Wednesday, April 22, 2015

All the latest

Since my last post, B’shnorkestra Global Concertos has been making great progress and gathering much momentum.  We had our first ensemble rehearsal on Sunday and worked through all five brand new concertos!  All this week we did sectionals (string, rhythm and horn) to try to be as prepared and tight as possible for rehearsals with the soloists which begin this weekend.  It feels so exciting and gratifying to finally be playing this music after months of solitary work on it.  I love the creative process of writing – but what really makes me happy is actually collaborating with the great musical minds in my ensemble and the new experience of working with these soloists.  I continue to learn more ways to best communicate my ideas to musicians whether they are classically trained string players, jazz horn players or an Indian vocalist – everyone approaches the music differently.  During the writing process, I felt nervous as to whether or not I could accomplish what I set out to do.  However after the first round of rehearsals and more meetings with soloists – I feel more confidant that we will be able to collectively create something very special.  In these compositions, I tried to both lean on each player’s strengths and also push them out of there comfort zone.  By doing that my hope is that we can all meet in a middle ground – and it will be a place that none of us have ever been before.  
Today I met with the incredible Christos Govetas who plays clarinet and brings so much to the Seattle music community both as a musician and in the many events featuring Greek, Turkish and Balkan music that he and his wife Ruth Hunter coordinate.  He played for me the modes and scales he had figured out over different sections of the piece - and they sounded amazing!  It added such a different flavor to the composition - I am very excited for his concerto. 

Here is a little more information on Christos:
Christos Govetas is a multi-instrumentalist who brings his voice and earthy clarinet style from his homeland in Eastern Macedonia. After moving to this country in his teens, Christos discovered his love of traditional music and went on to learn regional music from all over Greece, Turkey, the Balkans and the North African Arab world. In addition to the clarinet, Christos plays the zourná, bouzouki and outi, bringing his 30 years of performing experience to the mix. Christos is a beloved teacher at many music and dance workshops and has performed and toured extensively in the US, Canada, Europe and Greece. In addition to leading Dromeno, Christos also plays with Pasatempo Rebetika, and also plays laouto and sings regional Greek music with Ziyiá. Christos is the 1999 recipient of the prestigious Northwest Folklife Fellowship Award honoring his cultural contribution to the Greek-American and Folk dance communities. Christos is also a member of Bill Frisell’s  Grammy nominated The Intercontinentals.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Video about Global Concertos

Learn more about the project in this video.  Thanks to Beth Fleenor and the Frank Agency for creating this!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

B'shnorkestra Premieres Global Concertos in May 2015!

Bshnorkestra Global Concertos

Saturday, May 9, 2015 – 8pm
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
104 17th Avenue South, Seattle
$5-15 suggested donation / All Ages
Buy Tickets:
Open dress rehearsal with Q & A: May 8 – 8pm

Composer Samantha Boshnack and her B’shnorkestra (a 14-piece alternative chamber orchestra) premiere Global Concertos: an evening of new music featuring an international tour de force of soloists.

Boshnack has written five new works, each showcasing a guest soloist’s instrument and tradition: Thione Diop – West African talking drum, Christos Govetas – Greek clarinet, Srivani Jade – North Indian vocals, Julio Jauregui – Latin American piano and Thomas Marriott – American jazz trumpet. In Global Concertos each artist brings their individual voice to the B’shnorkestra to create a new “all world” sound.
Global Concertos was made possible, in part by funding from New Music USA, 4Culture and Seattle Office of Arts and Culture.
> learn more about Global Concertos and the featured soloists

