Over the last two decades few musicians have matched the versatility and deep curiosity of trumpeter Nate Wooley, a native of Clatskanie, Oregon. Adhering to a rigorous blue collar approach to the arts, he’s steadily expanded his abilities and interests with unerring patience and vision. Upon moving to New York in 2001 he quickly immersed himself in the improvised music scene, recording and performing with an ever-widening community of fellow seekers. While he’s pursued post-bop projects that reflect his jazz roots, over time his practice has expanded into experimental and new music practices.
He’s developed close working relationships with many crucial figures across the creative music spectrum, including Anthony Braxton, Christian Wolff, Annea Lockwood, Éliane Radigue, Ash Fure, Ken Vandermark, Sarah Hennies, Wadada Leo Smith, and Michael Pisaro-Liu, a roster that speaks to his artistic malleability and broad interests. Many of his own projects, including Seven Storey Mountain and Mutual Aid Music (which includes musicians equally conversant in improvisation and contemporary music such as cellist Mariel Roberts, violinist Josh Modney, and saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock), have blurred lines between musical disciplines, developing fluid systems that meld composed and improvised materials, while his quartet Columbia Icefield (with guitarist Mary Halvorson, pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn, and drummer Ryan Sawyer) represents his ongoing engagement with jazz tradition.
No less important, Wooley is a devoted advocate and community builder, applying his holistic approach to sound in non-performative endeavors. He is the editor-in-chief of Sound American magazine, he serves as the curator of the Database of Recorded American Music, and he also operates his own imprint, Pleasure of the Text Records, all of which celebrate, critique, and document the most adventurous sound art and music of our time.