Jake Sorgen is a Chicago-based Composer/Improviser/Multi-Instrumentalist whose work in the areas of lyrical songwriting, improvised music, contemporary composition, and theatrical scoring is renowned for its inventive harmonies and strong yet economical impacts in sound and story.
Between 2012-2018, Jake wrote and produced 4 albums of lyrical songs that showcase a grounding yet restlessness with American and Celtic folk traditions. Tinged with “outside” influences from the American 20th century’s avant-garde, these songs tell modernist stories in Americana-based forms.
As an improviser/new music composer, 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. With rigid economy, Jake’s contemporary approaches to acoustic and electric guitar playing reflect his work with modal jazz, baroque lute songs, and contemporary composition often within the same chord.
Melding the text-music relationship of his songwriting with his more orchestral ideations, Jake regularly composes and performs live scores for theatre companies. From 2014-2019 he served as Composer in Residence and Artistic Associate for the American Theatre Wing award winning Rogue Theatre in Tucson, AZ.
During the summer of 2018 Jake was invited back to his hometown of Woodstock to perform at the Maverick Concert Hall as the “2018 Maverick Prodigy.” At Maverick, Jake debuted 2 new works for text and music, and 2 new works for guitar, doublebass, and drumset.
Relocating his home base to Chicago in summer 2019, Jake continues to work in each of these areas with more vigor and searching than ever. In 2020 Jake will begin his studies toward an MFA in Composition at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and is currently he’s set to compose and/or perform with Trap Door Theatre, 2nd Story, The Story Theatre, and numerous venues for both songwriters and contemporary/improvised music in the city.
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