Bassist and composer Ike Sturm was raised in a musical home in Wisconsin, learning from his father, renowned composer and arranger, Fred Sturm. Ike has performed with many gifted musicians including Gene Bertoncini, Theo Bleckmann, Ingrid Jensen, Donny McCaslin, Bobby McFerrin, Ben Monder, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler. He has played on four Downbeat award-winning recordings, as well as several Steve Reich releases on Canteloupe and Nonesuch Records. He has performed with Alarm Will Sound and the International Contemporary Ensemble, along with numerous creative bands in New York.
Ike is the Music Director for Jazz at Saint Peter’s Church in Manhattan. He is responsible for the church’s many jazz programs, including an educational ensemble called Jazz 4 All. Ike designed the church’s current jazz residency program and is heard at Jazz Vespers, leading his own original liturgical compositions and improvisations every Sunday night at 6pm. Among his current regular collaborators are Melissa Stylianou, Catherine Russell, Godwin Louis and Chris Dingman.
Ike studied jazz and classical bass and composition while earning undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Eastman School of Music. In addition, he drew inspiration from studies with legendary bassist Dave Holland.
Saint Peter’s Church commissioned Ike to compose Jazz Mass, a work for voices, strings and soloists that merges diverse musical languages into a powerfully unified aesthetic. The piece was released to critical acclaim, named one of Downbeat’s “Best Albums of the Year” and has been performed across the U.S., Scandinavia and Europe.
Ike’s current band is a collective with guitarist Jesse Lewis called Endless Field and has been featured live on NPR. The album was released on Biophilia Records and includes GRAMMY-winning soloist Donny McCaslin, bandleader of David Bowie’s Blackstar. The project aims to engage others in environmental awareness and activism through music and volunteer activities.