Quinn Sternberg is a bassist-composer, he grew up in Bloomington IN, a college town within the touring radius of New Orleans-based bands which really explains his influence in the genre. After graduating from the prestigious jazz program at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where Quinn studied with great composers like David Baker, Quinn quickly found his way to the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute
where he took under Billy Childs and immersed into round-the-clock jamming and composition. It was then that Quinn began to find himself compositionally, merging Midwestern and New Orleans styles together.
Cicada song came to Quinn as an inspiration, while listening to actual Cicadas out in tropical Louisiana. He realized that the cicadas were singing in a 7/4 time signature and got to transcribing the rhythm he heard. The idea was to write a melody that would sound like Cicadas dancing, chirping, and celebrating their brief life. While Charlie Ballantine (guitar) and Sam Taylor (Sax) represent the foreground cicadas, Oscar Rossignoli’s piano and Quinn’s bass, respond with complimentary figures, playing the part of the background cicadas.
All these may seem a little difficult to comprehend at first, so what’s easier? Press the play button and immerse yourself in a beautifully performed composition where there’s no actual soloist taking over, just instruments complimenting each other over and over. A true masterpiece if you want my opinion.
You can find out more about Quinn Sternberg at the following links:
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