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New York City chamber sextet yMusic utilizes its unique instrumentation (trumpet, flute, clarinet, violin, viola, and cello) to bridge the pop and classical divide. The ensemble’s collaborative nature has yielded recordings with Dirty Projectors, St. Vincent, the Staves, the National, Bon Iver, Bruce Hornsby, and Ben Folds, and concert projects with Anohni, John Legend, and Paul Simon. In 2023, the group issued its first collection of entirely self-penned music, the aptly named YMUSIC. Founded in 2008 by trumpeter CJ Camerieri and violinist Rob Moose, yMusic (named for “Generation Y”) looked to position itself at the vanguard of American Contemporary Music, working alongside modern composers such as Andrew Norman, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Marcos Balter, and Caroline Shaw. The sextet, which also includes Alex Sopp (flute), Mark Dover (clarinet), Nadia Sirota (viola), and Gabriel Cabezas (cello), released its debut album, Beautiful Mechanical, in 2011 via New Amsterdam Records, and it went on to win Time Out New York’s #1 Classical Record of the Year. They followed it in 2014 with Richard Reed Parry: Music for Heart and Breath (a collaboration with the Arcade Fire multi-instrumentalist) and the Son Lux-produced Balance Problems. The latter included compositions by Timo Andres, Marcos Balter, Mark Dancigers, Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, Sufjan Stevens, and Jeremy Turner. The sextet served as Ben Folds’ backing band on the song portion of 2015′s So There, and made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2016 with works by, among others, Caroline Shaw, Chris Thile, and Sufjan Stevens. In 2017, Nonesuch issued The Way Is Read, a collaboration with indie folk trio the Staves that consisted of both Staves originals and reworked yMusic compositions. In 2019, the ensemble was featured on Bruce Hornsby’s Absolute Zero LP, and in 2020, they released Ecstatic Science, a collection of pieces by composers Caroline Shaw, Missy Mazzoli, Gabriella Smith, and Paul Wiancko. Three years later, the group released the acclaimed chamber music effort YMUSIC, written collaboratively by all six members. ~ James Christopher Monger