Cowboys & Frenchmen present a novel take on the American musical canon by blending traditional American folk and pop music with elements of contemporary R&B and modern jazz. The music exploits surprises at every turn, and presents a musical journey through the lens of five 21st century improvisers. Currently based in New York, NY, Cowboys and Frenchmen is comprised of some of the brightest rising stars on the New York Jazz scene. They have received critical acclaim from their 2015 release, Rodeo, and were selected to perform at the 2016 DC Jazz Festival as finalists in the inaugural DC JazzPrix competition.
Owen Broder - saxophones, co-leader
Co-leader Owen Broder is a saxophonist based in New York City. He runs in a variety of musical circles, leading his own groups and participating in others. Broder’s co-led jazz quintet, Cowboys & Frenchmen, has received critical acclaim for its 2015 release, Rodeo. He has performed with internationally respected jazz artists such as Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evens Project and clarinetist Anat Cohen; he has traveled with The Temptations and The Four Tops, and opened for Grammy Award winner John Legend with his own soul band, Bitchin’ Kitchen; in musical theater, he was a member of the pit orchestras for the German tour ofGrease and off-Broadway production For the Last Time, appeared with the band in David Bowie’s Lazarus, and the 2017 US tour of The Bodyguard the Musical. Broder holds a Bachelor's degree from the Eastman School of Music, and a Master's from the Manhattan School of Music.
Ethan Helm - saxophones, co-leader
Co-leader Ethan Helm is a virtuoso on the saxophone. He played lead alto in Eastman's award-winning New Jazz Ensemble, and was featured in Ryan Truesdell's internationally recognized Gil Evans Project at the 2012 Umbria Jazz Festival (Italy). In 2014, he was again featured by the Gil Evans Project, this time at New York's prestigious SubCulture, recreating the role of Cannonball Adderley in a tribute to the 1958 recording New Bottle Old Wine. Ethan has shared the stage with notable jazz professionals such as Jon Crowley, Cecilia Coleman, Charles Pillow, Nathan Parker Smith, and Colin Huggins. As an arranger and composer, his works are featured by Cowboys & Frenchmen, and by other accomplished ensembles and singer-songwriters. Ethan holds a B.M. from Eastman School of Music ('12) and a Master's from NYU.
Chris Ziemba - piano
The winner of the 2011 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, Chris Ziemba is already receiving widespread critical acclaim. Consistently performing along side New York's top musicians, Chris is featured on Jazz at Lincoln Center saxophonist Ted Nash's big band release, Chakra, and appeared with Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Project at the Elmhurst Jazz Festival in February of 2014. Chris has performed at premier venues such as the Kennedy Center and Blue Note Jazz Club, and is often featured at New York City's top jazz venues, including Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Kitano, Smalls, and many others. Chris received a B.M. In Jazz Studies and Music Education ('08) as well as his Master's ('11) from the Eastman School if Music. He holds an Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School ('13).
Ethan O’Reilly - bass
Ethan O'Reilly, bassist, is a progressive, innovative musician, who's rock-solid patterns kick up the playing level of his fellow musicians. His early training began in the New Kersey Performing Arts Center's Jazz for Teens program studying with musicians like Mike Leone and Don Braden. He continued in the notable New Jersey Governor's School of the Arts program and William Paterson University, where he was awarded a jazz scholarship and received his Bachelor's degree ('10). Ethan was a member of the elite William Paterson jazz orchestra that toured China, performing and teaching in Nanjing and Hangzhou. An active musician, Ethan has performed with Mulgrew Miller, Jimmy Heath, Freddy Cole, and Steve Wilson among others. He received his Masters from Manhattan School of Music ('13).
Matt Honor - drums
Matt Honor, drummer, is a powerful, steady hand in the rhythm section. His wide range, from the most restrained to an all-out stampede, brings excitement to the stage. Trained originally as a classical percussionist, he has a mastery of both jazz and improvised music, bringing a fresh, multi-genre approach to his performances. Matt was featured at the Umbria Jazz Festival with the Eastman Gil Evans Project - a large ensemble that performs recently discovered works of jazz legend Gil Evans. He also plays with numerous jazz ensembles throughout the NY jazz scene. Matt holds a B.M. from Eastman School of Music ('12), and a Master's from the Manhattan School of Music.