jazz, classical, and indie rock, Clausen has performed with new music mavericks Bill Frisell and Wayne Horvitz, pop sensation Feist and the avant-jazz saxophonist Andrew D’Angelo. Hailing from Seattle, Clausen relocated to NYC in 2010 to begin his studies at the Juilliard School under the guidance of master trombonists Conrad Herwig and Steve Turre. Podcast 441 features our conversation along with four tracks from the new CD, and a bonus - a track from Neil Welch, who Andy identifies as a Seattle talent to watch.