Michele Rosewoman

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Michele Rosewoman
Birth nameMichele Rosewoman
BornMarch 19, 1953
OriginUnited States Oakland, California, U.S.
GenresAvant-garde jazz
Free funk
Afro-Cuban jazz
Occupation(s)Pianist, Composer, Educator
Years active1976–present
LabelsSoul Note
Evidence Music
Blue Note
Associated actsMike Westbrook, National Youth Jazz Orchestra

Michele Rosewoman is an American jazz pianist living in New York, NY. She is most notable for her work and recordings with her Quintessence ensemble, as well as her New Yor-Uba ensemble.

Rosewoman has released nine albums, including five with Quintessence and several trio and quartet recordings. Her New Yor-Uba ensemble, featuring Orlando "Puntilla" Rios until his death in 2008, is an Afro-Cuban jazz big band that Rosewoman founded in 1983. It finally released its first album in 2013, in celebration of its 30th anniversary.

Rosewoman is also known for her work as a sidewoman on recordings by such artists as Greg Osby, Billy Bang and Ralph Peterson. Before moving to New York City from California in 1978, Rosewoman, who was deeply influenced by Oakland-based pianist/organist Ed Kelly, led several jazz groups in the Oakland area and also performed with Baikida Carroll, Julius Hemphill and Julian Priester. In New York she would play with post-avant-garde musicians Oliver Lake and Billy Bang, as well as with straight-ahead jazz masters Freddie Waits, Rufus Reid, Billy Hart, Reggie Workman and Latin music greats such as Celia Cruz, Chocolate Armenteros, Nicky Marrero, Paquito D'Rivera, Daniel Ponce and others.[1]

Early years[edit]

Born in Oakland, Rosewoman began playing the piano at age six. In her late teens she studied Cuban and Haitian folkloric rhythms and vocal traditions.[2][3][4]


  • The Source (Soul Note, 1984)
  • Occasion to Rise (Evidence, 1993)
  • Spirit (Blue Note, 1996)
  • New Yor-uba, 30 Years: A Musical Celebration of Cuba in America (Self-release, 2013)

With Quintessence

  • Quintessence (Enja, 1987)
  • Contrast High (Enja, 1988)
  • Harvest (Enja, 1993)
  • Guardians of the Light (Enja, 2000)
  • The In Side Out (Advance Dance Disques, 2006)

As sideman


  1. ^ Yanow, Scott (2000). Afro-Cuban Jazz. Miller Freeman Books. p. 107. ISBN 0-87930-619-X.
  2. ^ Pena, Tomas, ed. (5 February 2007). "Michele Rosewoman: Wearing Her Passion With The In Side Out". All About Jazz. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  3. ^ Murph, John, ed. (24 September 2013). "In New Afro-Cuban Music, Ancient Tradition Meets Future Shock". WUNC91.5. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  4. ^ Moncada, Les, ed. (27 December 2014). "An Afro-Cuban-Latin Jazz Chat with pianist Michele Rosewoman of New York City". World Music Central. Retrieved 12 November 2015.

External links[edit]