Mid Atlantic Tours is designed to increase audience access to the arts by supporting tours of distinguished performing artists based in the mid-Atlantic region and from outside the United States. The Foundation offers fee subsidies to presenters from Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia that book artists on the program’s tour roster, which changes annually.
Seven artists/ensembles – one each from the categories of contemporary chamber music, contemporary vocal, dance, folk/traditional music, jazz, theater, and world music – will be selected for the 2017-2018 Mid Atlantic Tours roster.
Please note that the information listed below is only for informational purposes. Actual artists fees may vary, may not include local housing and transportation, and are meant to be only representative.
Artists/ensembles currently under consideration include:
CONTEMPORARY CHAMBER MUSIC
American Contemporary Music Ensemble/ACME (NY)
Fee: $6,000-$12,000 (ensemble varies from quartet to an ensemble of nine, as determined by programming)
American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME)’s dedication to new music extends across genres and has earned them a reputation among both classical and rock crowds. Current programs include Drone Mass by Jóhann Jóhannsson with Theatre of Voices; Max Richter’s Sleep; music from ACME’s portrait album highlighting the group’s members who are also composers, including Timo Andres, Caroline Shaw, and Caleb Burhans; music from ACME’s recent performances at NYC’s The Kitchen featuring seminal American artists fostered by the landmark venue, including Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, and Julius Eastman; and a new collaboration with German thereminist Carolina Eyck.
Cellist Ashley Bathgate ventures into previously uncharted areas of sounds and techniques, breaking the mold of a cello’s traditional voice. In addition to her solo work, she is also a member of the award winning, internationally acclaimed sextet, Bang on a Can All-Stars. In 2017-2018, Bathgate will tour Bach Unwound, a radical re-imagination of Bach’s popular Unaccompanied Cello Suites, in collaboration with composer collective Sleeping Giant; Stories for Ocean Shells, works written for Bathgate by composer Kate Moore; and an intimate duo concert series with dancer Lil Buck, What Moves You, that reveals the intricacy and immediacy of the creative process between movement and sound.
Sandbox Percussion, founded in 2012, is a contemporary percussion quartet dedicated to both visually as well as aurally stunning performances. Sandbox has worked with numerous composers, including Robert Sirota, Amy Beth Kirsten, David Crowell, Thomas Kotcheff, Alex Weiser, and Tonia Ko, and has recently engaged in a number of cross-disciplinary collaborations. In 2017-2018 Sandbox will tour mixed repertory programs featuring original compositions, newly commissioned works, and percussion masterpieces.
Bombay Rickey is a five-piece, New York-based band with a unique sound evocative of 1960s movie soundscapes. The group plays both covers and original music that borrow equally from the worlds of surf rock, cumbia, spaghetti-Western, and Bollywood, balanced out with a little coloratura soprano. Their debut album, Cinefonia was named best debut of 2014 by New York Music Daily and received the Vox Pop Award for Best Eclectic Album from the Independent Music Awards. A hit opera-cabaret that uses Peruvian singer Yma Sumac’s life story as a jumping-off point to explore meanings of diversity and authenticity, Bombay Rickey (Meets the Psychology of Desire) premiered at the 2016 PROTOTYPE Festival in NYC and ran for seven sold-out shows.
Ethan Lipton & his Orchestra has been a band since 2005, playing around New York and beyond. The band includes Ethan Lipton (vocals), Eben Levy (guitar), Ian M. Riggs (standup bass) and Vito Dieterle (sax). Ethan writes the lyrics and melody, and the quartet arranges the songs together. In 2012, the band won an Obie Award for No Place to Go, a theatrical song cycle written by Ethan about a man who loses his job, which was produced by the Public Theater at Joe’s Pub. Ethan Lipton & his Orchestra returns to The Public Theater in Spring 2017 with The Outer Space, which follows one married couple as they leave the noise, pollution and overpriced rents of Earth for the vast beauty and treacherous terrain of the final frontier.
