Chamber Music America Announces $650,000 in Grants for Ensembles and Presenters

For Immediate Release
Contact: Gina Izzo
(212) 242-2022 x110


44 ensembles and presenting organizations awarded funding in 2014

NEW YORK, NY (September 8, 2014)—Chamber Music America (CMA), the national network for ensemble musicians, today announced the distribution of over $650,000 through three of its major grant programs: New Jazz Works,Classical Commissioning, and Presenter Consortium for Jazz. This follows the distribution of an additional $75,000 through CMA’s Residency Partnership Program, previously announced this spring. In total, CMA has awarded over $730,000 in support of small ensembles and presenters of chamber music this year.

CMA’s 2014 grantees include 27 ensembles and 17 presenting organizations spanning 14 states. Taken as a whole, their work embodies the dynamic intersection of genres, styles, and cultures that defines contemporary chamber music.

The ensembles selected range from duos to nonets; from western classical to Cuban jazz to genre-defying new music. Several feature instrumentation that bridges the gap between traditional classical and jazz ensembles, and between Eastern and Western musical traditions. The presenters chosen range in location from Florida to New Mexico to Washington State; a majority presents both classical and jazz music, and all have demonstrated a commitment to innovation in the face of changing audience demographics and expectations.

The funding distributed through CMA’s grant programs will provide key support for the creation, performance, and presentation of chamber works, as well as support community engagement and audience-building initiatives. The grantees in each program were selected by independent peer panels. A list of grantees and program descriptions follows:

Supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

A total of $281,000 was awarded to nine jazz ensembles through the New Jazz Works program, which provides support for the creation and performance of new works in the jazz idiom, as well as funding for activities that extend the life of the work through additional performances and recordings. 

Brandon Ross and For Living Lovers+(Brooklyn, NY)
Composer: Brandon Ross
Instrumentation: Acoustic guitar, acoustic bass guitar, cornet, drums, cornet

Edward Simon and Afinidad(Orange City, FL)
Composer: Edward Simon
Instrumentation: Piano, drums, bass, alto saxophone, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon          

Etienne Charles Project(Lansing, MI)
Composer: Etienne Charles
Instrumentation: Trumpet, percussion, guitar, bass, drums, alto saxophone                                                     

Fabian Almazan and Rhizome (New York, NY)
Composer: Fabian Almazan
Instrumentation: Piano, electronics, voice, guitar, violin, violin, viola, cello, bass, drums                           

Gregory Hunter Lewis and Organ Monk (Brooklyn, NY)
Composer: Gregory Hunter Lewis
Instrumentation: Hammond B3 organ, guitar, trumpet, tenor saxophone, drums                          

Helen Sung Group (Elmhurst, NY)
Composer: Helen Sung
Instrumentation: Piano/keyboards, bass, drums, tenor and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet, flute, trumpet, percussion, vocals         

Rez Abbasi and Invocation (New York, NY)
Composer: Rez Abbasi
Instrumentation: Guitars, piano, alto saxophone, acoustic bass, drums, tabla, vocals                                                

Richard Sussman Ensemble (Upper Nyack, NY)
Composer: Richard Sussman
Instrumentation: Piano, electronics, trumpet, flugelhorn, tenor saxophone, bass, drums, violins, viola, cello

Ryan Cohan Sextet (Chicago, IL)
Composer: Ryan Cohan
Instrumentation: Piano, saxophones, flutes, bass clarinet, trumpet, flugelhorn, acoustic and electric basses, drums, violins, viola, cello

Supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional funding from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music

Fifteen grants totaling $210,000 have been awarded through the Classical Commissioning program, which provides support for U.S.-based professional classical and world music ensembles and presenters for the creation and performance of new chamber works by American composers.

The Argus Quartet (Los Angeles, CA)
Instrumentation: string quartet
Composer: Eric Guinivan

Duo YUMENO (Elmhurst, NY)
Instrumentation: koto, cello
Composer: Gene Coleman

Fifth House Ensemble (Chicago, IL)
Instrumentation: flute, cello, piano
Composer: Dan Visconti

Free Planet Radio (Asheville, NC)
Instrumentation: oud, bass, percussion, plus string quartet
Composer: Chris Rosser
Guest Artists: Opal String Quartet

Friction Quartet (San Francisco, CA)
Instrumentation: string quartet, plus piano
Composer: Andy Akiho
Guest Artist: Jenny Q. Chai, Piano

JACK Quartet (New York, NY)
Instrumentation: string quartet
Composer: Cenk Erg√ľn

Jasper String Quartet (Elkins Park, PA)
Instrumentation: string quartet
Composer: Aaron Jay Kernis

The Mana Quartet (Tallahassee, FL)
Instrumentation: saxophone quartet
Composer: Mika Pelo

Mount Tremper Arts (Mount Tremper, NY)
Ensemble Partner: FLUX Quartet
Instrumentation: string quartet
Composer: Tom Chiu

New Morse Code (New York, NY)
Instrumentation: cello, percussion, electronics
Composer: Christopher Stark

The City of Tomorrow (Memphis, TN)
Instrumentation: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn
Composer: Hannah Lash

The Living Earth Show (San Francisco, CA)
Instrumentation: guitar, percussion, voice
Composer and Guest Artist: Ted Hearne

Third Coast Percussion (Chicago, IL)
Instrumentation: percussion quartet
Composer: Glen Kotche

Turtle Island Quartet (Albany, CA)
Instrumentation: string quartet
Composer: David Balakrishnan

Supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Twelve presenting organizations have received $167,000  through Presenter Consortium for Jazz, which provides support to consortiums of three U. S. presenters that collectively engage up to three professional U.S. jazz ensembles (consisting of 2-10 musicians each) to perform at each presenter’s venue.

EMIT (St. Petersburg, FL), Subtropics (Miami Beach, FL), and the Timucua Arts Foundation (Orlando, FL)
Ensemble: Claudia Quintet

Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (Buffalo, NY) the Kerrytown Concert House (Ann Arbor, MI), and Real Art Ways (Hartford, CT)
Ensemble: William Parker and In Order to Survive

Outpost Productions (Albuquerque, NM), Roulette Intermedium (Brooklyn, NY), and Angel City Arts (Los Angeles, CA)
Ensemble: Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom and Mantana Roberts’ Anthem

Ars Nova (Philadelphia, PA), the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, VT), and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (Brooklyn, NY)
Ensembles: Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet, Jonathan Finlayson and Sicilian Defense, and the Steve Lehman Octet

For more information on CMA’s 2014 Residency Partnership Program, including a full list of grantees, click here.

Chamber Music America, the national network of chamber music professionals, 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 and represents a wide range of musical styles and traditions. In addition to its grant programs, CMA provides its members with consulting services, access to instrument and other insurances, conferences, seminars and several publications, including Chamber Music magazine. Visit www.chamber-music.org.

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 child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. 

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s grantmaking philosophy is to build, strengthen, and sustain institutions and their core capacities.  It develops long-term collaborations and invests sufficient funds for an extended period to achieve meaningful results.  The Foundation currently makes grants in four core program areas:  Higher Education and Scholarship; Scholarly Communications and Information Technology; Art History, Conservation, and Museums; and Performing Arts.