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Thomson Kneeland


Acoustic bassist and composer Thomson Kneeland has established himself as a formidable sideman and leader since moving to New York City in 2003. Equally at home in traditional swing and modern jazz settings, Kneeland has established himself as an in demand bassist with a rock solid swing feel and a unique virtuosic and rhythmic voice. Kneeland also brings a variety of musical interests to the table, from classical counterpoint and 20th century chamber music to Indian Karnatic music, Balkan folk music, fusion, and more. Kneeland has released 5 albums as a leader, including Mazurka for a Modern Man and The Voice of Silence (2010), featuring a quintet of his peers making their mark on the NYC scene. In 2012, as a member of the Jed Levy Quartet, Kneeland was selected to participate in the Rhythm Road Abroad program sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the US State Department.

Besides composing for various jazz and improvisational idioms, Kneeland has delved into two electronica projects (Grid-X and the movie soundtrack for Magdalena’s Brain) and composes chamber music. He was commissioned to write pieces for the Longy School of Music Jazz Ensemble, has arranged for the Sherman Chamber Ensemble on a yearly basis, and has composed two string quartets and other chamber works. As a leader, sideman, and composer, Kneeland has appeared on over 40 recordings to date and performed with Rudresh Mahanthappa, Alex Sipiagin, Jerry Bergonzi, Kenny Werner, George Garzone, Bobby Avey, Ted Rosenthal, Dave Liebman, Matana Roberts, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Joe Maneri, Gunther Schuller, Peter Leitch, Peter Mazza, Paul Bollenback, and many others. He has performed internationally at such venues as The Newport Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center, Medellin University in Colombia, the Toronto Jazz Festival, the Perth Jazz Festival, the Vancouver Jazz Festival, and more.