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Chamber Music America Awards Nearly $1.3 Million in Grants to the Small Ensemble Music Field

This funding will provide key support for the creation, performance, and presentation of small ensemble works, community engagement/audience-building initiatives & more.

Chamber Music America Awards Nearly $1.3 Million in Grants to the Small Ensemble Music Field

Chamber Music America today announced the distribution of $1,290,450 through its six grant programs: New Jazz Works, Performance Plus, and Presenter Consortium for Jazz, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Classical Commissioning, supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Ensemble Forward, supported by the New York Community Trust; and Digital Residency, launched this year to mitigate pandemic-related live performance interruptions, enabling artists and presenters to maintain and cultivate relationships with their audiences, supported by Chamber Music America's Residency Endowment Fund.

This funding will provide key support for the creation, performance, and presentation of small ensemble works, community engagement/audience-building initiatives, and artist/ensemble development. "This has been such an extraordinary year for the small ensemble music field," said Margaret M. Lioi, CMA's CEO who retires this month after 21 years of service to the field. "We are so grateful to our funders for helping us maintain our grant programs during this incredibly difficult time, and applaud the creativity, fortitude, and resilience of our musicians and presenters. Despite the unprecedented challenges they faced, they were unwavering in their commitment to the music and their audiences. CMA is privileged to have helped their projects come to fruition."

The grantees in each program were selected by independent peer panels and adjudicated throughout CMA's 2021 fiscal year (July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021).


Funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

A total of $493,000 was awarded to 15 jazz ensembles through the a??New Jazz Works a??program, which supports the creation of new works by professional U.S.-based composer-led jazz ensembles and helps assure that these compositions will be heard through live performances and recordings.

2021 New Jazz Works Grantees

Roxana Amed Group (Miami, FL)
Composer: Roxana Amed | Instrumentation: Voice, saxophone, piano, bass, drums

Doug Beavers "Luna" (Jersey City, NJ)
Composer: Doug Beavers | Instrumentation: Trombones, saxophones, trumpet/flugelhorn, tuba, piano/keyboards, bass, drums, percussion

Etienne Charles Project (Miami, FL)
Composer: Etienne Charles | Instrumentation: Trumpet/percussion, alto saxophone, guitar, piano/Rhodes, bass, drums

Nick Finzer's Hear & Now (Flower Mound, TX)
Composer: Nick Finzer | Instrumentation: Trombone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, guitar, piano, bass, drums

Fernando García Band (New York, NY)
Composer: Fernando García | Instrumentation: Drums, voice, tenor saxophone, guitar, piano, bass, percussion

The Cookers (New York, NY)
Composer: Billy Harper | Instrumentation: Saxophones, trumpets, piano, bass, drums

Curtis Lundy Ensemble (Edgewater, NJ)
Composer: Curtis Lundy | Instrumentation: Bass, saxophones, trumpet, piano, drums

Kyle Nasser and Triple Blind (Brooklyn, NY)
Composer: Kyle Nasser | Instrumentation: Saxophones, clarinets, piano/synthesizer, bass, drums

Steve Nelson Ensemble (Paterson, NJ)
Composer: Steve Nelson | Instrumentation: Vibraphone, piano, bass, drums

Harish Raghavan's Calls for Action (Brooklyn, NY)
Composer: Harish Raghavan | Instrumentation: Bass, woodwinds, vibraphone, guitar, piano, drums

Tomeka Reid Quartet (Chicago, IL)
Composer: Tomeka Reid | Instrumentation: Cello, guitar, bass, drums

Edward Simon Trio (Emeryville, CA)
Composer: Edward Simon | Instrumentation: Piano, voice, bass, drums, percussion

Anthony Tidd | Quite Sane (Philadelphia, PA)
Composer: Anthony Tidd | Instrumentation: Bass, alto saxophone, voices, emcee, guitar, piano, drums

Venezuelan Jazz Collective (Washington D.C.)
Composer: Francisco Vielma | Instrumentation: Percussion, voices, saxophones, trumpet/flugelhorn, trombone, piano/Rhodes, bass, drums

Jeff "Tain" Watts Quartet (New York, NY)
Composer: Jeff Watts | Instrumentation: Drums, harmonica, flute, saxophones, piano, bass


Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Twelve grants totaling $209,900 have been awarded through the Classical Commissioning program, which supports professional U.S.-based ensembles and presenters for the creation and performance of classical contemporary chamber works by American composers.

