9 Horses

9 Horses is a chamber jazz group from the United States consisting of composer and mandolinist Joseph Brent, violinist Sara Caswell, and bassist Andrew Ryan, originating from New York City.[1]

9 Horses
9 Horses in 2016
Background information
OriginNew York City
GenresJazz, avant-garde jazz, experimental, chamber jazz
Years active2013–present
Associated actsKishi Bashi
MembersJoseph Brent, Sara Caswell, Andrew Ryan
Past membersShawn Conley, Ben Wittman, Emily Hope Price, Ike Sturm, Nathan Koci, Justin Goldner, Brett Parnell, Taylor Haskins


Brent and bassist Shawn Conley first played together in 2010 in Brent's short-lived project The Joe Brent Quartet, which also featured clarinetist Hideaki Aomori and guitarist Nadav Lev. However, when Brent's commitments to Regina Spektor's touring band and his teaching responsibilities at Mannes College spread his time too thin, he put the quartet project on hold.[2] In 2012, he started performing as a duo with Caswell,[3] and after releasing Joe Brent & Sara Caswell EP together in 2013, they decided to add a bass player and Brent called on Conley once again. After making the finals of the 2014 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition,[4] they were signed to Sunnyside Records and released their debut album, Perfectest Herald in October, 2015.[5] The recording includes percussionist Ben Wittman, but live performances generally feature either the trio alone, or guest musicians such as Emily Hope Price or Ike Sturm. In 2016, after adding Ryan, they were the 1st Prize winners of the inaugural 21CM Launch: Emerging Artists competition.[6]

Brent is originally from Queens, New York, but spent much of his childhood in Tampa, Florida.[7] Caswell is from Bloomington, Indiana,[8] while Ryan hails from Denver, Colorado.[9]

Brent was formerly a member of Regina Spektor's band,[10] is an active classical soloist,[11] and with Caswell he occasionally performs with Kishi Bashi. Caswell is also a member of Esperanza Spalding's Chamber Music Society[12] and David Krakauer's The Big Picture.[13] Ryan performs with newgrass ensemble The Freewheel Trio[14] and Canadian folk musician Kaia Kater.[15]

The trio's music, all of which is composed or arranged by Brent, combines elements of improvised musical forms with classical chamber music and Brent's own indie rock influences. The four movement piece entitled Perfectest Herald which gives the album its name and acts as its centerpiece contains elements of rock, new music, Middle Eastern music, jazz, rhythm and blues, and traditional classical music, most notably in the 2nd movement, listening to the Elliott Smith discography in reverse order, in which a single musical subject passes through all of the aforementioned genres and a fugue before recapitulating.[16] The music for the 'Perfectest Herald' suite has been called, "...among the most life affirming one will ever hear... Regardless of which emotional depths Brent drew on to compose these pieces, this highly emotive music touches and communicates the essence of what it means to be an alive, feeling human being."[17]


As Joe Brent & Sara Caswell

  • Joe Brent & Sara Caswell EP (2013)

As 9 Horses

Studio albums

  • Perfectest Herald (2015)
  • Blood From a Stone (EP) (2019)

Other contributions

Year Artist Album Description
2013 Kishi Bashi 7" Box Set Brent and Caswell play violin
2014 Lauren Kinhan Circle in the Square Brent and Caswell play violin
2015 Kishi Bashi String Quartet Live! Brent plays mandolin and violin; Caswell plays violin
2018 The Mountain Goats and Welcome to Night Vale I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats: All Hail West Texas Brent plays electric mandolin and Ryan plays bass with Erin McKeown on Brent's arrangement of 'Jenny'[18]


  1. "9 Horses — Joe Brent". JosephBrent.com. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  2. Kioulaphides, Victor (20 November 2011). "Joseph Brent Interview". MandolinCafe.com. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  3. "Joe Brent & Sara Caswell". Allmusic.
  4. "2014 CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition — 98.7WFMT". WFMT.com. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  5. "9 Horses Perfectest Herald". Muzoic. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  6. "LAUNCH: A 1CM Emerging Artists Competition". WFMT.com. Archived from the original on 2016-08-31. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  7. McGee, David. "Joe Brent, Part 2: Have Mandolin, Will Travel". TheBluegrassSpecial.com. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  8. Bhatia, Rafiq (23 October 2012). "Sara Caswell: 'A Universal Ambassador'". JazzSpeaks.org. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  9. "Andrew Ryan". savannahmusicfestival.org. Savannah Music Festival. Archived from the original on 21 September 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  10. McGee, David. "Joe Brent, Part 1: The Classical Mandolinist". The Bluegrass Special. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  11. "Beethoven Project: MTT explores early Beethoven". SFSymphony.org. San Francisco Symphony. 2013. Archived from the original on 2015-10-03. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  12. "Esperanza Spalding". SFJazz. Archived from the original on 2015-09-25. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  13. Chinen, Nate (30 January 2014). "A Clarinet Does Scenes — 'The Big Picture,' Movie Music at the Museum of Jewish Heritage". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  14. "About - The Freewheel Trio". The Freewheel Trio. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  15. "NPR Tiny Desk Concerts". NPR. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  16. "Perfectest Herald - 9 Horses". Allmusic. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  17. Kopman, Budd. "9 Horses Perfectest Herald". All About Jazz.
  18. "I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats: All Hail West Texas". Merge Records. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.