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Dingman, Chris (May Han Oh / Tim Kelper): Embrace (Inner Arts Initiative)

Finding rich warmth in NY vibraphonist Chris Dingman's melodic and optimistic compositions, several inspired by Dingman's interest in West African music traditions, performed in a trio with bassist Linda May Han Oh (Pat Metheney) and drummer Tim Keiper (Cyro Baptista, David Byrne); an inspiringly lyrical album with exceptional soloing and improvisation interplay.

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product information:


Label: Inner Arts Initiative
Squidco Product Code: 29581

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Atomic Sound in Brooklyn, New York, by Merle Chomuk and Dakota Bowman.


Chris Dingman-vibraphone

Linda May Han Oh-bass

Tim Keiper-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"Chris Dingman is a vibraphonist and composer known for his distinctive approach to the instrument: sonically rich and conceptually expansive, bringing listeners on a journey to a beautiful, transcendent place. He has been profiled by NPR, the New York Times, DRUM magazine and many other publications, and has received fellowships and grants from the Chamber Music America, the Doris Duke Foundation, New Music USA, and the Herbie Hancock Institute (formerly the Thelonious Monk Institute).

Dingman has done significant work with legendary artists Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter as well as next generation visionaries such as Jen Shyu, Ambrose Akinmusire, Steve Lehman, and many others, performing around the world including India, Vietnam, and extensively in Europe and North America. Hailed by the New York Times as a "dazzling" soloist and a composer with a "fondness for airtight logic and burnished lyricism," the fluidity of his musical approach has earned him praise as "an extremely gifted composer, bandleader, and recording artist." (Jon Weber, NPR).


While growing up in San Jose, California, Dingman began piano and percussion studies at an early age. He went on to attend Wesleyan University, where he received his B.A. with honors in music. While at Wesleyan, he studied intensively with vibraphonist Jay Hoggard, drummer Pheeroan AkLaff, composer/multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton, and mridangist David Nelson. During this time, he was heavily involved in the study of many of the world's musical cultures, including South Indian, West African, Korean, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian music. In the summer of 2000, his studies brought him to Kerala, India to delve further into mridangam and South Indian classical music.

In 2005, Dingman was one of only seven musicians selected by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Terence Blanchard to participate in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. At the Institute, he studied with Terence Blanchard, Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Jerry Bergonzi, Wynton Marsalis, Jason Moran, Lewis Nash, Hal Crook, Stefan Harris, John Magnussen, Vince Mendoza, Russell Ferrante, and many others. He received his Master of Music degree from USC and the Monk Institute in 2007.

During his time at the Monk Institute, Dingman had the opportunity to perform extensively with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. In November of 2005, they traveled with the Monk Institute ensemble on a U.S. State Department tour of Vietnam. The ensemble gave concerts and master classes in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In January of 2007, he traveled again with Hancock, Shorter, and the Monk Institute ensemble, this time to Mumbai, Calcutta, New Delhi, and Agra, India, where they performed for capacity crowds and presented clinics at the Ravi Shankar Institute in Delhi and St. John's School in Mumbai.Teaching

In addition to performing, Chris is an active educator, working with students of all ages and levels for the past 15 years. His extensive teaching experience includes presenting master classes at conservatories and schools both nationally and internationally (including Miami-Dade College, Trinity College, Vancouver Jazz Festival, the National Conservatory of Vietnam, Staffeldsgate College in Oslo, Norway, and more), directing a summer music camp for students ages 11-18, leading jazz ensembles at the high school and middle school levels, and teaching group percussion classes for both children and adults."

-Chris Dingman Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Born in Malaysia, raised in, Perth, Western Australia, Linda began playing piano, bassoon and at fifteen dabbled on electric bass playing jazz in high school bands while playing a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Linda studied at the W.A Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) where she graduated with first-class honors.

She was a James Morrison Scholarship Finalist in 2003 and in 2004 was an IAJE Sister in Jazz and received the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer's award in 2008. She also received an honorary mention at the 2009 Thelonious Monk Bass Competition and received the 2010 Bell Award for Young Australian Artist of the Year. In 2010 she was nominated for the Jazz Journalist's Awards for Up and Coming Artist of the Year, and received the award of No. 1 Acoustic Bass Rising Star in the Downbeat Critic's Poll. This same year she received 2nd place at the BASS2010 Competition in Berlin.

