About

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Jake Sorgen is a Chicago-based Composer/Improviser/Multi-Instrumentalist who works in the areas of lyrical songwriting, improvised music, contemporary composition, & interdisciplinary performance.

“Jake Sorgen’s languid, lugubrious voice, haunted by burble of whispering voices in the head, lit by backdrop of compassionately strummed acoustic guitar, tear drop steel, lyrical strings and river deep bass; occasionally straying to stranger, convoluted musical places; is illuminated by ruminative instrumentation, almost improvisational jazz and magnetically mesmeric, meandering, swaying half spoken vocal…impossible to put down.

– Chumki Banerjee, Mudkiss Magazine

Jake’s music blurs borders between composition and improvisation and engages with poetry, graphic scores, and traditional notation practices to make music for the concert stage, coffeehouse, and dramatic theatre. His latest text-music work The Forgotten Suite, was released in February 2021 and displays a genre-bending combination of composition, improvisation, and spoken word poetry.

Jake was named the 2018 “Maverick Prodigy” Composer by the Maverick Concert Hall in New York and was awarded a 2020 Composer’s Fellowship by the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

From 2014-2019 he served as Composer in Residence and Artistic Associate for the American Theatre Wing award-winning Rogue Theatre in Tucson, AZ and has written for theatre and dance companies in Boston, Tucson, Chicago, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

His concert works have been performed by the Loadbang Ensemble, Kite Quartet, Outlet Trio, and members of the Instant Composer’s Pool, as well as a myriad of music and interdisciplinary ensembles featuring Jake as a guitarist and bassist.

As an improviser, Jake has performed and studied with many of the masters on the scene today including Jeff Lederer, Joe Fonda, Mary Oliver, and Jasper Stadhouders, as well as dancers such as Katie Duck and Miri Lee.

Jake’s songwriting prowess is on full display in his 5 albums of lyrical songs produced since 2012. His latest EP, Pushing Clocks, released December 2020.

Jake holds a BA from Emerson College and is a current MFA candidate in Music Composition at the Vermont College of Fine Arts where he studies with Carla Kihlstedt, Roger Zahab, and Michael Early.

“[Jake Sorgen] creates music—and often performs it live—that lends an incalculable depth to our experience of [The Rogue Theatre’s] shows”

– Tucson Weekly
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