January 12–15, 2017
Westin New York at Times Square


2017 Award Recipients

Conference attendees are invited to celebrate the achievements of Eighth Blackbird, recipient of CMA's inaugural Visionary Award; and Paquito D'Rivera, recipient of the 2017 Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award. Details below.

Visionary Award Presentation | Saturday, January 14, 6:00-8:00 PM

Eighth Blackbird Chamber Music America’s Board of Directors created the Visionary Award to recognize chamber music professionals who have led the field in creative thinking and innovation.

The inaugural Visionary Award recipient is Eighth Blackbird, an ensemble that has expanded the very definition of chamber music by devising programs that incorporate multiple disciplines, virtuosity, innovative staging, and connection with its audiences. For two decades, the ensemble’s signature style has influenced the ways in which other groups think of performance and collaboration. Eighth Blackbird is receiving the Visionary Award for innovation in performance practice.

The award will be presented at this year's new Saturday Night Soirée. Acclaimed new music sextet yMusic will perform; Nadia Sirota, violist and host of Q2’s Meet the Composer, and cellist Jeffrey Zeigler will host. Open bar is included with admission. Conference registration is not required to attend. Registrants may purchase tickets through Conference registration. Non-registrants may purchase tickets via Eventbrite.

A Conversation with Paquito D'Rivera | Sunday, January 15, 10:45-11:45 AM

Paquito D’RiveraNamed in honor of former CMA Board Chairman Richard J. Bogomolny in recognition of his outstanding leadership from 1987 to 1996, this award is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the chamber music field. This year's recipient is Paquito D’Rivera.

Clarinetist, saxophonist, and composer Paquito D’Rivera defies categorization. The winner of fourteen GRAMMY Awards, he is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer.

Born in Havana, Cuba, D'Rivera performed at age 10 with the National Theater Orchestra, studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music and, at 17, became a featured soloist with the Cuban National Symphony. His numerous recordings include more than 30 albums with his own ensembles—the Chamber Jazz Ensemble, the Paquito D’Rivera Big Band, and the Paquito D’Rivera Quintet, among others.

As a composer, he has been commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, the National Symphony Orchestra and Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Turtle Island String Quartet, and the Ying String Quartet, among many others. His many honors include the Carnegie Hall Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Medal of Arts, the Frankfurter Musikpreis, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2005 and a Kennedy Center Living Jazz Legend in 2007.

D’Rivera is additionally the author of three books: My Sax Life, the novel Oh, La Habana, and, most recently, Letters to Yeyito.

Pianist, composer, and CMA board president Billy Childs will interview D'Rivera preceding the award presentation.


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