Doris Duke Artist Award, 2014
Alto saxophonist and composer Oliver Lake possesses a piercing, bluesy trademark sound that has anchored trailblazing ensembles such as the World Saxophone Quartet, Jump Up, and Trio 3. He has played and recorded with saxophonists David Murray, Julius Hemphill, and Hamiet Bluiett, as well as pianists Donal Fox, Borah Bergman, Geri Allen, and Irene Schweizer. Lake has received commissions from the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra; written chamber pieces for the Arditti and Flux String Quartets; arranged music for pop and rock figures Björk, Lou Reed, Me'Shell NdegéOcello, and Mos Def; and collaborated with poets Amiri Baraka and Ntozake Shange, and choreographers Ronald K. Brown and Marlies Yearby. An accomplished poet, painter, and performance artist, Lake has also toured a solo performance piece, Matador of 1st and 1st. His numerous honors include a Mellon Living Legacy Award (2006) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1993). Currently, he is a featured artist with the collective Tarbaby, a project that received support from the French American Jazz Exchange (2012).