The band ‘”L Stop” is a quintet of musical friends from New York University – Tiger Diep, Anton Kot, Carlin Lee, Warren Louie, and Cole Palensky. They are Vandoren Emerging Artists Competition winners, National YoungArts finalists, and alumni from NYO Jazz, Next Generation, Essentially Ellington, Vail Jazz, Litchfield Jazz, Jazz at the Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra, Jazz Band of America, and even the JAS Academy 2020 Big Band. As individuals, they performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NYC and Shanghai, the Newport Jazz Festival, The Blue Note NYC, and even the International Gamelan Festival in Solo, Indonesia. Individually, they also opened or performed with artists including Chick Corea, Kurt Elling, Wycliffe Gordon, Sean Jones, Wynton Marsalis and his Septet, Elliot Mason, Dick Oatts, and more.
“L Stop” formed through the restrictions that COVID-19 placed on NYU and the majority of higher education institutions across the United States. While few members had played together when meeting pre-pandemic in programs such as NYO Jazz, Next Generation, and Essentially Ellington, it wasn’t until they were placed in a university-wide NYU quarantine that they began to form a developing musical relationship while wearing masks, sanitizing, covid testing, and more. Once the pandemic arrived, it became increasingly difficult to play with musicians from other music colleges and conservatories in New York City. This drove the group’s focus toward creating a band of friends that honor each other by bringing the highest level of playing to all music, original or otherwise. A shared ideal developed: To find and express our own voices and personal experiences in this ever changing world when playing music, and to bring this together with developing perspectives and dialogue.
If provided an invitation to attend the Jazz Aspen Academy Combo Session, “L Stop” will have a chance to separate from a familiar environment and “upbringing” for the first time as a group. Through workshops and intensives led by skilled and experienced musicians and music educators, and through new acquaintances and ideas, this quintet will have increased chance to re-explore who we are, our habits, ways of playing, and ways of understanding dialogue and soul. We will return to NYC with overlapping changes. Through our creative abilities, and our varied musical and cultural backgrounds, we are ready to contribute and take away, to grow as a group while individually developing skills to enter new groups. At Jazz Aspen, two weeks of learning will provide opportunity for change, development as an ensemble and with a chance to individually reorganize our standard ways of doing things toward a deeper whole experience in any setting, and to be able to take a closer look at what we bring to the group and where we are playing.