CMA Announces Nearly $250,000 in Grants for Jazz Ensembles and Presenters

Twenty jazz artists, ensembles, and presenters in the U.S. and France to receive support
Contact: Amanda Ameer

New York, NY -- Chamber Music America, now in its 33rd year of service to ensemble music professionals, is announcing the recipients of grants supporting jazz projects and performances. Over $248,000 will
be distributed to 20 musicians and presenters through two of CMA’s major programs: Presenting Jazz and the CMA/FACE French American Jazz Exchange.

Ten presenters in Kansas, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont have been awarded a total of $148,000 in grants for the engagement of professional jazz ensembles in concert through Chamber Music America's Presenting Jazz program. Presenting Jazz, which is made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, assists not-for-profit U.S. presenters with artists’ fees and other concert associated costs, including audience development, promotion and travel. This year, the Duke Foundation also awarded each grantee an additional $5,000 for general operating support for jazz programs. The one-time grant was given in recognition of the unusual financial challenges faced by arts organizations during the past year. Following are the 2010 recipients (in bold face type) and the ensembles they will present:

American Jazz Museum, in Kansas City, KS, has engaged the Clayton Brothers Quintet to perform in its Jammin’ at the Gem series in the museum’s newly restored 1912 Gem Theater. The quintet will perform music from its recent album Brother to Brother and conduct masterclasses and instrument clinics.

Philadelphia’s Ars Nova Workshop will present Karl Berger and his ensemble in its season-long project, Composer Portrait: Don Cherry. Berger’s In the Spirit of Don Cherry will feature the cornetist’s early compositions and arrangements, including Symphony for Improviser, a seminal 1966 recording in which Berger participated.

In Seattle, WA, Earshot Jazz Society will present the Steve Lehman Octet in performance of its CMA New Works piece, Travail, Transformation & Flow released by Pi Recordings in 2009. Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition will appear at Flynnspace, the jazz cabaret of Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, VT. The ensemble will also lead three masterclasses and a workshop at the University of Vermont.

Hallwalls, in Buffalo, NY, will present the Roscoe Mitchell Trio at Asbury Hall, its flexible-seating space in a restored former church. The trio will perform its recent music as part of a five-day residency involving local musicians.

The Wycliffe Gordon Septet, presented by Jazzmobile, will perform its original score to Oscar Micheaux’s silent film classic, Within Our Gates, in a free concert in New York City’s Marcus Garvey Park. Also scheduled are an open rehearsal at Harlem Stage and a discussion of Gordon’s works at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

The University of Minnesota’s Northrop Concert and Lectures will host the Regina Carter Quartet in performance of Reverse Thread with master kora player Sissoka. Carter’s composition draws from folk melodies and improvisations from various cultures of the African Diaspora.

The Painted Bride Art Center, in Philadelphia, PA, will host Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures Octet, performing Rudolph’s two CMA New Works commissions.

In Catskill, NY, Planet Arts will present the Luis Bonilla Quintet as part of 2010 Hudson Valley Jazz this spring. The quartet will perform music from its latest CD, I Talking Now, and other new music.

In Minneapolis, MN, the Walker Art Center will feature Dave Douglas and Keystone in Spark of Being, a new collaboration with filmmaker Bill Morrison.

Grants totalling $99,885 have been awarded to seven American and four French jazz artists and ensembles for collaborative projects in France and the U.S. The organizations collaborating on the CMA/FACE program—a joint initiative of Chamber Music America, the French American Cultural Exchange, and the French Embassy—announced the awards. The program is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, CulturesFrance, the Florence Gould Foundation, and SACEM. Following are the 2010 recipients (in bold face) and their collaborating partner(s) and project(s):

Paris-based harpist Hélène Breschand collaborates with musicians Zeena Parkins (harp; New York), Elliott Sharp (saxophone, guitar; New York) and Franck Vigroux (guitar, turntable; France) with concerts scheduled at La Dynamo (Pantin, FR), White Box (New York, USA) and Issue Project Room (Brooklyn, USA).

Serge Pesce, from Nice, is joined by New York musician Vincent Chancey in a cultural exchange that will chart a new direction for French horn and guitar. They will draw on Pesce’s background in folkloric music from France, Italy and North Africa and Chancey’s roots in American gospel, blues, rhythm and blues, Latin and jazz.

John Hollenbeck (drums) and French bassist Daniel Yvinec join forces on Shut Up and Dance, a project to explore the relationship of jazz-based music and movement. The partners will create a new work rooted in rhythm and melody. In rehearsal, they will collaborate with the ensemble to develop an expanded performative approach where musicians both play and move to the music.

From Winchester, MA, Fernando Huergo (bass), partners with percussionist Gabriel “Minino” Garay, a fellow Argentinean now residing in France. Together they will compose a 9-movement suite for quintet based on Argentinean tango and folkloric music with a jazz aesthetic. They will perform the work at Duc des Lombards, Sunset/Sunside and New Morning in Paris, and record.

Parisian guitarist Nguyên Lê invites New York saxophonist Rudresh K. Mahanthappa in a guest collaboration involving his creative ensemble of and Meiko Miyazaki (koto) and Prabhu Edouard (tablas). The two-week project entitled, Journey to the West, begins with a residency at Cornish University in Seattle followed by a West coast tour.

French pianist Hervé Sellin will partner with Brian Lynch, New York trumpeter and bandleader of Spheres of Influence, on a five-part work for nonet. They plan to compose the work serially—one partner will write the first part; partner two will respond with the second piece. The final, fifth section will be written collaboratively. The premiere is planned for JALC’s Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola next October.

In a residency to take place in Paris next fall, Jean-Marie Machado, pianist from Paris, teams with New York saxophonist, Dave Liebman, to co-compose a work for a sextet. Designed to explore new ground between jazz and classical music, the ensemble will feature the Quartor Psophos of Lyon and a bugle player to be named.

Pianist Baptiste Trotignan, from Créteil, France, forms a duo with Brooklyn saxophonist, Mark Turner, to create and perform new material that blurs the boundary between written and improvised elements. Their first concert will take place in Getxo, Spain to be followed by a European tour and recording.

From Woodlands, Texas, saxophonist Woody Witt partners with French pianist, Franck Amsallem, to present music of French Impressionist composers in a jazz setting in addition to new works for quartet inspired by the French Impressionists. Their European tour begins at Jazz au Mercure in Blagnac, France in March. Joining them in concert is Sylvain Romano, bassist from Marseille, and James Thomas Bates, drummer living in Minneapolis.

Bassist Keith Witty invites French saxophonist Christophe Panzani and New York drummer Guillermo E. Brown to collaborate on a book of new compositions that will harness simplicity and leave room for acoustic and electronic exploration in the rehearsal and performance setting. The partners will compose via the internet; rehearse and perform for two weeks in France, tour the East coast of the U.S. in October and record in New York.

Chamber Music America was founded in 1977 to develop and strengthen an evolving chamber music community. With a membership of over 8,000, including musicians, ensembles, presenters, artists’ managers, educators, music businesses, and advocates of ensemble music, CMA welcomes members representing a wide range of musical styles and traditions. In addition to its funding programs, CMA provides its members with consulting services, access to health and instrument insurance, conferences, seminars and several publications, including Chamber Music magazine, and a website www.chamber-music.org.