CMA Awards More Than $1.2 Million in Grants to the Small Ensemble Music Field

For Immediate Release
Contact: Nichole Knight

New York, NY (August 24, 2020)—Chamber Music America (CMA), the national network for ensemble music professionals, today announced the distribution of $1,202,999 through its six grant programs: New Jazz Works, Performance Plus, and Presenter Consortium for Jazz, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; the Classical Commissioning Program, supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Ensemble Forward, supported by the New York Community Trust; and the Residency Partnership Program, funded 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 and audience-building initiatives, and ensemble development. “At a time when so many are experiencing the devastating financial repercussions of this pandemic, we are honored to offer direct support to these artists and organizations whose work contributes to the cultural fabric of our country,” said Margaret M. Lioi, CMA’s CEO. “This is the first year in CMA’s 42-year history that we have been able to award more than $1 million to the field, and for this we are extremely grateful to our program funders without whom these grants would not be possible.”

The grantees in each program were selected by independent peer panels adjudicated throughout CMA’s 2020 fiscal year (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020). The grantees of the Performance Plus and Ensemble Forward programs were previously announced in December 2019.

A complete list of the 2020 grantees follows:

Funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

A total of $475,000 was awarded to 14 jazz ensembles through the New Jazz Works 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.

2020 New Jazz Works Grantees

2020 New Jazz Works Grantees

Edmar Castañeda World Ensemble (Teaneck, NJ)
Composer: Edmar Castañeda | Instrumentation: Harp, Voice, Flute, Soprano Saxophone, Harmonica, Trombone, Piano, Drums, Percussion

Sarah Elizabeth Charles & SCOPE (Brooklyn, NY)
Composer: Sarah Elizabeth Charles | Instrumentation: Voice, Trumpet, Piano/Rhodes/Keyboards, Guitar, Bass, Drums

Lawrence Clark Band (Brooklyn, NY)
Composer: Lawrence Clark | Instrumentation: Two Trumpets, Tenor Saxophone, Piano, Bass, Drums

Ernest Dawkins Live the Spirit Residency Band (Chicago, IL)
Composer: Ernest Dawkins | Instrumentation: Trumpets, Trombone, Saxophones, Spoken Word, Banjo, Piano, Bass, Drums, Percussion

The Victor Gould Trio (East Orange, NJ)
Composer: Victor Gould | Instrumentation: Piano, Bass, Drums

Magos Herrera Ensemble (Brooklyn, NY)
Composer: Magos Herrera | Instrumentation: Voice, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Two Violins, Viola, Cello

Outright! (Brooklyn, NY)
Composer: Jon Irabagon | Instrumentation: Trumpet, Tenor Saxophone/Alto Clarinet/Sopranino Saxophone, Piano, Bass, Drums

Carmen Lundy Ensemble (Woodland Hills, CA)
Composer: Carmen Lundy | Instrumentation: Voice, Trumpet, Saxophone, Guitar, Piano, Acoustic and Electric Basses, Two Drum Sets, Percussion

Humberto Ramirez Ensemble (San Juan, PR)
Composer: Humberto Ramirez | Instrumentation: Saxophone, Trumpet/Flugelhorn, Piano, Bass, Drums, Congas

Housewarming Project (Fullerton, CA)
Composer: Jeremy Siskind | Instrumentation: Voice, Saxophone/Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Piano

Matt Slocum Trio (Montclair, NJ)
Composer: Matthew Slocum | Instrumentation: Piano, Bass, Drums

Laurin Talese and A Novel Idea (Philadelphia, PA)
Composer: Laurin Talese | Instrumentation: Voice, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Trumpet, Guitar, Piano, Rhodes/Wurlitzer/Keyboards, Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass, Drums

Elio Villafranca and The Jass Syncopators (Bronx, NY)
Composer: Elio Villafranca | Instrumentation: Two Voices, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone, Trumpet/Flugelhorn, Guitar, Piano, Bass, Drums, Percussion

Ben Wolfe Nonet (New York, NY)
Composer: Ben Wolfe | Instrumentation: Alto Saxophone, Vibraphone, Piano, Bass, Drums, Two Violins, Viola, Cello

Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Sixteen grants totaling $260,600 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.

