Black and white horizontal image of 2016 FAJE Grantees Yacine Boularès and Vincent Segal with their project, Abu Sadiya featuring drummer Nasheet Waits.

2016 FAJE Grantees Yacine Boularès and Vincent Segal with their project, Abu Sadiya featuring drummer Nasheet Waits. Credit: Tom Payeur.

Since 2011, MAAF has partnered with FACE (French-American Cultural Exchange) Foundation to foster the creative and professional development of jazz artists from France and the United States through the French-American Jazz Exchange (FAJE).

During that time, MAAF and the FACE Foundation have supported 36 FAJE Creative Projects, totaling $698,460 in funding and impacting over 200 musicians. These unique cross-cultural explorations of jazz have resulted in the release of countless recordings and the development of new jazz audiences in the United States, France, and beyond.

The 2018 FAJE grantees will be the final cohort supported under this partnership. MAAF is privileged to have partnered with the FACE Foundation on FAJE and acknowledges the exceptional contributions and accomplishments of all past FAJE grantees.

If you’d like to learn more about future FAJE funding opportunities, please contact Suzanne Buracas, Program Officer for Music, Cultural Services of the French Embassy suzanne.buracas@diplomatie.gouv.fr or by telephone at 212-439-1448.

The 2018-2019 FAJE Creative Project Grants are made possible through generous support from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Florence Gould Foundation, Fondation Chanel, Institut Français, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication and Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs de Musique (“SACEM”).

Current Projects

Arturo O'Farrill stands with his arms crossed in front of a wall covered in graffiti. Malika Zarra poses in front of a white background in a pink, yellow, and green top.

(l-r) Arturo O’Farrill (Credit_Laura Mariet) and Malika Zarra.






Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble featuring Arturo O’Farrill (United States)
with Malika Zarra (France)

Middle Eastern Roots of Afro Latin Jazz is a musical exploration of the Arabic and North African roots of Afro Latin Jazz and Afro Cuban music. The project is led by pianist, composer and band leader Arturo O’Farrill (founder and Artistic Director of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance) in collaboration with French Moroccan vocalist and composer, Malika Zarra and will trace the Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean roots of what has come to be known as “jazz”. Arturo and Malika will collaborate to compose and arrange a suite of music for the Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble that will blend traditional roots with contemporary improvisational jazz. Through public performance, this project will give audiences the opportunity to experience a deeper appreciation and understanding for the universality of the musical traditions of the Americas and the commonalities that seemingly different cultures and traditions actually possess.


Claiudia Solal is dressed all in black and holds a microphone against a black background. Katherine Young is seated center in a garden and framed on both sides by stone walls with leaves above. She is playing a bassoon.

(l-r) Claudia Solal (Credit Alexandra Lebon) and Katherine Young (Credit Caroline Kox).







Claudia Solal (France) with Katherine Young (United States)

The project, Antichamber Music, will employ the creative process of improvisation to musically reinterpret Chamber Music, collection of poems by the influential Irish poet and writer, James Joyce. Antichamber Music is a collaboration between French-vocalist, Claudia Solal and American musician, Katherine Young who pairs her classical mastery of the bassoon with the use of electronics to manipulate and magnify the unique sound of the instrument. The quartet also features French pianist, Benoit Delbecq and Chicago-based sound artist Lou Mallozzi, on turntables and electronics. Antichamber Music is a meeting of the musical universes of jazz electroacoustic music, contemporary improvisation, and pop made possible through the intertwining creative visions of the participating musicians.


Etienne Charles in left profile playing a trumpet against a clouded blues sky. Vincent Segal sits center against a black background playing the cello.

(l-r) Etienne Charles (Credit Laura Ferreira) and Vincent Segal.







Etienne Charles (United States) with Vincent Ségal (France)

United States-based jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles and French cellist, Vincent Segal will bring together an eclectic group of musicians for this unique project to tell the story of the migrations between the Caribbean and South America and the resulting musical influences. Charles and Segal will compose and arrange works for a quartet also featuring New York musicians, Jorge Glem on cuatro and Or Bareket on bass. The compositions will create a new soundscape in jazz chamber music highlighting distinctive musicians from diverse cultural backgrounds (French, Venezuelan, Israeli, and Trinidadian) who improvise on instruments that have limited representation in the jazz idiom.


Isabelle Olivier is seated center playing a harp against a backdrop of skyscrapers. Rez Abbasi stands against a white brick wall holding an electric guitar.

(l-r) Isabelle Olivier and Rez Abbasi (Credit John Rogers).







