Ike Sturm was raised in a musical home in Wisconsin, learning from his father, renowned composer and arranger, Fred Sturm. As a bassist, Ike has performed with many gifted musicians including Gene Bertoncini, Wynton Marsalis, Donny McCaslin, Bobby McFerrin, Ben Monder, Ingrid Jensen, Steve Lehman, Catherine Russell, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler. In addition to playing with his own groups and creative bands in New York, Ike has performed with Alarm Will Sound and the International Contemporary Ensemble.
Ike is the jazz director at Saint Peter’s Church in NYC. He is responsible for the church’s many jazz programs, including music at public liturgies, conferences, festivals and workshops. He created and directs Jazz 4 All, an educational fellowship of musicians of different ages, musical styles and faith backgrounds focusing on improvisation within the church. He has composed many sacred works for jazz ensemble and chamber groups and has led music workshops at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music and Union Seminary.
Studying jazz and classical bass and composition, Ike earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Eastman School of Music. Saint Peter’s Church commissioned Ike to compose Jazz Mass, a work for voices, strings and jazz ensemble that merges diverse musical languages into a unified aesthetic. The recording was awarded 4 1/2 stars by Downbeat magazine and was named one of the “Best CDs of 2010.” The project has been with choirs and orchestras across the U.S. and Europe.
Ike’s band, Evergreen, is a 9-person band that performs regularly at Saint Peter’s and around the world. Their new album, Shelter of Trees, has been released and is dedicated to the memory of Fred Sturm. Renowned bass critic Bill Milkowski called the album “undeniably beautiful."
Ike is currently collaborating with guitarist Jesse Lewis in a new band called Endless Field. Their inaugural release is planned for June of 2017 on Biophilia Records.