Erica von Kleist is a renowned flautist, saxophonist, composer and educator who had made her mark on the music scene worldwide. A native of Connecticut, Erica moved to New York to hone her skills at the Juilliard School, and in 2004 earned the first Bachelor’s degree in jazz in the school’s history. After graduation she began touring with the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and recorded two Grammy-nominated recordings with the band. As a sideman, Erica has also toured, recorded and/or performed with Chris Potter, Wynton Marsalis and the JLCO, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Bebo Valdez, Cachao, Celia Cruz, Kristin Chenoweth and Seth MacFarlane, among many others. She is the recipient of several honors, including the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer’s Award, and the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, and has been voted several years in a row a “Rising Star” and “Critic’s Pick” in Downbeat Magazine.
As an educator, Erica has taught privately for over 15 years. She has been a guest clinician at several schools and institutions including the Juilliard School, Stanford University, Jazz at Lincoln Center, University of Montana, and has done outreach work at the conservatories in Havana, Cuba. In 2011 she released her first theory book entitled “A Cool Approach to Jazz Theory”, aimed at teaching the basics of jazz harmony to beginning improvisers. Since its release it has become the main curriculum at several schools throughout the US, Canada, and Cuba.
Erica has released two albums as a bandleader – “Project E” in 2005 and “Erica von Kleist & No Exceptions” in 2009. Both albums featured some of her award-winning compositions and earned critical acclaim. She has been a featured soloist and guest artist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and the Glacier Symphony, and has been commissioned to write for Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Juilliard School, and has been an orchestrator and arranger for many other projects. She can also be heard on several Grammy and Oscar Nominated recordings, and is featured on the original Broadway soundtrack of “The Addams Family.”
Currently Erica resides in Whitefish Montana where she operates her own private teaching studio. There she has found the space and clarity she has needed to continue her new musical endeavors, and she plans on recording her third album in early 2014.