Anna Webber: From Coffee Shop to Cerebral Music

Even after achieving graduate music degrees from Montreal, New York and Berlin univerities, British Columbia-born saxophonist/flutist Anna Webber was at first still working part-time at a coffee shop when she returned to Manhattan, she tells Jazz Right Now’s Cisco Bradley. But soon she was able to organize groups to play her music in which the cerebral and emotional are equal. First she convened a trio with drummer John Hollenbeck and pianist Matt Mitchell, and later organized a septet for her more scholarly and intellectual scores, featuring Mitchell and herself as well as reedist Jeremy Viner, trombonist Jacob Garchik, cellist Chris Hoffman, bassist Chris Tordini and drummer/vibraphonist Ches Smith. Now she’s at the point of having the big band she co-leads make its first CD. Webber, who also teaches music at different levels, also speaks about the lack of gender parity in Jazz and the music education and female socialization situations that contribute to this.