Genre-defying brass quartet
The Westerlies is a New York-based brass quartet comprised of childhood friends from Seattle: Riley Mulherkar and Chloe Rowlands on trumpet, and Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch on trombone. Formed in 2011, the self-described “accidental brass quartet” takes its name from the prevailing winds that travel from the west to the east. “Skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers” (NPR’s Fresh Air), the ensemble explores jazz, roots and chamber music influences to create the rarest of hybrids—music that is both “folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music). Equally at home in concert halls and living rooms, The Westerlies navigate a wide array of venues and projects with the precision of a string quartet, the audacity of a rock band and the charm of a family sing-along.
The group has produced three critically acclaimed albums of genre-defying chamber music: its 2014 debut, Wish the Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz; a 2016 double-CD of primarily original compositions, The Westerlies; and Wherein Lies The Good, released in early 2020. Sought-after collaborators, The Westerlies are also featured on recordings by Fleet Foxes, Vieux Farka Touré, Common and Dave Douglas.
Education and community engagement are core elements of the ensemble’s mission. Each season, The Westerlies reach thousands of students around the country with their innovative and inspiring assemblies and masterclasses.