LSM Newswire

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chamber Music America Announces $253,000 in Grants to Jazz Ensembles

CMA announces $253,000 in grantS to JAZZ ensembles

for the creation and development of new work

Twelve U.S. jazz ensembles to receive support

NEW YORK, NY (July 23, 2009)Chamber Music America (CMA), celebrating its 32nd year of service to ensemble music professionals, today announced the recipients of 12 grants through CMA's New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development program. The grantees were selected in June by an independent, five-member panel of professional jazz musicians. CMA received 161 applications from jazz ensembles in 16 states.

Made possible through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, New Jazz Works supports the creation and performance of new works by professional U. S. jazz ensembles, funds activities that extend the life of the work, and encourages the development of career-related business skills. Since its inception in 2000, the program has provided support to more than 132 jazz ensembles.

"We're delighted to be offering the New Jazz Works program," said Margaret M. Lioi, chief executive officer of Chamber Music America, "not only because of the new compositions it is supporting, but also because of the opportunities for professional development it will foster for composers over the three-year grant period. More than ever, creative artists need to be competent administrators and promoters of their own work. CMA is grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for its generosity in making the program possible, and we look forward to working closely with these exceptional musicians over the next several years."

Grantees and their Projects

Rez Abbasi Group (New York, NY) In Motherland, Abassi will draw from indigenous Pakistani music and his experiences as a Pakistani-American to create a work for his quartetguitar, piano, bass, and drum setand a guest vocalist.

Amir ElSaffar and Two Rivers (Yonkers, NY) ElSaffar's piece for sextet will integrate a harmonic language based on the intervals of the Maqam, a system of melodic modes used in traditional Arabic music; alternative tunings; a melodic and rhythmic template, and improvisation. The piece will feature voice, trumpet, alto saxophone, santour, oud, buzuq, violin, bass, dumbek, frame drum, and drum set.

John Escreet Project (New York, NY) Escreet explores his interest in the relation between speech and music with a new work that looks into the compositional possibilities of multiple, simultaneous speech tracks. His ensemble includes alto saxophone, trumpet, electronics, piano, bass, and drum set.

Ellery Eskelin and Different But the Same (New York, NY) Eskelelin plans a work in which the instrumentalists will improvise as composers, rather than simply playing solos in a pre-composed piece. Instrumentation includes tenor saxophones, bass, and drum set.

Joel Harrison Group (Brooklyn, NY) Harrison draws from the formal concepts of Charles Ives, John Adams, Oliver Messiaen, Gyrgy Ligeti, and Aarvo Prt to construct densely textured suite for alto saxophone, violin, cello, guitar, bass, hajini, dejmbe, frame drum, and drum set.

John Hollenbeck and The Claudia Quintet (New York, NY) Suite Lorrainebased loosely on structures, melodies, and harmonies of select jazz standardswill feature polyrhythms, sonic "tapestries," and rhythmic counterpoint. The piece will be scored for clarinet, tenor saxophone, accordion, vibraphone, bass, piano, percussion, and drum set.

Jason Kao Hwang and Edge (Jersey City, NJ) Jason Kao Hwang will sequence written notation and improvisations, creating "a musical landscape through which each instrument, as a character, will journey." Instrumentation: cornet/flugelhorn, trombone, tuba, violin/viola, erhu, pipa, bass, and drum set.

Rudresh Mahanthappa Quartet (Brooklyn, NY) Gamak is planned as a multi-movement work for alto saxophone, guitar, bass, and drum set. Mahanthappa will explore melodic ornamentation, alternative tunings, and rhythm beat cycles derived from Indian, African, and Indonesian music in a jazz context.

Ole Mathisen and F.F.E.A.R. (New York, NY) Mathisen conceives Mirage as a multi-movement work built on unusual meter, tempo, and micro-tonal relationships. As the title suggests, the piece is meant to project the illusion that the quartet (saxophones, clarinet, trombone, bass, and drum set) is part of a much larger group of instruments.

Josh Moshier and Moshier/Lebrun Collective (Evanston, IL) For a work inspired by Studs Terkel's memoir Touch and Go, the composer will utilize both sequenced song and through-composition in five self-contained songs. The work will be scored for tenor saxophone, piano, guitar, bass, and drum set.

Mario Pavone and Orange Double Tenor Ensemble (Prospect, CT) In anticipation of his 70th birthday, Pavone will compose a polyrhythmic work for sextet that alternates composed sections with structured and open improvised sections. The five-part suite will feature tenor and soprano saxophones, trumpet, piano, bass, and drum set.

Adam Rudolph's Moving Pictures (Maplewood, NJ) Yeyi: A Wordless Psalm of Protypical Vibrations is envisioned as a 12-part suite for six multi-instrumental improvisers. The work will investigate rhythm themes, thematic melodies based on intervallic materials and develop Rudolph's "Cyclic Verticalism" and prototypical signal rhythm patterns. Instrumentation includes winds (B-flat and bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, bansuri, hichiriki, shakuhachi, bass, C and alto flute, cornet, flugelhorn, and kuduhorn), strings (guitars, oud, banjo, dotar, and sintir), and percussion (djembe, dumbek, tarija, cajon, bata, conga, thumb piano, bender, qarqaba, gongs, slit drum, marimbula, udu drum, caxixi, achimevu, and drum set).

Chamber Music America was founded in 1977 to develop and strengthen an evolving chamber music community. With a membership of over 6,000, 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

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people's lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child maltreatment, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties. Visit

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