2020 Classical Commissioning Program Grantees

2020 Classical Commissioning Program Grantees

Argus Quartet (New York, NY)
Composer: Jessica Meyer | Instrumentation: Two Violins, Viola, Cello

Borromeo String Quartet (Jamaica Plain, MA)
Composer: Theodore Wiprud | Instrumentation: Two Violins, Viola, Cello, with Ian Rosenbaum, Percussion (guest artist)

Chiarina Chamber Players (Washington, D.C.)
Composer: Carlos Simon | Instrumentation: Violin, Cello, Piano, with vocalist Carl Dupont, Baritone (guest artist)

counter)induction (Philadelphia, PA)
Composer: Suzanne Sorkin | Instrumentation: Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello

Ekmeles (New York, NY)
Composer: Erin Gee | Instrumentation: Soprano, Mezzo, Countertenor, Tenor, Baritone, and Bass Voices

fivebyfive (Rochester, NY)
Composer: Amy Nam | Instrumentation: Flute, Clarinet, Electric Guitar, Bass, Piano, with Amy Nam, Harp (guest artist)

icarus Quartet (Baltimore, MD)
Composer: Amy Beth Kirsten | Instrumentation: Two Pianos, Two Percussion

Left Coast Chamber Ensemble (San Francisco, CA)
Composer: Sky Macklay | Instrumentation: Two Violins, Viola, Cello, Double Bass

Linda Chatterton & Maja Radovanlija (Minneapolis, MN)
Composer: Clarice Assad | Instrumentation: Flute, Guitar

Philadelphia Chamber Music Society (Philadelphia, PA) with The Catalyst Quartet and guest ensemble The Harlem Quartet
Composer: Kenji Bunch | Instrumentation: Four Violins, Two Violas, Two Cellos

Quince Ensemble (Winona, MN)
Composer: Paul Pinto | Instrumentation: Three Soprano Voices, Mezzo Soprano Voice, plus Objects and Electronics

SOLI Chamber Ensemble (San Antonio, TX)
Composer: Kinan Azmeh | Instrumentation: Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano

The Calyx Piano Trio (St. Louis, MO)
Composer: James Lee III | Instrumentation: Violin, Cello, Piano

The Dream Songs Project (Minneapolis, MN)
Composer: Dale Trumbore | Instrumentation: Mezzo Soprano, Guitar

Unheard-of//Ensemble (Brooklyn, NY)
Composer: Christopher Stark | Instrumentation: Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano, Electronics

Warp Trio (New York, NY)
Composer: Brendon Randall-Myers | Instrumentation: Violin, Cello, Piano, Percussion, Electronics

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

Presenter Consortium for Jazz supports consortiums of three U.S. presenters to collectively engage up to three professional U.S. jazz ensembles. Project grants totaling $125,250 have been awarded to five consortiums (15 presenting organizations), which will receive an additional $60,000 in general operating support.

This year’s grantees are:

PCJ Grantee 2020

• CapitalBop, Inc. (Washington, D.C.)
• Eastside Arts Alliance (Oakland, CA)
• Arts for Art, Inc. (New York, NY)
Presenting the David Murray Octet performing his 2019 New Jazz Works commission

PCJ Grantee 2020

• Civic Music Association of Des Moines (Des Moines, IA)
• McKendree University/The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts (Lebanon, IL)
• Carlsen Center/JCCC Foundation (Overland Park, KS)
Presenting Bessie, Billie & Nina: Pioneering Women in Jazz featuring Carmen Staaf, Tahira Clayton, Camille Thurman, and Charenee Wade

PCJ Grantee 2020

• Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective (Buffalo, NY)
• Tennessee Valley Jazz Society (Huntsville, AL)
• HAPCO Music Foundation (Winter Garden, FL)
Presenting Ron Carter Ensemble

PCJ Grantee 2020

• Riverview Jazz.Org (Jersey City, NJ)
• The Jazz Loft (Stony Brook, NY)
• Berkshires Jazz (Pittsfield, MA)
Presenting Andrea Brachfeld & Insight performing her 2017 New Jazz Works commission, If Not Now...When

PCJ Grantee 2020

• San Jose Jazz (San Jose, CA)
• Angel City Arts (Claremont, CA)
• Earshot Jazz (Seattle, WA)
Presenting Jamie Baum Septet+

Funded by the Chamber Music America Residency Endowment Fund

The Residency Partnership Program supports ensembles and presenters in building awareness and appreciation for classical, contemporary, jazz, and chamber music through community-based residencies that engage audiences beyond traditional concert settings. A total of $70,374 has been awarded to four presenters and nine ensembles.

