Doris Duke Artist Award, 2012
Long Beach, CA and Chicago, IL
Nicole Mitchell is an improvising flutist, composer, and bandleader. A founder of Black Earth Ensemble and Black Earth Strings, her recent albums include Arc of O (Rogue Art, 2012), Awakening (Delmark, 2011), Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler (Firehouse 12, 2008), and Black Unstoppable (Delmark, 2007). Mitchell is the recipient of the Alpert Award in the Arts (2011), and has been commissioned by Chicago Sinfonietta, International Contemporary Ensemble, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Chicago Jazz Festival, and Maggio Florentino Chamber Orchestra. With contemporary ensembles (from duet to orchestra), Mitchell’s music integrates new ideas with the legacy of jazz, R&B, blues and African percussion. The former first woman president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Mitchell currently serves as assistant professor in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology at the University of California, Irvine.