The Westerlies

The Westerlies are a New York-based brass quartet comprised of four childhood friends from Seattle, Washington: Riley Mulherkar and Cody Rowlands on trumpet, and Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch on trombone.

The self-described “accidental brass quartet” takes its name from the prevailing winds that travel from the West to the East. “Skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers” (NPR’s Fresh Air), The Westerlies explore jazz, roots, and chamber music influences to create the rarest of hybrids: music that is both "folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music).

The ensemble has produced two critically acclaimed albums of genre-defying chamber music: its 2014 debut, Wish the Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz (Songlines), and a 2016 double-CD of primarily original compositions, The Westerlies (Songlines). The Westerlies are also featured on recordings by Fleet Foxes (Nonesuch), Vieux Farke Toure (Six Degrees Records), and Dave Douglas (Greenleaf).

The Westerlies’ 2017-18 season includes featured performances at Musical Masterworks (New Lyme, CT); Clefworks (Montgomery, AL);  Mobile Chamber Music (Mobile, AL); Joye in Aiken (Aiken, SC); Bologna Performing Arts Center (Cleveland, MS) and The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. The ensemble will continue its residency work in Kenner, LA through the Chamber Music Association/National Endowment for the Arts supported Sound Places Project, participate in a Yellow Barn Artist Residency, and be in residence at the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival (San Juan Islands, WA). In addition, the ensemble joins indie folk band Fleet Foxes at the Newport Folk Festival, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Celebrate Brooklyn, Outside Lands San Francisco, Hollywood Bowl, Santa Fe Opera, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

This season will also mark the release of several new recordings: Little Giant Still Life, a collaborative album with pioneering jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas and drummer Anwar Marshall, and a new series of collaborative video singles with vocalists Theo Bleckmann, Robin Holcomb, Kate Davis, and Vuyo Sotashe.

The Westerlies are frequently invited to engage in educational and community outreach. They have presented masterclasses at The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Yale, New York University, University of Maryland, University of Nevada Reno, University of Washington, START Osceola County, and Seattle Jazz Ed.