“I think separating ‘musical life’ from ‘life’ at this point is a challenge for me,” reflects Aurora Nealand. After attending the renowned Conservatory at Oberlin College, where she designed her own major in “Contemporary Music,” she moved to Paris to study at the Ecole du Theatre Physical Jacques Lecoq, taking the opportunity to explore doing music/sound for theatre. She eventually landed in New Orleans, where for the past 8 years, she has been playing Traditional New Orleans jazz and diving into the rich musical culture of the city. Today, she is a band leader and contributing member to a number of performing groups, as a saxophonist, singer, composer, and improviser. These include Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses, Panorama Jazz Band (playing Klezmer, Balkan, and Afro-Caribbean music) and a number of free-improvising ensembles. She recently toured Switzerland with the Liquid Land ensemble, playing instruments handcrafted from trash found in New Orleans. Her compositions are explorative and expansive, whether combining pre-recorded tape material with viola, bass, and saxophone, or eliciting a modern-day cabaret feel with solo voice, accordion, and stripped-down drum set.