Saxophonist-Composer Le Boeuf Joins Nordkraft Big Band as Chief Conductor


Remy Le Boeuf will become chief conductor of the Nordkraft Big Band in Denmark next year.

(Photo: Courtesy of Remo Le Boeuf)

American jazz saxophonist and composer Remy Le Boeuf will take on the role of chief conductor of the Nordkraft Big Band in Denmark in February 2023, at the start of the band’s concert season.

While younger than the typical chief conductors, Le Boeuf has already left his mark on the international jazz scene as a Grammy-nominated composer and saxophonist whose music is rooted in the jazz tradition and overlaps into contemporary classical and indie-rock realms. He is also the founder and director of the jazz orchestra Assembly of Shadows. Le Boeuf has worked with a range of collaborators including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Linda Oh, HAIM, JACK Quartet, Dayna Stephens, Prefuse 73 and his identical twin brother, Pascal, with whom he co-leads the experimental jazz quintet Le Boeuf Brothers.

With his debut jazz orchestra release, Assembly Of Shadows (2019), Le Boeuf established himself as a unique voice with a penchant for cinematic majesty and melody-driven themes; he earned two Grammy nominations for Best Instrumental Composition and Best Arrangement the following year. In 2021, Le Boeuf released a complementary sequel, Architecture Of Storms, showcasing his acrobatic saxophone playing while exploring the diversity of his emotions and influences. This past year he also made an appearance in the DownBeat Critics Poll among the top five Rising Star Alto Saxophone players.

At 36, Le Boeuf is the youngest conductor in Nordkraft Big Band’s history. He will focus on the orchestra’s musical and artistic development as he contributes fresh ideas and a more modern approach to big band music.

“We’ve got a name that very soon will become really big on the international music scene,” said Peter Lund Paulsen, manager of Nordkraft Big Band. “We have previously worked with established names such as John Clayton and Bob Mintzer, but this is something very special. We have got our hands on a relatively young name, which in these years is storming the music scenes all over the world and it fits perfectly into our own development right now.”

Le Boeuf will be working with the Nordkraft Big Band in 2023 and 2024, where he will both conduct and perform as a featured soloist. Among other things, he will write new music for this collaboration and make recordings with the Danish big band.

Le Boeuf’s list of honors include commissions from Chamber Music America, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, as well as seven ASCAP Young Composer Awards, the BMI Foundation’s Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize, the Sammy Nestico Award and the Copland House Residency Award. He has received additional awards from the American Composers Forum, Jerome Foundation, Copland Fund, YoungArts, Cafe Royal Cultural Foundation, New York Youth Symphony, International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers and Society of Composers. He is the Director of jazz and Commercial Music Studies at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music.

Nordkraft Big Band has established itself as one of the most active, visionary and serious ensembles within rhythmical contemporary music in Denmark and enjoys wide recognition for their recordings and concerts. It was founded in 2010 in Aalborg (Northern Denmark) to present high-level performances and strengthen the local area artistically. Rooted in the big band tradition, and previously led by American bass player/big band leader John Clayton (2017–’19), the 17-member ensemble explores the format with groundbreaking projects. Nordkraft Big Band’s recordings have been played on Danish Radio P8 Jazz, and last summer they released the fifth album, Avannaata Pissaanera (Power Of The North), a collaboration between Greenland and Denmark. DB

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