Samantha Boshnack

John and Marie LaBarbera Fellow


“As a composer, I fuse jazz, world music, and contemporary classical music...I want to eliminate boundaries and create a sound that reflects the dynamic complexities of individual experience, while having a really good time... I am extremely interested in and inspired by the natural world. Any time not spent on music is spent hiking and exploring the beauty of the outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.”

— Samantha Boshnack


Prolific composer/trumpeter Samantha Boshnack walks her own path. Whether blasting through the alternative sonic explorations of her 14-piece alternative chamber orchestra, B’shnorkestra, or leading her own quintet, Boshnack’s compositional voice pulses with vitality.

In 2018 she was awarded the Make Jazz Fellowship at 18th Street Arts Center, sponsored by the Herb Alpert Foundation. Boshnack has received support and commissioning funds from New Music USA, Meet The Composer, 4Culture, Artist Trust, Jack Straw Productions, New York Foundation of the Arts, Earshot Jazz, Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Sprout among others. She has attended two Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist-in-Residence Programs; with Derek Bermel and Marilyn Crispell. She has performed or recorded with artists such as Wayne Horvitz, Butch Morris, Eyvind Kang, Terry Riley, Jessica Lurie, Bobby Previte, Amy Denio, Jim Black, David Byrne, Robin Holcomb, Joshua Kohl, Paul Kikuchi, Evan Flory Barnes, Paul Rucker, among others.

After getting a degree in composition from Bard College in 2003, Boshnack moved to Seattle. She toured extensively with the modern jazz group Reptet for seven years, releasing four albums comprised mostly of her compositions.
In 2011 she formed the B’shnorkestra and released Go To Orange in 2013 to critical acclaim. Her eponymous Quintet brought together players who had never worked before as a unit, and the results have been nothing short of incendiary—hence the title of their 2014 debut album, Exploding Syndrome. In 2017 they released their second CD, Nellie Bly Project (Artists Recording Collective), about the 19th-century daredevil/feminist/journalist. The album moves between the narrative and abstract, creating an imaginative world that channels Bly’s groundbreaking spirit.

The Quintet has performed at the JazzPop series at the Hammer Museum (LA), Creative Music Guild’s Outset Series (Portland), Frye Art Museum (Seattle), and Center for New Music (San Francisco), among others. In 2014 and 2015, the Sam Boshnack Quintet collaborated with Karin Stevens Dance on an evening of cross-continental contemporary dance set to their live performance. This was performed at Velocity Dance Center in Seattle and Whitefish, Montana (presented by Glacier Symphony).

In May of 2016, Alchemy Sound Project (a composer-led ensemble featuring the works of Sumi Tonooka, Erica Lindsay, Salim Washington, David Arendt, and Boshnack herself) released their debut recording on Artists Recording Collective, entitled Further Explorations which was named by DownBeat Magazine as one of the top records of 2016. In 2018 they released their second record Adventures in Time and Space. In November 2016, Boshnack self-released Global Concertos with her B’shnorkestra, for which she wrote five interlocking concertos.

In 2015, Boshnack premiered “Coelacanth: In Its Own Time ” with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra. All of these and more have served to elevate and support the value of the individual expression in larger collectives and to turn a new corner in the ever-growing map of Boshnack’s sonic journey.