Mezzo-Soprano and multi-dimensional performing artist Alicia Hall Moran’s Black Wall Street is a staged concert about the American romance with wealth as seen through the eyes of daughters growing up in African-American families in different eras. Centered around the tragic events of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 in the “Black Wall Street” section of an Oklahoma town, Ms. Moran’s classically-trained vocals carry audiences from 1821 to 1921 to 2021. Accompanied by acoustic classical guitar on one end of the musical spectrum, and anchored in “the now” by a provocative electric guitar, Ms. Moran draws from her own family history and first-hand accounts to tell an intricate and profound tale about Class, Race, and Economics.
BalletX, founded in 2005, produces original choreography that expands the vocabulary of classical dance for all audiences. The resident dance company of The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, the company also tours nationally and internationally. In 2017-2018 BalletX will offer numerous programs for touring, all of which can be reviewed here. Additional repertoire, to be premiered in 2016-2017, will be available for touring in 2017-2018.
Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for choreography in 2016 and a Pew Fellowship in 2013, Raphael Xavier has been a breaking practitioner since 1983. An active alumnus of the world renowned hip-hop dance company, Rennie Harris Puremovement, Xavier has gone on to forge an exceptional approach to improvisation, creating new ways to expand the vocabulary of the dance form. Touring in 2017-2018, Xavier’s newest work Point of Interest crackles with his signature bravado and high-energy physicality. Sharing the stage with a multigenerational cast, Xavier shines a light on the natural, humorous and at times painful change of the maturing Breaker. Point of Interest ventures into the “mature” space for hip-hop dance, following the standard of traditional Breaking aesthetics while pushing the boundaries of a culture and dance form commonly associated with youth.
Created by Japanese-born choreographer Kota Yamazaki, OQ draws inspiration from renga poetry, or Japanese linked poems, which consist of stanzas composed/recited by multiple authors. Yamazaki was drawn to the principles of “unity of opposites” and “one is equal to many/many is equal to one,” used in both renga poetry and Buddhist philosophy. Yamazaki’s practices, grounded in Butoh and Noguchi Taiso, are the basis of his creative process. These practices unify the dancers’ individual movement languages and lead to a more organic and physical performance of Yamazaki’s style.
Church Sisters (VA)
Church Sisters, Savannah and Sarah Church, is a twin-sister powerhouse duo from Galax, VA. The musical heritage of the region of their upbringing rings true to their voices along with the eclectic feel of a wide array of musical genres: Country, Americana, Bluegrass, Roots, and Folk. The blood harmony of these two sisters, backed by their talented musicians, brings joy to audiences where ever they perform.
As one of the last black string bands in the U.S.—currently based in the concrete hills of NYC—the Ebony Hillbillies keep an important legacy alive with a rootsy, homegrown style that many forget was a key element in the genesis of all the music we cherish as uniquely American—jazz, blues, bluegrass, rockabilly, rock and roll, and country. Their repertoire pays homage to tradition but keeps an eye and ear on the present and future with unique renditions of classics we know as well as contemporary pop/soul songs.
Eric and Leigh Gibson have made a name for themselves in bluegrass over the past two decades, playing over 80 shows and festivals a year and gradually building a deeply dedicated, nationwide fan base with their spellbinding harmony singing. As 2012 and 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainers of the Year, the two Gibson Brothers alongside their three band members perform original material along with creative covers.
Melissa Aldana (NY)
Fee: $3,500-$5,000 (plus local transportation, housing, and backline)
A native of Santiago, Chile, Melissa Aldana’s music studies began with her father, acclaimed jazz saxophonist Marcos Aldana. Since moving to the US in 2006 to attend Berklee College of Music, Melissa has won the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition and the 2015 Downbeat critics poll Rising Star category. In 2017-2018 Melissa will primarily tour with her quartet and also with options for engagements with her trio.
