Artistic: American Composers Forum and Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians

Posted on: September 9, 2019

The American Composers Forum and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians have announced the composers who will participate in the third annual ACF | connect program, presented in partnership with the AACM’s Great Black Music Ensemble. Elizabeth A. Baker, Adegoke Steve Colson, and Rudresh Mahanthappa will each receive a $7,500 commission to create a piece for the Great Black Music Ensemble, scored for thirteen musicians plus string ensemble. The composers will take part in a residency with the Great Black Music Ensemble this September and develop their original works over a 13-month period. The premieres will take place in Chicago in Fall 2020 as part of the AACM’s 55th-anniversary season. Housing, transportation, and meals for the duration of program will be provided.

Elizabeth A. Baker explores how sonic and spatial worlds can be manipulated to personify philosophies and principles, utilizing a variety of media for her conceptual compositions. She is founder of the Florida International Toy Piano Festival, the New Music Conflagration, Inc., and the author of three books. She has been awarded fellowships, grants, and residencies, in addition to sponsorships from Schoenhut Piano Company and Source Audio LLC. Her work as an experimental filmmaker has been shown at festivals in the United Kingdom and Nigeria. As a solo recording artist, Baker is represented by Aerocade Music; her first solo album on the California-based label Quadrivium was released in May 2018.

Adegoke Steve Colson is a pianist, composer, saxophonist, educator who performs as a soloist and leader of ensembles ranging from trios to orchestras. His work appears on labels including Columbia/Sony, Evidence, and Black Saint. Born in Newark and raised in East Orange, New Jersey, Colson started writing music in high school. He earned his degree from Northwestern University School of Music and joined the Association for Advancement of Creative Musicians in 1972. Colson’s ensembles have included many noteworthy jazz musicians, and he has collaborated with visual artists Willie Cole and Don Miller, writers Amiri Baraka and Richard Wesley, and dancer Carmen de Lavallade. Colson is currently artist in residence in Jazz Studies at Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing & Fine Arts, teaches at Bloomfield College, and lectures internationally.

Alto saxophonist, composer, and educator Rudresh Mahanthappa is currently director of jazz at Princeton University and has over a dozen jazz albums to his credit. Mahanthappa has been named alto saxophonist or jazz artist of the year by numerous industry publications, has received the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, among other honors. In 2019, Mahanthappa will debut a new trio and co-lead a project celebrating the birth centenary of Charlie Parker. He has worked with Jack DeJohnette, Mark Dresser, Danilo Pérez, Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and co-led a quintet with fellow altoist Bunky Green Apex. He was commissioned by the PRISM Saxophone Quartet to compose I Will Not Apologize for My Tone Tonight, which can be heard on the quartet’s 2015 release.

Posted September 9, 2019