Kalia Vandever is a trombonist, composer, and educator living in Brooklyn, NY. She released her debut album, "In Bloom" in May, 2019 which features all of her original compositions written for quartet and duo with guitar. Kalia received her Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School in 2017. She has toured and performed internationally with her quartet, as well as a side-woman, performing with artists including Joel Ross, Maria Grand, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society and others.
She has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Preservation Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, The Jazz Gallery, The Blue Whale, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, SMOKE Jazz Club, the Blue Note, and the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center. She has also performed on Saturday Night Live with Demi Lovato and on Samantha Bee's Full Frontal with Lizzo.
While performing regularly as a bandleader and side-woman, Kalia is also an active composer and arranger. She has been commissioned to write works for groups and individuals including Tesla Quartet, The Westerlies, Katherine Kyu Hyeon Lim, and Hats & Heels Duo.
She is also experienced as an educator and currently leads the trombone studio at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. She travels a few times a year with Jazz at Lincoln Center for their program, Jazz For Young People, which is a program that presents interactive, educational performances to local schools. Kalia has led masterclasses at universities including California Institute of the Arts and University of Missouri.
In March of 2018, Kalia published an article on Medium, titled "Token Girl," discussing her experiences with misogyny and sexual harassment at The Juilliard School. Her article was mentioned in the New York Times a month later.
Kalia endorses Conn Selmer and Bach instruments as well as Denis Wick London.
"Vandever just released her debut album, In Bloom, featuring original compositions for a quartet of her peers: pianist Theo Walentiny, bassist Nick Dunston and drummer Connor Parks. On the title track, which opens the album, Vandever employs a bass ostinato with an offbeat syncopation throughout — a simple but effective way of setting the song just slightly off its axis. Her melody features a similar rhythmic displacement, which she plays with classical precision. The solos, first by Walentiny and then Vandever, are adventurous but rooted. This is a cohort that has obviously metabolized many different approaches, and chosen its own path." - Nate Chinen in WBGO
"We might not immediately nominate the trombone as the lead melody instrument in a jazz quartet. However, In Bloom, the debut album of trombonist and composer Kalia Vandever not only makes a compelling case for the format, it also documents the rise of an exciting new voice for the music." - Seton Hawkins in Hot House Jazz Magazine
"Slow and viscous, the original music on "In Bloom," this young trombonist's debut recording moves with an unhurried, sighing attitude. She writes melodies with long, held notes, and her songs usually linger between slow and mid-tempo. The idea, seems, is to dip you into a feeling or a pattern or a breathing speed, and keep you there." - Giovanni Russonello in the NY Times
Jazz Speaks (2019):
Jazz Speaks (2017):
Hannah's Corner featuring Kalia Vandever: