“Honest, intelligent chamber jazz, stark in its minimalism, gentle in its dissonance, firm in its lyricism.”- JazzTimes
Towering Poppies is an improvising quintet that combines a modern chamber jazz aesthetic with folk, impressionism and free improvisation. Led by New Zealand saxophonist & composer Jasmine Lovell-Smith, their chemistry as a band is unmistakeable, with TimeOut New York describing them as “a handsomely fluid and lyrical combo.”
Based out of New York City, Towering Poppies features a stellar cast of musicians from Canada and the United States. With Cat Toren on piano (Vancouver/NYC – member of Juno Award winning Pugs & Crows), Adam Hopkins on bass (Baltimore/NYC), Kate Gentile on drums (New York) and Josh Sinton on bass clarinet (New York), each member of the group is an accomplished improviser, and their sound is a truly collaborative endeavour. As described by The New York City Jazz Record, "This is clearly a band that has worked together and learned to live and breathe in the music, extending far beyond the ink and into the realm of a truly communicative ensemble of effusive musical cohorts." Towering Poppies released their debut album, Fortune Songs (which featured Russell Moore on trumpet and Patrick Reid on bass), in August 2012, to critical acclaim in the jazz press, with UK jazz critic Stephen Graham hailing it as a “dynamite debut.” They have continued to perform regularly in New York and the wider Northeast at venues including ShapeShifter Lab, Korzo, SEEDS and iBeam. Their sophomore album Yellow Red Blue is due out in November 2017.