Patricia Brennan

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Mexican-born vibraphonist, marimbist, and composer Patricia Brennan is known for her sophisticated, harmonically nuanced blend of post-bop, classical, and avant-garde jazz. Brennan first garnered notice in the 2010s working with John Hollenbeck and Michael Formanek. She has also performed alongside forward-thinking artists like Meredith Monk, Vijay Iyer, and Tomas Fujiwara. Her debut album as leader, Maquishti, arrived in 2021.
A native of Veracruz, Brennan was exposed to an array of music growing up, including classic rock, Latin, and salsa records. She started playing percussion and piano around age four, inspired by her grandmother, who was a concert pianist. At 17, she was accepted into the prestigious Youth Orchestra of the Americas, where she gained valuable experience, including performing with artists like Yo-Yo Ma and Paquita D'Rivera. By the time Brennan left high school, she had won a number of marimba competitions, as well as performed with such organizations as the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra and Mineria Symphony Orchestra. Moving to the United States in the early 2000s, she further honed her skills studying at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. There she was able to work with conductors Simon Rattle and Charles Dutoit, as well as perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Following graduation, Brennan established herself on the East Coast, working with a bevy of luminaries, including Meredith Monk, Theo Bleckmann, Ambrose Akinmusire, Jon Irabagon, Mary Halvorson, and many others.
Along with teaching at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and at the Jazz Studies program at NYU Steinhardt, Brennan performs regularly. She is a member of the Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus, appearing on 2016′s The Distance. She is also a member of the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, with which she performed on the Grammy-nominated 2018 album All Can Work. In addition, Brennan has performed with pianist Matt Mitchell’s Phalanx Ambassadors, the Webber/Morris Big Band, and Tomas Fujiwara’s 7 Poets Trio with cellist Tomeka Reid. There have also been projects with Vijay Iyer, Linda Oh, Wadada Leo Smith, Reggie Workman, and more. In 2021, Brennan made her debut as leader with the solo vibraphone recording Maquishti. ~ Matt Collar