2020 Residency Partnership Program Grantees

2020 Residency Partnership Program Grantees

The 2020 grantees are:

Blues to Green, Inc. (Huntington, MA) with Elio Villafranca & the Jass Syncopators

Calliope Brass Music Association (New York, NY)

Christine Correa Ensemble (Brooklyn, NY)

ClefWorks (Montgomery, AL) with The Westerlies

DePauw University (Greencastle, IN) with Arcomusical

Driftwood Quintet (Phoenix, AZ)

Jasper String Quartet (Jenkintown, PA)

Juneau Jazz & Classics (Juneau, AK) with the JACK Quartet

Linda Chatterton & Maja Radovanlija (Minneapolis, MN)

Mirari Brass Quintet (Baton Rouge, LA)

PUBLIQuartet* (Brooklyn, NY)

QuinTango (Alexandria, VA)

Whistling Hens (Bowie, MD)

*The PUBLIQuartet is the 2020 recipient of the Guarneri String Quartet Residency, funded by the Sewell Family Foundation.

Funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

In December 2019, a total of $180,100 was awarded to eleven 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.

2020 Performance Plus Grantees

2020 Performance Plus Grantees

Amanda & Associates (Brooklyn, NY)
Leader: Amanda Ekery | Artist-Educator: Sylvie Courvoisier

Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses (New Orleans, LA)
Leader: Aurora Nealand | Artist-Educator: Tim Berne

The Bounce (East Lansing, MI)
Leader: Gina Benalcazar | Artist-Educator: Rodney Whitaker

Camille Thurman Quartet (Newburgh, NY)
Leader: Camille Thurman | Artist-Educator: Charles Tolliver

Endea Owens & The Cookout (New York, NY)
Leader: Endea Owens | Artist-Educator: Curtis Lundy

Johnaye Kendrick Ensemble (Tacoma, WA)
Leader: Johnaye Kendrick | Artist-Educator: Jim Knapp

Kavita Shah Quintet (New York, NY)
Leader: Kavita Shah | Artist-Educator: Miguel Zenón

The Mara Rosenbloom Trio (New York, NY)
Leader: Mara Rosenbloom | Artist-Educator: Amina Claudine Myers

Nadje Noordhuis Ensemble (Brooklyn, NY)
Leader: Nadje Noordhuis | Artist-Educator: Maria Schneider

Santa Bikini (Easton, PA)
Leader: Laura Watts | Artist-Educator: Frank Ku-umba Lacy

Simone Baron & Arco Belo (Washington D.C.)
Leader: Simone Baron | Artist-Educator: Linda May Han Oh

Funded by The New York Community Trust

Announced in December 2019, fourteen grants totaling $68,800 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, makes information resources available for building their careers, and creates networking opportunities to enlarge their professional circles. All grantee ensembles are based in New York City.

2020 Ensemble Forward Grantees

2020 Ensemble Forward Grantees

Coach: Mike Block | Instrumentation: Violin, Cello

Coach: Stephanie Griffin | Instrumentation: Violin, Viola, Cello

Coach: Kathleen Supové | Instrumentation: Two Pianos/Toy Pianos

Concordian Dawn
Coach: Drew Minter | Instrumentation: Tenor/medieval harp, soprano, countertenor, countertenor/winds, baritone, vielle/percussion

Cramer Quartet
Coach: Mark Steinberg | Instrumentation: Two violins, Viola, Cello

Coach: Claire Chase | Instrumentation: Violin, Piano

Lilac 94
Coach: Bridget Kibbey | Instrumentation: Two Harps

Lotus Chamber Music Collective
Coach: Curtis Stewart | Instrumentation: Two Violins, Viola, Cello

Metropolitan Horn Authority
Coach: Jeff Scott | Instrumentation: Four French horns

Quartet 121
Coach: Victor Lowrie Tafoya | Instrumentation: Two violins, Viola, Cello

Coach: David Krakauer | Instrumentation: Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxophones

The Brass Project
Coach: Raymond Mase | Instrumentation: Two Trumpets, French Horn, Two Trombones, Tuba

Coach: Joshua Rubin | Instrumentation: Clarinet/Electronics, Violin, Cello, Piano

Warp Trio
Coach: Stephen Prutsman | Instrumentation: Violin, Cello, Piano, Percussion

Chamber Music America, the national network of ensemble music professionals, was founded in 1977 to develop, strengthen, and support the chamber music community. With a membership of nearly 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 —including western and non-western classical, contemporary, jazz, and evolving genres. CMA provides its members with grant programs, consulting services, access to instrument and other insurances, conferences, seminars, and several publications including Chamber Music magazine and the weekly e-newsletter, Accent.

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.

TheAndrew W. Mellon Foundation seeks to strengthen, promote, and defend the centrality of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse, fair, and democratic societies. To this end, its core programs support exemplary and inspiring institutions of higher education and culture.

A public charity, The New York Community Trust connects past, present, and future generous New Yorkers with vital nonprofits working to make a healthy, equitable, and thriving community for all. It is a public grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the lives of residents of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island.