Linda completed her Masters at the Manhattan School of Music in 2008 studying with Jay Anderson, John Riley, Phil Markowitz, Dave Liebman and Rodney Jones. She now teaches the precollege division there and is involved in jazz videoconference master-classes for high-schools around the US. As an active teacher she was also involved in creating a series of lessons for the up and coming BassGuru app for iPad and iPhone.

Linda has performed with the musicians such as Joe Lovano, Steve Wilson, Vijay Iyer, Dave Douglas, Kenny Barron, Geri Allen, Fabian Almazan, and Terri Lyne Carrington. She is currently the bassist with guitarist, Pat Metheny.

Linda is an active double bassist, electric bassist and composer, composing music for various ensembles and short films, also participating in the BMI Film Composers Workshop and Sundance Labs at Skywalker Ranch. Linda composed for Sabrina McCormick's short film "A Good Egg" which was featured in the New York Shorts Festival.

In 2009 her self-released debut trio album "Entry" with Obed Calvaire and Ambrose Akinmusire was listed in Artforum magazine as one of Vijay Iyer's top ten of 2009.

Her second album "Initial Here" released on Greenleaf Records in 2012 features a quartet with Dayna Stephens on tenor sax, Fabian Almazan on piano and Rudy Royston on drums with special guest Jen Shyu on vocals. This album was mentioned several times for album of the year in various jazz polls.

"Sun Pictures" is her third release - a quartet album recorded live at WKCR studios featuring Ben Wendel on tenor saxophone, James Muller on guitar and Ted Poor on drums.

Her latest release in 2017 "Walk Against Wind" on Biophilia Records, received critical acclaim and was featured on the 2017 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll. This album features Ben Wendel on tenor sax, Matthew Stevens on guitar, Justin Brown on drums featuring special guests - Fabian Almazan on piano and keys as well as Minji Park on Korean percussion. She will be performing this music for the first time at the distinguished Village Vanguard in New York City.

Linda is currently working on her second trumpet trio album and an eight-piece group featuring a string quartet Aventurine- with music that was commissioned by the Jazz Gallery in 2012.

She was a recent recipient of the Jerome Foundation Fellowship and is now a member of Pat Metheny's most recent quartet project which has recently recorded. Stay tuned for the new release."

-Linda May Han Oh Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Drummer and percussionist Tim Keiper transcends categorization. Based in NYC, he has spent the last 15 years touring the world, playing and recording with such diverse artists as Cyro Baptista, Vieux Farka Touré, John Zorn, Matisyahu, Dirty Projectors, Hazmat Modine, and Skeleton Key. Equally at home rocking explosive rhythms in the West African desert, laying down grooves in a jazz club, or constructing an avant-garde sound experience bordering on performance art, Keiper has a deep knowledge of an eclectic set of music traditions and genres. His ability to speak each musical language so authentically, yet imprint the music with his rich experience and canny sensibility, defines his inimitable playing.

Born in Red Bank, NJ, Keiper moved to New York City in 1999 to play music. It was here that he was able to open his musical universe by immersing himself in the thriving Downtown music scene while at the same time studying the music of Brazil, West Africa, and India. This was the beginning of his ongoing pursuit to embrace a multitude of cultural and musical traditions and assimilate them into his own pioneering approach to drumming.

By the time he finished college, Keiper was playing with Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista's 10-piece percussion ensemble Beat the Donkey. Baptista taught him about the world of Brazilian music and rhythms as well as the infinite possibilities of building instruments and creating the sounds of one's environment.

In 2002, he took a gig as junk percussionist with art rock band Skeleton Key. It was his role to create the sounds of New York City with an original set up of things foraged from the garbage: propane tanks, fire extinguishers, chains, saw blades, crank sirens, and a pogo stick, some of which still grace his kit today. This spurred his fascination with creating captivating sounds in unorthodox ways.