Edmar Castaneda was born in 1978, in the city of Bogotá, Colombia. Since his move to the United States in 1994, Edmar has taken the world stage by storm with his virtuosic command of the harp. Revolutionizing the way audiences and critics alike consider the harp, Edmar’s latest recording “Edmar Castaneda World Ensemble Live @ the JAZZ STANDARD” blends folkloric music and free-jazz. In 2017-2018 Edmar will continue to tour as a soloist and with his trio.
Sammy Miller and the Congregation is an ensemble committed to community through their music and joyful jazz. Founder Sammy Miller has been GRAMMY nominated and members of the band have performed and recorded with jazz greats including Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Lee Fields, and Jason Moran. Information about the ensemble’s educational work can be found here.
Daniel Beaty: EMERGENCY (NY)
Fee: $8,500-$10,000/performance, $20,000 /3 performances over 3 days (housing & travel included)
EMERGENCY is Daniel Beaty’s Obie, NAACP, Audelco, and Ovation Award winning one man play in which he portrays 43 different characters. A slave ship emerges in front of the Statue of Liberty in present day NYC sending the city’s inhabitants into a whirlwind of emotion and exploration. Characters include a homeless man, a scientist, a republican business executive, a street vendor, an 11-year old boy from the projects and more who all respond to the unexpected phenomenon. A slam poet named Rodney is scheduled to perform in a poetry slam that evening, but is delayed by having to retrieve his schizophrenic father from the site of the emergence. While Rodney and his brother go to see about their dad, the audience is treated to the poetry slam already in progress.
Created by the Iranian born visual artist/filmmaker Hamid Rahmanian in collaboration with Larry Reed, the production retells one of the great love stories from the Persian Book of Kings (the Shahnameh) with shadow puppetry, video projection and live performance. It’s the story of Zaul & Rudabeh and has all the trappings of a classic tale: a boy raised in the wild by a magical bird, star-crossed lovers who fight to stay together, even when war and death threaten to tear them apart. Because of the scale of the imagery – it plays on a movie house size screen – this piece is a show for all ages that works in larger theaters, festivals, and outdoor venues.
Thaddeus Phillips: 17 Border Crossings (PA)
Fee: $10,000-$16,000/performance, $26,000/week (plus housing and royalty)
Award-winning director, actor, designer Thaddeus Phillips’ stunning new theatrical work takes audiences across the frontiers of Egypt, Bosnia, Cuba, Brazil, Morocco, Colombia, Austria, Bali, Czech Republic, Israel, Jordan, Serbia, Croatia, Italy, and Mexico. Based on Phillips’ actual adventures, 17 Border Crossings is a dramatic, funny, visual and surreal examination of imaginary lines, arbitrary passports and curious customs.
Alash are masters of Tuvan throat singing, a remarkable technique for singing multiple pitches at the same time. Masters of traditional Tuvan instruments as well as the art of throat singing, Alash are deeply committed to traditional Tuvan music and culture. Believing that traditional music must constantly evolve, the musicians subtly infuse their songs with western elements, creating their own unique style that is fresh and new, yet true to their Tuvan musical heritage.
A strident songstress whose intensity is cloaked in mellifluous vocals, Emel Mathlouthi is also known for her role as a leading artist in the Arab Spring. Born in Tunis, she was shunned from her country’s official airwaves but rose to prominence through social media. She released her first album, Kelmti Horra (My Word is Free) in 2012, garnering lavish praise from critics and fans for her powerful vocals laid over a unique mix of North African rhythms and modern electronic beats. Her 2015 was prolific, which included completing work on her second album with producer Valgeir Sigurðsson and culminating with her solo performance at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony. Partisan Records will release her new album in early 2017.
Nobuntu, the female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe, has drawn international acclaim for its inventive performances that range from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro Jazz to Gospel. The ensemble’s concerts are performed with pure voices, augmented by minimalistic percussion, traditional instruments such as the Mbira (thumb piano) and organic, authentic dance movements. Nobuntu was nominated for Best Musician of the Year at the Zimbabwe International Women Awards in London in 2015. In the last few seasons, the quintet has performed at festivals and concert halls in Italy, Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic and throughout the African continent.