Hailed as “a master composer and improviser” by The North Shore News, Vancouver-based Róisín Adams’ visionary work combines ethereal, textured melodicism with an underpinning of intellectual rigor.
An imaginative and immensely prolific composer, pianist, bandleader and educator, Adams is also an astute collaborator in a range of projects. She founded the improvisatory instrumental jazz quartet Hildegard’s Ghost in 2013, and also performs with contemporary acoustic trio Adams/Hopkins/Romain and in drummer Kevin Romain’s Enemy Pigeon.
Early training from the Royal Conservatory of Music provided a classical foundation
Adams has expanded upon through studies with jazz and avant-garde artists Lisa Cay Miller, Kris Davis, Sharon Minemoto, Alan Matheson and François Houle. Her compositions have been performed by Ellwood Epps, Vicky Mettler, Elisa Thorn, Michael James Park, Rachel Iwaasa, Catherine Laub and the NOW Society Orchestra.
Her work has been featured at the Silk Purse Jazz Waves Series, Queer Arts Festival, Sonic Boom Festival, Western Front, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Kay Meek Theatre, and TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.
Adams was a recipient of a Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity residency (2017), Vancouver Community College Contemporary Composition Award (2013), Chris Gage Memorial Award, Fred Bass Scholarship, and the Andres Alejandro Espinoza Memorial Scholarship. She has also been awarded grants from the Canada Council for the Arts (2016), Creative BC Music Fund (2017), British Columbia Arts Council (2018) and SOCAN Foundation (2018).
In January, 2019, the Vancouver Park Board awarded Adams and artistic partner Emily Best a three-year Field House Artist residency. Their Music off the Page project is a community engaged arts practice that explores interdisciplinary collaborations and contemporary music discourse with participants of all ages and abilities.
She is currently working with composer/pianist Lisa Cay Miller, studying composition and contemporary piano with the assistance of the BC Arts Council.
Photo Credit: Sewari Campillo