Joy Guidry | Lester St. Louis
Friday, July 7, 2023
169 Bowery | NYC
Cleo Reed is a sound composer, performer, and multi-disciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Recently, they developed software instruments for Jon Batiste’s “American Symphony” at Carnegie Hall. Their debut album project, “Root Cause,” is out now and has received support from Bandcamp, Vinyl Me Please, Pitchfork, and OkayPlayer, amongst others. In addition to the release, Cleo presented “Root Cause” as a self-directed performance art piece titled “Black American Circus” as a part of BRIC’s Artist-In-Residence program. Cleo is also a recipient of the 2022 NYC Women’s Fund for Media Music and Theatre, a fellow as a part of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem’s Jazz is NOW: Curatorial Fellowship, and a selected composer as a part of the International Contemporary Ensemble’s “Call For ____” Commission Program. Cleo is an alumni of Harlem School of The Arts and a graduate of Berklee College of Music. At 19, Cleo Reed named themselves after Cleophus, their great-grandmother and a fellow Aquarius. Whether underground or academic, experimental or popular, they express musicianship guided by their radiance, femininity, and cyclical traumas.
Photographed by Jacob Consenstein.
Radical self-love, compassion, laughter, and the drive to amplify Black artmakers and noisemakers comprise the core of bassoonist and composer Joy Guidry’s work. Their performances have been hailed by The San Diego Tribune as “lyrical and haunting…hair-raising and unsettling.” Joy was born in 1995 in Houston, Texas, into a creative family that played a big part in who they’ve become today. A versatile improviser and a composer of experimental, daring new works that embody a deep love of storytelling, Joy’s music channels their inner child in honor of their ancestors and predecessors. In addition, Joy seeks to support, hire, and promote Black artists in every aspect of their practice.
Joy holds a bachelor’s degree in Bassoon Performance from the Peabody Conservatory and a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Mannes School of Music. They have presented their original work at The Kitchen, Redcat and have collaborated with the Dance Centre Kenya Ballet Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, and Alarm Will Sound. They have been commissioned by The National Sawdust, Long Beach Opera, JACK Quartet, and the I&I Foundation. They have been featured in prestigious festivals, including the La Biennale di Venezia, Berlin Jazz Festival, Madrid Jazz Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and many more. In addition, Joy Guidry is the winner of the 2021 Berlin Prize for Young Artists. Joy Is currently playing on a Hekel Bassoon number 6101.
Photographed by Nykelle Devivo.
Photographed by Peter Gannushkin.
Lester St. Louis
Lester St. Louis (b.1993) is a New York born and based Composer, Improviser, Cellist, Sound Designer and Curator. His work traverses through performance, installation, curation, artistic research and recording. His works are rooted in dynamic environments of improvisation both sonically and socially, ecstatic sound worlds. flow and interaction. He has performed internationally throughout The U.S, The E.U, Canada, China and in South America; and collaborates with artists such as Chris Williams [under the moniker HxH], Jaimie Branch’s Fly or Die, Ben Lamar Gay, Yaeji, Tortoise, Yo La Tengo, Miho Hatori, Dré A. Hočevar, Charmaine Lee, Isabel Crespo Pardo, TAK Ensemble, Random International, Irreversible Entanglements, Superblue, Terence Nance, Found Sound Nation, Wet Ink Ensemble and many more. As a composer, Lester has been commissioned by artists such as The JACK Quartet, RAGE THORMBONES, Jennifer Koh, String noise and Ghost Ensemble among others.