Isabelle Olivier (France) with Rez Abbasi (United States)

This project, titled In Between #2, is a collaboration between French harpist, Isabelle Olivier and Rez Abbasi, an award-winning American guitarist and composer originally born in Pakistan. The pairing of harp and guitar will provide unique compositional and improvisational opportunities in melody, harmony, rhythm, and sound. In addition to the creation of new music, this project will connect to a broad audience through intergenerational and intercultural workshops and public performance in a wide variety of spaces including parks and gardens.


Black and white headshot of Laika in slight right profile. Brian Blade plays the drum kit

(l-r) Laika Fatien Thomas (Credit Koria) and Brian Blade.







Laika Fatien Thomas (France) with Brian Blade (United States)

French vocalist, Laika Fatien Thomas seeks to explore the theme of “resilience” through an experimental songwriting and performance process with American drummer, Brian Blade and ensemble members Christopher Thomas and Geoffrey More. The project will take a creative approach that frees up overall structure, configuration, and composition without judgement while incorporating unique combinations of instrumentation, song structures, lyrical concepts, and emotional consciousness not normally found within the jazz world. Instrumentation would include the addition of theatrically visual portions to the show, creating an interactive sonic and visual experience.

Sylvain Rifflet lies in left profile on a blue background surrounded by a rope design and playing the sax. Jon Irabagon stand against a white wall and city view with a sax.

(l-r) Sylvain Rifflet (Credit Sylvain Gripoix) and Jon Irabagon.







Sylvain Rifflet (France) with Jon Irabagon (United States)

French saxophonist and clarinetist, Sylvain Rifflet and New York based saxophonist, Jon Irabagon will continue their collaboration through a new project inspired by France and The United States’ shared value for civil rights and activism. Based on this shared foundation, Rebellion(s) will explore the everlasting link between music and politics. Rifflet and Irabagon will research and examine songs within their musical cultures that have inspired revolution or have been written during or about protests. Rebellion(s) will pay homage to jazz musicians that have and continue to create social charged compositions reflective of the times. Through Rebellion(s), Rifflet and Irabagon will explore how jazz composition and improvisation can imitate expressions of revolt.

FAJE Tours

Click here for more information about the current FAJE Tours program.

Manage Your Grant

The below requirements apply to projects taking place between July 1, 2018 and December 31, 2019.

Changes in Project Proposal

Any changes in the content, schedule, or budget of your project as proposed must be submitted in writing for approval prior to being implemented. Requested changes must be submitted to Phillip Harmon, Grants and Operations Officer, at phillip@midatlanticarts.org.

Funding Acknowledgement and Crediting

Credit and Logo Usage Details
Grantees must clearly acknowledge support from the French-American Jazz Exchange program through use of both the credit language and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and FACE Foundation organizational logos as outlined below. Use of the logos does not replace the credit language. Copies of the required crediting materials must be submitted as part of the final report.

The following statement and the logos of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and FACE Foundation must prominently appear on all promotional and advertising materials, including programs, brochures, flyers, postcards, press releases, recording liner notes, websites, and other publicity produced by the Grantee or its agents whether in hard copy or electronic format. In addition, the following crediting language must be permanently affixed to any works created as part of the funded project and must be provided each time said work is performed or presented.

Crediting Language:

This statement must be used in its entirety and cannot be altered in any way.

(working title)
has been made possible through the French‐American Jazz Exchange, a program of FACE and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, with generous funding from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Florence Gould Foundation, Fondation Chanel, Institut Français, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication and Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs de Musique (“SACEM”).

When no written materials are available, such as television, radio or Internet broadcasts, Grantee shall ensure that the above crediting statement is announced or included among the program’s listed credits.

Grantee shall ensure that in all interviews where their French-American Jazz Exchange project is discussed that the program and its funders are acknowledged.

Download MAAF Logo
Download FACE Foundation Logo

Website Link
Funded artists are required to link their websites to the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (www.midatlanticarts.org) and FACE Foundation (face-foundation.org) websites. The links MUST remain active during the entire length of the grant period. You are requested, but not required, to use the FACE Foundation and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation logos to indicate the link on your website.

Final Reports

Final report requirements and forms were included as part of the Grant Award Agreement.

Grantees are required to submit a final report which is due thirty (30) days after the end of the grant period on record as listed in the Grant Award Agreement.

Final reports must be submitted using the form downloaded below.
French-American Jazz Exchange Final Report Form (click link to download)

For questions about your grant and the crediting or final reporting requirements, contact Phillip Harmon, Grants and Operations Officer at phillip@midatlanticarts.org or 410.539.6656 x109.

Note: Grantees who received their French-American Jazz Exchange Grant Award Agreements directly from FACE Foundation should visit face-foundation.org for information pertaining to your award and final report forms.