French-American Jazz Exchange Logo
Baltimore, MD – September 29, 2016
 – Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and FACE Foundation have announced six grants totaling $138,942 in support of the 2016-2017 French-American Jazz Exchange (FAJE) program. The program is designed to foster the creative and professional development of jazz artists from both countries through their collaborative investigation of artistic practice and exposure to new audiences, musical concepts, and professional relationships. The French-American Jazz Exchange is made possible through the generous support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Florence Gould Foundation, Institut FrançaisMinistère de la Culture et de la Communication, and Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs de Musique (SACEM).

The following six projects were recommended and approved for funding:

Antoine Berjeaut (France) with Makaya McCraven (United States)
Trumpet-player Antoine Berjeaut will work with “beat scientist” Makaya McCraven and three other musicians from Paris and Chicago to bridge the modern jazz, post-rock, and hip hop scenes. They will compose, collectively improvise, perform, and record live and in the studio in both cities. The material developed from this unique collaboration will then be used as a resource to be decontextualized and remixed into a creative mashup, or sonic collage, using modern post production techniques. The final product will be tracks that stand alone as complete works but that also lend themselves to further collaborations for poetry, rap, and additional remixes.

FOX (France) with Chris Cheek (United States)
French trio FOX will work with saxophonist Chris Cheek to develop a musical investigation about French roots in Louisiana and mixing African-American grooves and rhythms with French influences. The instrumentation features accordion and banjo along with guitar, bass, drum and saxophone.

Gaël Horellou (France) with Ari Hoenig (United States)
Saxophonist Gaël Horellou and drummer Ari Hoening make up the duo Nasty Factorz, a group with little name recognition in France.This FAJE project will allow the duo to work in residency in Paris while composing and releasing a new album on the DTC Records label. The duo will also perform several concerts in France.

Karim Maurice (France) with William Galison (United States)
This project will result in a repertoire of music composed by pianist Karim Maurice and harmonicist William Galison. The work will include music for a chromatic harmonica accompanied by a jazz quartet and a classical string orchestra with harp. A jazz quartet and 17 string instruments will be highlighted by the nostalgic rushes of the melody played by harmonica, one of the most traditional instruments in the United States.

Keith Witty (United States) with Christophe Panzani (France)
Bassist Keith Witty and saxophonist Christphe Panzani are undertaking a continuation of prior musical endeavors with the ensemble THIEFS, incorporating two new musicians and three vocalists. The body of work, entitled Up-Rooted/Re-Rooted, explores the migratory element of the human experience in both a broad, abstract sense and in a way that is quite literal, pertaining to the immigrant struggle and notions of belonging.

Yohan Giaume (France) with Evan Christopher (United States)
Trumpeter Yohan Giame and clarinetist Evan Christopher will collaborate on a recording inspired by the musical universe of Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Gottschalk played a key role in the development of American music and significantly influenced the art music of his day by integrating ethnic elements especially African-American and Caribbean traditions. Building upon Gottschalk’s interest in subjects of death, love, and the celebration of life, the work will utilize many of the same imprints that inspired Gottschalk such as Afro-Creole folk melodies, syncopated rhythms from the Americas and Caribbean, folk songs from New Orleans & France, works by Chopin & Berlioz and even poetry.

Experienced artists and arts professionals from France and the United States, were selected to review the applications submitted for consideration and make grant recommendations. They included:

  • Franck Amsallem, Pianist (Arcueil, France)
  • Gene Dobbs Bradford, President & CEO, Jazz St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
  • Céline Lugué, Director of Production, Invivo Agency (Paris, France)
  • Sunny Sumter, Executive Director, DC Jazz Festival (Washington, DC)

The French-American Jazz Exchange, co-administered by FACE Foundation and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, annually awards grants through a competitive application process to support projects that take place either in France or the United States and their territories or both, within a 16-month period. Individual artists or ensembles whose members are citizens or permanent residents of France or the United States and are based in their resident countries are eligible to participate in the program. Funding may be used towards artist stipends, communications, equipment and space rentals, marketing, recording and production fees, shipping, travel-related expenses, and visa fees.

Additionally, FAJE artists have the option to participate in the FAJE Tours program. Nonprofit presenters in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and West Virginia are eligible to receive fee-subsidy for booking selected ensembles.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Executive Director Alan Cooper noted, “The French American Jazz Exchange exemplifies two established priorities of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation: MAAF’s commitment to the international exchange of creative opportunity and MAAF’s commitment to jazz.” Laurent Auffret, Executive Director of FACE Foundation, added “France and the U.S. have long nurtured a rich friendship around jazz. This year’s projects celebrate our artistic partnership and include exceptional voices and musicians from around the globe.” Maureen Knighton, Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, commented, “France has warmly embraced jazz for over a century, and we are proud to help extend the musical dialogue between our two countries that began so long ago. Artists and audiences alike will benefit from the French-American Jazz Exchange, and we look forward to what will undoubtedly be fruitful collaborations.”

French inquiries should be directed to FACE Foundation at American inquiries should be directed to Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation at

About Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation develops partnerships and programs that reinforce artists’ capacity to create and present work, advance access to and participation in the arts. For more information on the Foundation’s programs and services, please visit:

About FACE Foundation
FACE Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, FACE Foundation promotes artistic, literary and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries. With additional corporate, foundation, and individual support, FACE Foundation administers grant programs in the performing and visual arts, cinema, literature, and secondary and higher education, while providing financial sponsorship to French-American festivals and other cultural initiatives.

About the Cultural Services of the French Embassy
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy provides a platform for exchange and innovation between French and American artists, intellectuals, educators, students, the tech community, and the general public. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the US, the Cultural Services develops the cultural economy by focusing on six principal fields of action: the arts, literature, cinema, the digital sphere, French language and higher education. Visit:

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The Arts Program of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. For more information, please visit