Jherek Bischoff

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Jherek Bischoff
Jherek Bischoff Roxy Theater 18 July 2013.jpg
Bischoff performing with Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra at the Roxy Theater, West Hollywood, California.
Background information
Born Seattle, Washington
Genres Alternative, Classical music
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, piano, ukelele, bass guitar
Years active 2000–present
Labels Indie
Website Official website

Jherek Bischoff is an American musician, composer, arranger, producer and songwriter, currently living in Seattle.


Bischoff was born in Sacramento, California. When he was a young child his parents decided they wanted to move aboard a sailboat, and eventually sailed up the coast to the Pacific Northwest. Bischoff spent his early years on the boat and when he was 14 years old, the family departed on a two-year sailing trip to Central America, through the Panama Canal and into the Caribbean. [1]

The family eventually returned to their home on Bainbridge Island, Washington, where Bischoff learned to play a wide variety of instruments. Bischoff has some fluency on a number of woodwinds (saxophone, clarinet), brass (tuba, trombone, trumpet) and stringed instruments (electric bass, guitar, ukulele, banjo, stand-up bass, cello, violin). As a composer, Bischoff is largely self-taught having attended part time college classes on the topic and gaining experience by writing arrangements and compositions for fellow artists in the Seattle music scene. Music was also a family tradition. His father, who had studied music at the University of California, Davis with John Cage and Stanley Lunetta, had been in avant garde and experimental bands throughout the 1970s.[1]

Early career[edit]

Bischoff first emerged as a sideman, co-writer, and accompanist in several bands. In the first decade of the 2000s, he was a member and collaborator with Parenthetical Girls, Xiu Xiu, The Degenerate Art Ensemble, The Dead Science, Amanda Palmer, and the Wordless Music Orchestra.

Composed and Scores[edit]

Bischoff gained attention as a solo performer upon the 2012 release of Composed and a related instrumental album Scores. The album features nine orchestral pieces with a different vocalist on eight of the nine tracks. Many of the vocalists are well known, and included David Byrne, Caetano Veloso, Mirah, Carla Bozulich (Evangelista, Geraldine Fibbers), Craig Wedren (Shudder to Think), Dawn McCarthy (Faun Fables), Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls) and Soko and more. Guest soloists included Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Nels Cline (Wilco).

The album was first composed by Bischoff on a ukulele. He then orchestrated, engineered, and mastered the album, achieving an orchestral sound at a low cost by recording the instrumentalists one at a time using a single microphone and a laptop computer recording set-up.

Critical reception[edit]

Bischoff has also been called a "pop polymath"[2] (The New York Times), a "Seattle phenom" (The New Yorker), and "the missing link between the sombre undertones of Ennio Morricone and the unpredictability of John Cale"[3] (New Musical Express).

Solo discography[edit]

  • Scores: Composed Instrumentals, 2012
  • Composed, 2012


  1. ^ a b "Composed Pop: Jherek Bischoff Gets By with a Little Help from His Friends". thestranger.com. 2012-11-28. 
  2. ^ "Classical Music/Opera Listings". nytimes.com. 2012-02-02. 
  3. ^ "NME". nme.com. 

External links[edit]