Originally from Lima, Peru, bassist Jorge Roeder has become renowned as one of the most versatile and expressive bass players in jazz today. Combining a symphonic imagination with the intimate lyricism of a folk musician, the aggressive energy of a raw rocker with the buoyant rhythmic sensibilities of his Afro-Peruvian roots, Roeder conveys a wide spectrum of influences within a resolute foundation. In his hands, writes Peter Hum of the Ottawa Citizen, “the music feels like it’s dancing from the ground up.”
The stunning adaptability of Roeder’s voice is evidenced by the diversity of his gifted collaborators. He has enjoyed long-standing partnerships with guitarist Julian Lage, whose music encompasses a panoramic sweep of Americana styles, and Argentinian vocalist Sofia Rei, an inventive songwriter and interpreter of melodies from various South American traditions. He is also a key member of Israeli pianist Shai Maestro’s trio, which blends intricate complexity and ethereal elegance, as well as trombonist Ryan Keberle’s politically charged ensemble Catharsis.
Roeder has also shared stages with such innovators as legendary vibraphonist Gary Burton, adventurous guitarist Nels Cline and iconoclastic composer/saxophonist John Zorn. His gifts have been recognized with a number of awards, including first prize at the 2007 International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition; semi-finalist placement in the 2009 Thelonious Monk Bass Competition; and a Grammy Award nomination for Sounding Point, the debut album by the Julian Lage Group.
After beginning with guitar lessons at an early age, Roeder went on to study classical cello in Peru and Russia, hone his electric chops in Lima rock clubs, and delve into jazz at Boston’s esteemed New England Conservatory, where he studied with such jazz greats as Danilo Pérez, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Moses, Cecil McBee, and fellow Peruvian Oscar Stagnaro.
With his boundless skills and searching curiosity, Roeder’s music seems to forever be reaching towards a new horizon. He’s absorbed the lessons of cerebral classical training, unbridled rock passion, and spontaneous jazz invention to form a singular voice on the bass, one that has placed him in the vanguard of modern jazz.