Close: 8:00 pm day of show
ASYLUMforART Box Office
tickets available at the door
Paul Jacob (PJ) Fossum is a Copenhagen based pianist and synthesist. Born in Canada and having cut his teeth in New York, he’s a versatile musician. With influences from ambient to avant-garde, bebop to baroque, indie-rock to classical these influences blend through him in an inventive and expressive manner across both acoustic and electronic instruments.
He got his start playing piano at the age of three. He won numerous awards for his exams, and won his fair share of competitions in the Kiwanis Music Festival Calgary. In his early teenage years he received his first keyboard family-friend, a basic digital synthesizer. This was the beginning of his use of electronic instruments, a thread that’s been woven throughout his pathos of music creation ever since. Having studied through his grade 10 in the Royal Conservatory of Music he decided to pursue jazz and improvised music finding that it afforded him more freedoms than the former field of music. He studied two years in Calgary in the now defunct Mount Royal University Jazz Diploma program later to move to New York in his early 20s to study at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music on a merit scholarship.
In New York he studied and formed relationships with a star studded cast of jazz royalty: Reggie Workman, Ingrid Jensen, Andrew Cyrille, Dave Douglas, Jane Ira Bloom and Sam Yahel. Within and outside of the institution as well he performed with Tyshawn Sorrey, Okkyung Lee, Ingrid Jensen, William Bell, Bobby Rush, Nir Felder and Val Jeanty aka DJ Val-Inc. Throughout his tenure in New York he worked in various formats for his original music, one of the pivotal groups was his quintet which performed throughout 2018 and 2019 consisting of Sergio Tabanico, Christian Jacquri Cummings, Belén López and Timothy Angulo. In late 2018 his interests began to turn to electro-acoustic music greatly inspired by Alvin Lucier, and he premiered his piece ACTIVATION at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at the New York Public Library in early 2019.
During the pandemic of 2020, he decided to take an opportunity to move to Copenhagen and pursue a Masters Degree in composition and performance at the Rytmisk Musikkonservatorium (RMC). There he has delved deep into prepared piano and sonic experimentations, leaning heavily on sound-art lexicons. Since moving to Copenhagen he has debuted various projects including Amalgamation-Integration, Polyality, Svømme and continued to work with a Denmark-based iteration of his improvised-music trio. He has also delved further into recorded material and will be releasing a solo piano project in 2024 as well as a collaborative project with NYC vocalist Judette Elliston entitled Estuary.