First Wild Beast Concert of the season to feature two CalArts alumni bands

The Wild Beast Concert , presented by The Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), features genre-bending jazz bands led by CalArts alumni: The Daniel Rosenboom Octet and theBABAOrchestra. Photos by Eron Rauch, courtesy of the artists

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) will celebrate the end of its busy open house weekend with a live performance from two 21st century jazz bands led by CalArts alumni Lauren Elizabeth Baba and Daniel Rosenboom.

The Oct. 14 performance at the Wild Beast Music Pavilion will feature Baba’s and Rosenboom’s large and experimental bands—theBABAOrchestra and The Daniel Rosenboom Octet—who are redefining the future of jazz.

“You won’t hear any standards at this concert,” said David Roitstein, Chair of the CalArts Jazz Program, in a press release. “This is jazz that looks to the future—not the past.”

With their range of inspiration and experimental sounds, both bands are expected to bring fresh ideas and upbeat music to the first Wild Beast Concert of the season.


Drawing inspiration from jazz, rock, folk, experimental and new music, theBABAorchestra is a 17-piece big band performing original compositions created by conductor, composer and bandleader Lauren Baba.

The big band began as a collective that Baba—a 2012 graduate of CalArts—formed with two other peers at the institute.

“It actually started right when I got in there, in the very early days of CalArts,” Baba said.  “After I graduated from CalArts it turned into just myself running it… It transformed into my own thing.”

The band includes 11 CalArts alumni and six professionals Baba works with in the freelance community.  Together, theBABAorchestra performs original music Baba has written and arranged for the group.

“The instrumentation is always what I’ve wanted to write for,” Baba said.  “It’s a combination of all styles in my group composed with mixed improvisation where everyone gets a chance to improvise on stage.”

Attendees will have a chance to hear some of this original music and pieces from theBABAorchestra’s debut album that will be released later this fall.

When CalArts invited Baba to perform at the first Wild Beast Concert in early August, she was both humbled and honored to be welcomed back to her alma mater.

“CalArts is where this band started,” she said.  “To be able to go and play as alumni with half the band that is also alumni from CalArts is very exciting and I’m very honored to be invited back.”

She also expressed her gratitude to the institute for creating a strong community that unites people, ideas, lives and experiences through art and music.

“The act of performing and the act of listening to music is such a powerful form of connection because it creates a shared experience of joy and togetherness between people, which transforms into a better community and world,” Baba said.  “I am so happy to be able to give the gift of music next to such an incredible band of musicians and friends.”

The Daniel Rosenboom Octet

Featuring four CalArts alumni and four creative musicians, The Daniel Rosenboom Octet is an electroacoustic octet that draws inspiration from avant-garde jazz, minimalism, electronic music and experimental rock.

Led by trumpeter, composer and producer Daniel Rosenboom, a 2007 graduate of CalArts, The Daniel Rosenboom Octet has included various lineups since its formation in 2014.

“It’s basically an eight-person group that features some of LA’s most creative jazz and jazz-adjacent musicians,” said Rosenboom, who works full-time as a performer on film soundtracks.  “We first came together to do a live recording that came out in the beginning of 2015 called ‘Astral Transference & Seven Dreams.'”

The multigenerational group performs original music created by Rosenboom that draws from his interests in jazz, rock and roll, minimalism and world music, especially from the Balkans and the Middle East.

Rosenboom and his octet plan to perform exciting and upbeat songs that have not been released by the band yet and that are from his 2014 record “Fire Keeper.”

“They provide a wide range of perspectives for the group,” Rosenboom said.  “I think they all kind of fall into the category of being exciting and fun and there’s a lot of dance rhythmic influence, but a lot of Zappaesque complexity involved.”

Rosenboom said he was thankful to be welcomed back to CalArts, which created a community he is still immersed in today.

“It’s always really nice to be in the loop so to speak and connecting with the continuing legacy that the students from CalArts bring,” he said.  “I feel really grateful for the education I received there… I graduated over 10 years ago and the majority of the people that I work with all the time are people I connected with at CalArts.”

He also expressed his band’s gratitude to have the chance to play music and connect together during difficult times.

“We all feel really grateful for the opportunity to play together and play for aspiring young musicians and hopefully provide a sense of hope and optimism for these people,” Rosenboom said.

Members of theBABAOrchestra:

  • Lauren Baba – conductor/composer
  • Michael Mull – alto saxophone/clarinet
  • Joe Santa Maria – alto saxophone/clarinet
  • Jonathan Rowden – tenor saxophone
  • Andrew Conrad – tenor saxophone
  • Tim McKay – baritone saxophone
  • Ron King – trumpet
  • Brandon Sherman – trumpet
  • Chris Lawrence – trumpet
  • Greg Zilboorg – trumpet
  • Harrison Kirk – trombone
  • Joey Sellers – trombone
  • Bob Lawrence – trombone
  • Steve Hughes – bass trombone
  • Gregory Uhlmann – guitar
  • Gary Fukushima – piano
  • Emilio Terranova – bass
  • Tim Carr – drums

Members of The Daniel Rosenboom Octet:

  • Daniel Rosenboom – trumpet, compositions
  • Gavin Templton – alto saxophone, flute, baritone saxophone
  • Brian Walsh – bass clarinet, baritone saxophone
  • Tom Alvie Wilson – tenor sax
  • Joshua White – piano/keyboard
  • Dmitris Mahlis – guitar/oud
  • Jerry Watts, Jr. – electric bass
  • Dan Schnelle – drums

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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