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Next Jazz Legacy Announces 2024 Cohort of Women and Nonbinary Awardees

30/04/2024

Next Jazz Legacy Announces 2024 Cohort of Women and Nonbinary Awardees The program was created by New Music USA and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice to address gender and racial inequities in jazz.

By

Tori Donahue

April 29, 2024

Next Jazz Legacys 2024 cohort of awardees

Image courtesy of New Music USA

Next Jazz Legacy is excited to announce the seven emerging women and nonbinary jazz musicians who make up its 2024 cohort of awardees. The trailblazing program, created by New Music USA and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, aims to tackle gender and racial inequities by offering intergenerational apprenticeship, mentorship, and professional development opportunities to individuals who have been historically underrepresented in jazz. The program receives major funding from the Mellon Foundation and support from Joe and Nancy Walker.

With gender and racial justice as guiding principles, this group of Next Jazz Legacy awardees was chosen through an open application call followed by a meticulous, months-long review process by a distinguished and diverse panel of jazz luminaries, chaired by Terri Lyne Carrington, founder and artistic director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice and Next Jazz Legacy's artistic director. Once the awardees were selected, Carrington and the Next Jazz Legacy team worked closely with each of the musicians to match them with a master bandleader for a year-long performance apprenticeship, as well as a creative mentor, both of whom are aligned with the awardees' unique interests.

I'm very excited about Next Jazz Legacy moving into its third year. We have been working with some amazing women and nonbinary musicians, as well as seasoned veterans, toward a more inclusive jazz future, said Carrington. I have always felt that on-stage apprenticeship was highly beneficial in my own development and am so happy that we can assist these incredible emerging musicians with an apprenticeship in their artistic journey.

In addition to Carrington, the selection committee for the 2024 Next Jazz Legacy cohort including Berklee faculty members Kris Davis, Linda May Han Oh, Matthew Stevens, Mimi Jones, and Walter Smith III, along with Brian Lynch, Camille Thurman, Caroline Davis, Elena Pinderhughes, Etienne Charles, Ingrid Jensen BM '89, and Kendrick Scott BM '03.

During the first two years of Next Jazz Legacy, we have seen how vital and transformational the program's funding, mentorship, collaborative learning, and performance opportunities are to each of the talented awardees, said Vanessa Reed, president and CEO of New Music USA. I am honored to be working with Terri Lyne Carrington to sustain this pivotal undertaking in its third year, and I am grateful to the many bandleaders and mentors who are facilitating cross-generational learning through our program and shaping the future of jazz.

Cofounded by New Music USA and the Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, Next Jazz Legacy has made a remarkable impact in its first two years by providing invaluable experiences that have furthered the artistic development of the two cohorts of awardees. Awardees have performed at some of the most prestigious jazz events across the country, including New York City's Winter Jazzfest, the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, the DC Jazz Festival, and Los Angeles's Angel City Jazz Festival. Next Jazz Legacy awardees have also had the chance to work and perform with some of the most acclaimed names in jazz including Makaya McCraven, esperanza spalding BM '05, Tia Fuller, Nasheet Waits, Moor Mother, Brandee Younger, Patrice Rushen, Craig Taborn, Nicole Mitchell, Marcus Miller, Regina Carter, Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, Helen Sung, Bobby McFerrin, the late Wayne Shorter, and two recent Grammy Award winners, Meshell Ndegeocello and Miguel Zen n BM 98.

Building on this success, the 2024 Next Jazz Legacy cohort will take the stage for the first time together at the upcoming Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival in Washington, DC, May 10-11 at the Kennedy Center.

By the end of this third year of the program, Next Jazz Legacy's impact will have grown to encompass:

the direct support of 21 emerging artists;

the engagement of 63 bandleaders and mentors;

252 creative and business mentorship sessions;

126 apprenticeship sessions;

20 cohort learning sessions; and

12 showcase performances.

Each Next Jazz Legacy artist benefits from a comprehensive package designed to have a deep and lasting career impact. This includes a $10,000 grant, a one-year performance apprenticeship, a two-way mentorship program pairing them with artistic and business professionals, peer-learning cohorts led by Carrington, an online learning course from Berklee, various promotional opportunities, live showcases with national presenters, and more. The success of this program relies on intergenerational collaboration, involving trailblazing jazz artists of all genders who believe in Next Jazz Legacy's founding principle: that a more inclusive jazz community will benefit everyone and strengthen the artform.

Learn more about this year's cohort members below.

Amyra Le n: VoiceApprenticeship with Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah '04 (formerly known as Christian Scott); creative mentorship with Lisa Fischer

A musician, author, director, and Harlem native, Amyra Le n has made a mark in both music and literature, captivating audiences with her soul-stirring performances and thought-provoking lyrics. With a profound dedication to social justice, she delves into themes of identity and liberation, urging listeners to critically examine the world. She has toured extensively, gracing prestigious stages including Lincoln Center, the Apollo Cafe, and more. Currently, she serves as an artist in residence at the Louis Armstrong Mus
LINK: https://www.berklee.edu/berklee-now/news/next-jazz-legacy-announces-20...
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