2021 Classical Commissioning Program Grantees

Balourdet Quartet (Boston, MA)
Composer: Karim Al-Zand | Instrumentation: Two Violins, viola, cello

Exponential Ensemble (New York, NY)
Composer: Gilad Cohen | Instrumentation: Flutes, oboe/English horn, clarinets, piano

Ghost Ensemble (Amherst, MA)
Composer: Catherine Lamb | Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, accordion, percussion, harp, viola, cello, two contrabasses

HAVEN Trio (Charlotte, NC)
Composer: Ivette Herryman Rodriguez | Instrumentation: Soprano, clarinet, piano

Lydian String Quartet (Roslindale, MA)
Composer: Kurt Rohde | Instrumentation: Two violins, viola, cello, electronics

Lyris Quartet (Los Angeles, CA)
Composer: Chris Castro | Instrumentation: Two violins, viola, cello, soprano

Parker Quartet (Arlington, MA)
Composer: Felipe Lara | Instrumentation: Two violins, viola, cello

Senso di Voce (Amherst, NY)
Composer: Esin Gündüz | Instrumentation: Oboe/English horn, voice/harmonium/mouth-harmonica

[Switch~ Ensemble] (Glenville, NY)
Composer: Sam Pluta | Instrumentation: Flute, clarinet, saxophone, piano, percussion, violin, cello, electronics, conductor

Synchromy (Pasadena, CA)
Composer: Carolyn Chen | Instrumentation: Flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion

Talea Ensemble (Chicago, IL)
Composer: Anthony Cheung | Instrumentation: Flute, clarinet, piano/keyboard, violin, viola, cello, conductor

Third Coast Percussion (San Antonio, TX)
Composer: Carlos Carrillo | Instrumentation: Four percussion

Additional program support is provided by The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Amphion Foundation, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, and the Chamber Music America Commissioning Endowment Fund.


Funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

The 2021 Presenter Consortium for Jazza?? program supported consortiums of three U.S. presenters to collectively engage up to three professional U.S. jazz ensembles to produce streaming/livestreaming events to mitigate COVID-19 pandemic-related shuttering of live performance venues. Project grants totaling $163,100 have been awarded to five consortiums (15 presenting organizations).

• Centro de Economía Creativa, Inc. (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
• Teatro Excelsior: Empresa Municipal para el Desarollo Económico Cultural y Recreativo del Municipio Autonómo de Cabo Rojo (Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico)
• Museo de Arte de Ponce (Ponce, Puerto Rico)
Presenting Henry Cole & Villa Locura; William Cepeda Quartet; Humberto Ramírez Sextet

• Chamber Music Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
• Garth Newel Music Center (Warm Springs, VA)
• Kupferberg Center for the Arts (Queens, NY)
Presenting Etienne Charles Project; Linda May Han Oh Quintet; Lenora Zenzalai Helm Project

• Cortez Cultural Center (Cortez, CO)
• gallupARTS, Inc. (Gallup, NM)
• Northwest New Mexico Cultural Council (Farmington, NM)
Presenting Delbert Anderson's D'DAT; Julia Keefe Quartet; Brad Goode Quintet, featuring Ernie Watts

• Eastside Arts Alliance (Jersey City, NJ)
• Williamsburg Music Center (Brooklyn, NY)
• The World Stage Performance Gallery (Los Angeles, CA)
Presenting David Murray Duo with Vijay Iyer; Greg Lewis Quartet; Dwight Trible's Cosmic Vibrations

• National Jazz Museum in Harlem (Harlem, NY)
• New Orleans Jazz Museum (New Orleans, LA)
• Alabama Women in Jazz Festival (Huntsville, AL)
Presenting Caili O'Doherty: Celebrating Lil Hardin Armstrong Project


Funded by the Chamber Music America Residency Endowment Fund

The Digitala?? Residency programa?? was created to assist musicians and presenters in maintaining relationships with their audiences, fans, and followers during these pandemic months. The program supports ensembles and presenters in building awareness and appreciation for classical, contemporary, and jazz chamber music through community-based virtual residencies that engage audiences beyond traditional concert settings. A total of $103,550 has been awarded to 16 grantees.

2021 Digital Residency Program Grantees

Adelante Winds (Converse, TX)

Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc. (Clifford, VA) presenting Cecilia Smith and Lafayette Harris Jr.

Arts for Art, Inc. (New York, NY) presenting the James Brandon Lewis Quartet

Boston Public Quartet (Jamaica Plain, MA)

Bowery Trio (Boulder, CO)

Dalí Quartet (Fort Washington, PA)

Darrell Grant Ensemble (Portland, OR)

Destiny Muhammad Trio (Oakland, CA)

Gaudete Brass (Chicago, IL)

Helen Sung Quartet (Forest Hills, NY)

Monnette Sudler Ensemble (Philadelphia, PA)

Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective (Buffalo, NY) presenting Camille Thurman and the Darrell Green Quartet

Project: Music Heals Us (New York, NY)

Svetlana's New York Collective (Pound Ridge, NY)

Vermillion Duet (Diamond, CA)

Woodland Serenade (Hixon, TN)


Funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Previously announced in February, a total of $233,700 was awarded to 15 ensembles through the Performance Plus program, which supports U.S.-based female-led jazz ensembles by connecting them with an experienced jazz artist-educator for six evaluative listening sessions with the goal of enhancing the ensemble's performance. The listening sessions will culminate in a recording session resulting in a high-quality demo for use by the grantee ensemble.

