Amy K. Bormet is an in-demand pianist, vocalist, and composer. The quintet from her debut album, Striking, was featured as part of the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center. As an advocate for women in music, Amy created the Washington Women in Jazz Festival in 2011 and continues to serve as executive director. One of Amy K Bormet’s latest projects, Ephemera, is a platform for her new art songs with improvisation. Ephemera performed a two-week tour of Sweden.
Along with her performance career, Ms. Bormet is a prolific composer frequently combining improvisation with concert music. Recently Amy composed several pieces for the Capital City Symphony and her jazz ensemble, and premiered a concert of new works for string quartet and her jazz piano trio at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She has been commissioned to write for Wild Up’s Work concert for classical bassist/vocalist Maggie Hasspacher, the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Afro-Blue, Howard University Jazz Ensemble, and the Brad Linde Ensemble among others. In addition to her albums, Amy’s recorded music can be heard in short films, radio dramas, and audio books.
Amy is an alumna of the Kennedy Center’s residency program for composer/performers, Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, the inaugural Mary Lou Williams Emerging Artist Workshop, and the Jazz Composer’s Orchestral Institute (American Composer’s Orchestra). She received her bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies/Piano Performance from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Ellen Rowe and Geri Allen, and her master’s degree in Jazz Studies from Howard University.
Amy Bormet led her trio through an enticing set of standards and originals, starting off with a fetching reading of Miles Davis’ “Nardis” and adding a winning makeover of “Stella By Starlight.” Although, she often plays acoustic piano, her considerable improvisations and melodic acumen shone through the electric keyboard at Hillfest, as drummer Terence Arnett and electric bassist Tarus Mateen spurred her forward… [S]he brings a contemporary bite to her originals, as with the deliciously snarky mid-tempo “Maybe She Knows,” the melancholy “Goodbye Waltz” and the groove-laden “Closer.”
“We have been tracking her career as she has been making her way, as her star is on the rise…Amy Bormet’s “Striking” is the name of her group, and an apt description of Bormet herself.”
– Kevin Struthers, Director of Jazz Programming at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
“If you know your D.C. jazz, you almost certainly know pianist Amy K. Bormet. She’s the backbone of the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra; the architect of [the] Washington Women In Jazz Festival; a favorite accompanist for a variety of leaders, bands, and styles; a surprisingly accomplished singer; and one of the funniest people in town. What you may not know is that she’s a formidable composer and arranger, too. That’s certainly what you’ll find if you give a listen to her new self-released album, Striking: It’s an expertly played, handsomely sung record of mostly her own work (and a few standards) that shows not only her technical chops but a remarkable ear for harmony—and, more subtly, a delectable rhythmic sense and precision…”
– Washington City Paper
“Bormet performed a lovely set of original music with her “Striking” quintet, and often doubled on vocals in a high voice evocative of 1930s jazz singers.”
“On her debut solo release, Striking, pianist and vocalist Amy K Bormet blends elements that don’t often come together: Original songs that have a distinct pop sensibility mesh with considerable jazz chops from Bormet and her fellow instrumentalists…”