Nine Worlds Ensemble is a new approach to chamber music. With backgrounds in classical, jazz, pop, rock, and more, Nine Worlds bring a diverse approach to music performance. This approach to music results in the groove of pop music, the improvisation of jazz, the complexity of world music, and the sensitivity and emotionality of classical music.
Equally comfortable in the club as the concert hall, the mission of Nine Worlds is to bring their eclectic brand of chamber music to a wide variety of venues and listeners while breaking the mold of expectations in chamber music.
Why Nine Worlds?
"Having been named Thor, my name carries with it the many rich stories of Norse mythology. Yggdrasil, the World Tree, connects the nine worlds in norse mythology. Much of the music we're playing is inspired by nature, and played on instruments built out of wood. Our sound has an organic quality to it, as well as being inspired by music from many cultures around the world. All of these concepts are tied together with the idea of the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology." -Thor
Nine Worlds Ensemble is:
Thor Bremer, marimba/vibraphone, composer, arranger, manager.
Thor composes and arranges the original music for Nine Worlds, organizes the band, books the performances, and performs on marimba and vibraphone. He received his B.A. in music from UW-Milwaukee, where he studied classical percussion, and an M.F.A. in Game Music and Audio from ThinkSpace Education. When not performing with Nine Worlds, Thor can be found playing drum set and percussion with the Steve Edwards Orchestra, 1976, Animal Farm, and Brass From The Past, among others. He has written for a wide variety of ensembles and has three albums outside of Nine Worlds under his name. More information on Thor can be found at: www.thorbremer.com
Stephanie Young, violin.
Stephanie received a Bachelor of Music degree from UW-Milwaukee and is a founding member of Nine Worlds Ensemble. Besides performing with Nine Worlds, she enjoys playing with Fretless Strings, Bowtime, Animal Farm, Electric 5, and with various classical and wedding orchestras. She has performed with such notables as the rock band Kansas, Peter Cetera from the rock group Chicago, Rod Stewart, Final Fantasy "Distant Worlds: Milwaukee" show, Doc Severinsen, and Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses. Stephanie has also recorded music for Milwaukee Public Television and enjoys teaching private music lessons.
Owen Szorc, guitar.
Owen graduated from Elmhurst College with a B.M. in Jazz performance and Music Business. He has been performing and teaching private lessons in the area for over seven years with many students finding success in their own groups and within top collegiate level programs. Owen is the guitarist for Nine Worlds, but also stays busy performing with many groups in the Chicagoland area, Owen performs solo, with the Kelsey and Owen Duet, the Dark Passengers, among many others. He finds enjoyment in playing a variety of styles which has brought him many playing opportunities and has kept him busy as an instructor.
Mark Nelson, piano.
Mark Nelson is a popular Chicago-based pianist and keyboardist, a versatile and accomplished performer, whose credits include local performances, touring, and studio recordings. He plays jazz, musicals, Afro-Cuban Salsa and folkloric styles, cover and original rock projects, Brazilian, classical, and gospel music. He regularly performs or has recorded with The Mark Nelson Trio, the Latin jazz-fusion ensemble, Contrabanda, the No Reservations Orchestra, Johnny Blas’s Afro Libre, The Joshua Jern Orchestra, The Vern Spevak Big Band, the choirs of Bolingbrook and Romeoville High School, St. Charles North's Vocal Jazz Ensembles and as a freelancer, “wherever the phone rings.” Mark also frequently serves as a worship musician and bandleader, and has worked with numerous Chicago area churches, including The Compass, Crossroads, Calvary Church Naperville and Community Christian. He has previously been a guest artist for the Interstate Eight Swing/Jazz Clinic, Seneca Jazz Festival, the IMEA All State Music Convention, and Bolingbrook: Jazz Under The Stars festivals, the Elkhart and Chicago Jazz Festivals, and the Chicago Latin Jazz Festival. Mark has performed with artists such as Mark Colby, Howard Levy, Vern Spevak, Peter Oprisko, Shawn Maxwell, John Musick of Chapter 6, Ian Maksin, Gabriel Datcu, and Marvin Stamm. He earned a degree in Jazz Studies: Piano from North Central College.
Oliver Horton, bass.
Oliver graduated from Knox College with majors in bass and vocal performance and a minor in creative writing. He has been performing and teaching in Chicago for six years. Drawn to opportunities to collaborate, Oliver plays upright bass with Nine Worlds Ensemble, Bowtime Trio, Gone Valley, Sam Genualdi, Frank Catalano, and Jimmy Chamberlin. Oliver plays guitar and sings for ohm. With 30 students in his private studio, Oliver teaches guitar, electric bass, upright bass, voice, and piano. More information on Oliver at: oliverhortonmusic.com
Brent Roman, Percussion
Brent graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.A. degree in Percussion Performance, Composition and World Cultures. Prior to relocating back to the Chicago-land area, he was touring worldwide with Cirque Du Soleil as Percussionist and Drum Captain. Brent continues to work as an educator, composer, music director, accompanist and freelancing performer. He has worked with ensembles such as Trinity Irish Dance Company, The Chicago Sinfonietta, and Lookingglass Theatre Company. He is a founding member and percussionist in Mucca Pazza and serves as the resident accompanist and head of sound for the Dance Division at New Trier High School. Brent continues to perform for various musical theater productions, accompanying choirs, composing and sound designing works for dance, running his Chinese drum team, Cheng Da, and other freelance work. More can be found at: www.brentroman.com
Photography by David Kindler www.dtkindlerphoto.com