Jordan McLean -composer, arranger, bandleader, trumpeter and educator–
has been active in the professional music world for the last twenty years, having performed, recorded and collaborated with a multitude of musicians, ensembles and performance organizations around the world. His career stretches from the esoteric and rarified to the mainstream and popular. He has most recently joined the famed song writer Sam Beam’s Iron And Wine and is a spokeman for The 2013 UNESCO International Jazz Day.
Based in NYC, Jordan’s original compositions have been performed in New York and throughout Europe by contemporary music ensembles such as Cadillac Moon Ensemble and Till By Turning. He has adapted and conducted Mauricio Kagel’s Music For Renaissance Instruments and actively commissions promising young arrangers for radical re-orchestrations of masterworks.
Jordan is Associate Musical Director, contributing composer/arranger and trumpeter for Bill T. Jones’s TONY-winning Broadway production of FELA! As a member of the FELA! band, he has performed at St. Ann’s Warehouse, on the television programs The View and The Colbert Report, and has composed and arranged for Patti LaBelle. His work as a composer and arranger is featured on the Grammy nominated FELA! Original Broadway Cast Album.
Jordan is a charter member and lead trumpeter of the world-renowned Afrobeat band Antibalas. His work with the group over the past fifteen years has led to collaborations with such acclaimed acts as David Byrne, St. Vincent, Pretty Lights, TV on the Radio, Patti Smith, Medeski Martin and Wood, The Roots, Public Enemy, Paul Simon, Beyonce, Angelique Kidjo (including her 2007 Grammy-winning album, Djin Djin) and appearances on Saturday Night Live, NBC’s “The Late Show”, VH1’s “Divas”, and 2 Comedy Central Comedy Awards.
He is the regular trumpeter for the world-traveling Sway Machinery, with performances in clubs and synagogues around the U.S. and festivals in Europe, Canada, Australia and Mali, including the Festival Au Desert, outside of Timbuktu.
Jordan’s work as a recording artist includes sessions for famed producers Gabe Roth, Mark Ronson, Wyclef Jean and Tony Visconte as well as Daptone, Blue Note, Verve, Razor and Tie, Desco, Rope-a-Dope, Ninja Tune, and J-Dub Records.
His radio credits include performances and interviews on Minnesota Public Radio, National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and “Morning Becomes Eclectic”, and multiple appearances on New York’s WBAI, WNYC’s “Soundcheck”, Columbia University’s W-KCR, and the legendary W-KEXP in Seattle. TV appearances include Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show With Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O’Brien with Antibalas and Iron and Wine.
Jordan has brought his unique performance style to club and festival stages throughout the US and twenty countries, including such esteemed festivals as Istanbul and Montreax Jazz, Bonnaroo, Coachella, WOMAD and many others, also having toured coast-to-coast for two consecutive years playing the Canadian Jazz Festival circuit.
Jordan has served as associate conductor for the Grammy-winning ensemble, Orchestra of Our Time, and also serves as Musical Director for the contemporary dance ensemble Rettocame.
As a bandleader, Jordan has released two albums of original music with his nine-piece group, Fire Of Space. The title track of their album “Handbasket” is featured in the film “Sleepwalk With Me”. This group has performed in venues throughout NY and Chicago, including as an opening act for Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings.
The first two albums with his Piano Music & Song Trio (with performances at John Zorn’s Stone, the New York Anthroposophical Society, City Winery, FONT at Cornelia Street Cafe, The Roerich Museum and The Museum of Jewish Heritage) features original music, and orchestrations of the music of Frederico Mompou, Charles Ives, Samuel Barber, Bernard Ventadorn, and Siberian folk music. The trio’s repertoire is expanded to include songs by Viennese composers Brahms, Mahler and Webern.
He is co-founder with the innovative drum set player Amir Ziv of the electro-acoustic group DROID which features such esteemed musicians as the world renowned Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista and former Miles Davis music director Adam Holzman. He and Mr. Ziv are also co-founders of System Dialing Records, now in the process of a full-scale company launch. His most current album “World Gone Mad” for solo trumpet and electronics is available on LP and digital download formats.
As an educator, Jordan has been an adjunct professor of musicology at his alma mater, SUNY Purchase where he graduated summa cum laude in composition, was an ArtsBridge America Scholar and studied with compositional luminaries Dary John Mizelle and Joel Thome. He currently teaches private composition lessons at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where he completed jazz trumpet studies, and has over a decade of experience with LEAP (Learning through and Expanded Arts Program) as a visiting artist in NYC public schools.