In 2005, Keiper played on the debut record of Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré. After spending a year on the road together, Touré invited him to his home village of Niafunké and the ancient city of Timbuktu to play the Festival in the Desert. He was introduced to the doson ngoni, or sorcerer's harp, as well as the calabash, one of the primary traditional drums of Mali. Both instruments, with their distinctive sounds, have since become essential parts of his music. Keiper has played on all of Touré's studio records in addition to performing at the opening ceremony to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Johannesburg.

Earlier this year, he reconnected with long-time friend Matisyahu and recorded Live at Stubb's, Vol. III. With Aaron Dugan on guitar and Rob Marscher on keys, this more stripped down setting creates the perfect space to capture the group's spontaneous experimentation and improvisation. They will tour the new record this fall.

Keiper is also spending 2015 on the road with Vieux Farka Touré's new project Touristes, Cyro Baptista's Banquet of the Spirits, John Zorn, and Hazmat Modine. His own band, Eclipticalia, influenced by the sounds of NYC, Timbuktu, and Outer Space, has a record due out later this year.

Keiper teaches at New York University."

-Tim Keiper Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:

1. Inner Child 6:42

2. Find A Way 8:35

3. Ali 6:16

4. The Opening + Mudita 6:10

5. Goddess 5:03

6. Forgive / Embrace 5:32

7. Hijinks And Wizardry 5:03

8. Steps On The Path 3:51

9. Folly Of Progress 6:39
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Sometimes in order to open up, we need to pare down. In order to make the most of the vast possibilities offered by the world outside, we first have to look deep inside and embrace ourselves. Five years after his critically-acclaimed album The Subliminal and the Sublime, vibraphonist and composer Chris Dingman returns with his much-anticipated follow-up, Embrace, released March 6, 2020.

Embrace features a transcendent vibes trio with bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Tim Keiper, inspired by a wide spectrum of jazz and West African traditions. Produced by Keith Witty (Somi, Thiefs) and recorded in studio to 16-track tape, the album's warm, full sound pairs perfectly with the music's strong sense of atmosphere and wonder, emotion and playfulness, all centered around Dingman's expansive approach to the vibes."-Inner Arts Initiative

"As he admits, Chris Dingman has an ideal name: "It's perfect", he says. "I had no idea I'd become a vibraphonist". He studied at Wesleyan University and the Thelonious Monk Institute, then moved to New York, where he's collaborated with such as Anthony Braxton, Steve Lehman and Tyshawn Sorey. Embrace features his superb trio with bassist Linda May Han Oh - whom I know for her excellent work supporting Lee Konitz among others - and drummer Tim Keiper.

It's a beautifully warm ensemble sound, and the publicity cites influences from West African traditions and South Indian music, which Dingman has studied - his facility with asymmetric rhythms is apparent also in his work with Steve Lehman. As he explained in an interview, he likes the sustain pedal, but "you want to hear the melodic line". He adds, by email, that this involves stopping undesirable notes by damping with the mallets: "Gary Burton used this technique ferociously and at speeds that nobody else has come close to. I use it a fair amount too. Sometimes, I blur the line on purpose ... I [was] influenced much more by Bobby Hutcherson. But I've also tried to incorporate some of [Burton's techniques]".

Forgive/Embrace is based on a kora-inspired line that came from studies of Toumani Diabate, while Goddess and Folly Of Progress are inspired by vocalist Oumou Sangare; Ali is dedicated to Ali Farka Touré. The luminous Mudita means sympathetic joy in Pali, a South Asian liturgical language. But they all sound flowing and natural, which is a testament to the musicians' skill. Steps On The Path is unusual, a study in entropy that stumbles to a conclusion. As much as non-Western influences, however, I'm struck by echoes of Gary Burton's very open, blues/country feel, particularly on tracks like Hijinks and Wizardry and Folly Of Progress - though it's true that vibraphone isn't so common as an instrument, and Burton is a dominant influence on it. Vibraphone-led trios aren't common, and this is an outstanding realisation of the format."-Andy Hamilton, Jazz Journal UK

Get additional information at Jazz Journal
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Trio Recordings
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
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New in Improvised Music

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