2021 Performance Plus Grantees

Annie Booth Sextet (Lakewood, CO)
Leader: Annie Booth | Artist-Educator: Art Lande

The Christie Dashiell Quartet (Silver Spring, MD)
Leader: Christie Dashiell | Artist-Educator: Dianne Reeves

Caroline Davis' Portals (Brooklyn, NY)
Leader: Caroline Davis | Artist-Educator: Nicole Mitchell

Voba (Maplewood, NJ)
Leader: Suzzanne Douglas (1957-2021)* | Artist-Educator: Kate McGarry

Jazz Xpressions (Youngsville, NC)
Leader: Lydia Salett Dudley | Artist-Educator: Carmen Lundy

JAZZphoria (Pinole, CA)
Leader: Jean Fineberg | Artist-Educator: Ellen Seeling

Alex Hamburger Quartet (Silver Spring, MD)
Leader: Alex Hamburger | Artist-Educator: Ingrid Jensen

Diana Herold & Helium (Amenia, NY)
Leader: Diana Herold | Artist-Educator: Steve Nelson

The Mimi Jones Band (Bronx, NY)
Leader: Mimi Jones | Artist-Educator: Rufus Reid

Janice Maisonet and The Galactic Trio (San Juan, PR)
Leader: Janice Maisonet | Artist-Educator: William Cepeda

Emi Makabe Ensemble (Brooklyn, NY)
Leader: Emi Makabe | Artist-Educator: Jason Moran

VORTEX (Brooklyn, NY)
Leader: Shoko Nagai | Artist-Educator: Patrick Zimmerli

Lisa Parrott's 'We Love Ornette!' Project (Brooklyn, NY)
Leader: Lisa Parrott | Artist-Educator: Denardo Coleman

Sonic Asylum (New York, NY)
Leader: Arcoiris Sandoval | Artist-Educator: Billy Childs

Lucy Yeghiazaryan Quartet (New York, NY)
Leader: Lucy Yeghiazaryan | Artist-Educator: Houston Person

*2021 Performance Plus grantee Suzzanne Douglas passed away on July 6, 2021.


Funded by The New York Community Trust

Announced in February, eighteen grants totaling $87,200 have been awarded through the Ensemble Forward program, an initiative built to support young New York City-based ensembles that perform Western European classical and contemporary chamber music. CMA provides grant funds for the ensembles to work with established chamber music coaches to help them develop their distinctive ensemble sound. In addition, the grant offers information and resources to help the ensembles build their careers and creates networking opportunities to enlarge their professional circles. All grantee ensembles are based in New York City.

2021 Ensemble Forward Grantees

American Stories
Coach: Nadia Sirota | Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Apply Triangle
Coach: Andy Kozar | Instrumentation: Flutes, clarinets, piano/keyboard

Bowery Trio
Coach: Pavel Vinnitsky | Instrumentation: Clarinet, cello, piano

Coach: Monica Ellis | Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn

Dara Hankins & Kyle P. Walker Duo
Coach: Astrid Schween | Instrumentation: Cello, piano

Coach: John Pickford Richards | Instrumentation: Two violins, viola, cello

Esenca Duo
Coach: João Luiz | Instrumentation: Flute, guitar

Coach: Tyshawn Sorey | Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Coach: David Bloom | Instrumentation: Soprano, countertenor/percussion/electronics, flutes/harp/percussion/voice, flutes/percussion/voice, clarinets/electronics, violin/electronics, violin, viola, cello, piano/synthesizer/keyboards

KOE e??
Coach: Zara Lawler | Instrumentation: Flute, cello

Lotus Chamber Music Collective
Coach: Curtis Stewart | Instrumentation: Two violins, viola, cello

Pathos Trio
Coach: Eric Cha-Beach | Instrumentation: Piano, two percussion

Project eGALitarian
Coach: Eric Reed | Instrumentation: Two trumpets, French horn, trombone, tuba

Spark Duo
Coach: Caleb Burhans | Instrumentation: Trumpet, clarinet/bass clarinet, electronics

Sputter Box
Coach: Nick Revel | Instrumentation: Soprano, clarinets, percussion

The Brass Project
Coach: Raymond Mase | Instrumentation: Two trumpets, French horn, two trombones, tuba

Trio Solace
Coach: Jeffrey Zeigler | Instrumentation: Violin, cello, piano

Troika Percussion
Coach: Maria Finkelmeier | Instrumentation: Percussion trio

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