Doris Duke Artist Award, 2014
Chicago, IL and Oakland, CA
Solo woodwind performer, composer, and educator, Roscoe Mitchell is an avant-garde jazz and contemporary music icon. He is a founding member of the groundbreaking Art Ensemble of Chicago, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and the Trio Space, and founder of the Creative Arts Collective of East Lansing, MI and The Roscoe Mitchell Quartet, among other projects. His music utilizes such unorthodox devices as spontaneous collective improvisation, toy instruments, and non-musical noise. Mitchell has recorded more than 100 albums and has written hundreds of compositions. For more than 35 years, he has designed the Percussion Cage, an elaborate percussion instrument consisting of instruments from America, China, Tibet, Africa, Australia, Europe, and Turkey, as well as many found instruments. Mitchell’s honors include a CMA Presenting Jazz grant (2010), and multiple grants from National Endowment for the Arts and Meet the Composer. He is currently the Darius Milhaud Chair at Mills College (CA). In early 2014, Mitchell released Roscoe Mitchell Conversations with Craig Taborn and Kikanju Baku (Wide Hive).