Monday, December 10, 2012

Concert on Thursday and Recording in Indonesia

It's has been a little while, I wanted to let you know what's been happening with the record and alert you to a special show I have on Thursday.  
On Thursday, December 13th, the Sam Boshnack Quintet will be giving a concert at The Frye Art Museum. This is part of an exhibit happening there right now called Mw [Moment Magnitude] - "an ambitious cross-platform project of visual art, performance, production, rehearsal, specially commissioned artworks, music, dance, literary events, design, and arts engagement programs showcasing exceptional artistic practice in Seattle." I am so excited and honored to be a part of it  The Frye Art Museum performance will feature eight original works for the Quintet featuring myself (trumpets), with Beth Fleenor (clarinets/voice), Dawn Clement (keyboard), Isaac Castillo (bass), and Max Wood (drums). There is also going to be an amazing light exhibit illuminating the show by Lillenthal/Zamora.  Also on display are graphic musical scores of Eyvind Kang, a sound installation by Robb Kunz in the reflecting pool from which will emanate the music of Jherek Bischoff, and much more.
Sam Boshnack Quintet
Frye Art Museum (part of Mw [Moment Magnitude])
704 Terry Avenue Seattle, Washington 98104
Thursday, December 13th
free, all ages
early concert - 5:30-6:30 pm
Frye event link - Facebook event link -
Okay, now for record updates.  One of the 8 songs we recorded at Bear Creek was a piece I wrote for the singer Megan O'Donoghue Williams.  The words of the piece were from a traditional Javanese poem called Pangkur.  Megan moved to Surakarta on the island of Java in Indonesia before I had the chance to record her vocals.  She is currently living over there and has a very successful career singing in Wayang (shadow puppet) performances all over Java.  So on November 13th I flew to Indonesia to record Megan. I wanted to learn more about Indonesia and its music, and it felt special for myself and the piece to record her actually in Java.   I also wanted to bring more Indonesian musicians and instruments into the piece and I did - Sri Joko Raharjo who played rebab (a gamelan two-stringed instrument) and gender (a gamelan pitched percussion instrument).  Peni Candra Rini (an incredible vocalist and composer) coached Megan with pronunciation and interpretation help.  The night before we went into the studio Megan threw a party and we had a rehearsal for the piece.  New ideas were brought in for the improvisation section by the four of us and it was very excited to brainstorm about it.  Lots of other people were there from the community listening.  The next day we laid down the tracks and I'm happy to say the whole thing was a great success.  On Friday, December 21st I will begin mixing the record, I will let you know how that goes.  Can't wait for you all to hear it!
P.S. - Two close friends and musicians came with me, and I'm so glad they did - Valerie Holt and Anne Mathews.  We also had many non-recording adventures traveling around Java and Bali - it was a blast.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Earshot Festival on Tuesday! Record updates.

Hello everyone,
I know it has been an awful long time since I last wrote.  Things have been rolling over here in B'shnorkestra land.  First and foremost, if you live in Seattle, you can come see us perform on this coming Tuesday (October 23rd) as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival.  It's an honor to be included in the line-up.  We have been working on a new composition I wrote and touching up the material we recorded. Band sounds great and it's always a real joy to play music with these people.  Neil Welch does an opening set on solo saxophone and he's quite phenomenal.  For more information check  
Yesterday Adam, Greg and I went into the studio for some percussion and french horn overdubs.  They went incredibly well.  We did this at Evan Schiller's studio.  Evan owns a studio called zulusound and has recorded such artists as Eyvind Kang, Timothy Young, Jessica Lurie, Bill Frisell, Sadhappy and Mike Patton.  
In November I am traveling to Indonesia to record Megan O Seniwati for the record.  One of the pieces I wrote for her to sing on, and then she moved to Indonesia before I could record it.  I decided to take this opportunity to make the trip over there as it has always been a place I wanted to see.  I hope to record other Indonesian musicians onto the track as well and do some performing with Megan and two friends/colleague musicians who are coming with me - Anne Mathews and Valerie Holt.  
We then plan to mix the record over Christmas break.  This may mean I push the release date a little bit (April) so that I have time to send it out to record labels and try to get distribution for it beforehand.  
Thanks for your support, and hope to see you Tuesday!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute in LA

Currently taking part in the esteemed Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute, and blogging about it daily...

“I really had no idea what to expect going into this intensive.  I knew that it was probably going to feel crazy to be surrounded by so many other composers.  And it was – crazy in a really inspiring way.  To be around so many who are trying to create something new and putting their whole lives into their vision; in a world that can sometimes feel like it doesn’t care much about innovation or sophistication in music.  As I looked around and interacted with the peers and faculty throughout the day, I could see the hunger in everyone’s eyes to soak up as much as they could from this experience.  I could sense that it was refreshing to all of us to be surrounded by others working in such a tough field, a kind of comfort in numbers.  Even though we were from different parts of the country (and some had or do live abroad) we all had so much shared experience and so much to talk about….”

> read full post
> visit Sound Advice by the American Composers Orchestra


A special thanks to everyone who contributed to the B’shnorkestra Kickstarter Campaign!! Your support ensured these fantastic musicians got paid for doing their job. Everyone put so much into this music – the recording process was really wonderful.
More news and updates coming very soon…stay tuned, and THANK YOU!