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Borca, Karen

Borca, Karen

Borca, Karen, jazz bassoonist; b. Green Bay, Wise, Sept. 5, 1948. She studied music with her mother, a schoolteacher who played and taught classical and stride piano. She played alto saxophone for 10 years and began bassoon in high school, continuing at the Univ. of Wise. (B.M., 1971); there Alec Wilder and members of the N.Y. Woodwind Quintet encouraged her to go to N.Y. to study before returning to Wise. In the 1970-71 school year, Cecil Taylor taught there and she played in and assisted with his big band. In 1971-73, she was a teaching assistant to Taylor at Antioch Coll., rehearsing student groups, and has since performed with him in various contexts. She taught music in public schools in 1972 in Antioch, and in N.Y. on a part time basis since 1974. Through Taylor, she met Jimmy Lyons and in the fall of 1974 became his assistant at Bennington Coll., notating and rehearsing his works, followed by their marriage and over 12 years of touring with Lyons. She has also led her own groups since 1972.


Linny Lyons: Wee Sneezawee (1983); Give It Up (1985). Cecil Taylor Segments II: Winged Serpent (Sliding Quadrants) (1984). Critics Picks, Vol. 3 (1998). Joe Morris: Many Rings (1999).

—Lewis Porter

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