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2014-2015 Grants Announced


Baltimore – September 25, 2014 – Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and FACE Foundation have announced five grants totaling $122,600 in support of the 2014-2015 French-American Jazz Exchange program. The program is dedicated to furthering the creative and professional development of jazz artists from both countries through their collaborative investigation of artistic practice and exposure to new audiences, music 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, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Institut français, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, and Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs de Musique (SACEM).

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

  • Vincent Bessières, jazz journalist and curator, Paris, France
  • Greg Carroll, Chief Executive Officer of the American Jazz Museum, Kansas City, MO
  • Pierre de Bethmann, jazz artist, Paris, France
  • Michele Rosewoman, jazz artist, New York, NY

The following five projects were recommended for and approved for funding:

Frank Woeste with Dave Douglas
French pianist Frank Woeste will collaborate with American trumpeter Dave Douglas to create a new repertoire for a jazz quartet comprised of trumpet, bass, piano, and drums based on the work of Man Ray, the influential American modern artist who was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements of the 20th Century. Influenced by Ray’s works known as “readymades,” which were pieces created out of ordinary, everyday objects, the project, entitled, “The Art of Reinvention,” will include time for composition and rehearsals followed by a recording session in New York.

Nicole Mitchell with Sylvain Kassap
American composer and flutist Nicole Mitchell and her Black Earth Ensemble (violinist Renee Baker, saxophonist David Boykin, and pianist Aruan Ortiz) will collaborate with the French clarinetist Sylvain Kassap and his contemporary chamber L’ensemble Laborintus (harpist Helene Breschand, flutist Franck Masquelier, cellist Anaïs Moreau, percussionist César Carcopino) to produce a suite of vignettes, entitled “Moments of Fatherhood,” inspired by portrayals of French and American male parenting. The collaboration will include research and composition, a performance at the prestigious Sons d’hiver Festival in France, and a lecture and workshop at Columbia University’s Paris campus.

Somi with Herve Samb
“Dreaming Zenzile: A Sonic Continuum of Miriam Makeba” is a collaboration between American vocalist Somi and French guitarist Herve Samb. The pair will work on new compositions based on and inspired by the late South African musical icon Miriam Makeba. The music created through the collaboration will be used as part of a larger multi-disciplinary performance piece of the same title. The pair will be joined by Otis Brown III on drums, Toru Dodo on piano, Michael Olatuja on bass and the legendary Hugh Masakela on trumpet. Masakela, who was formerly married to Makeba, will also serve as a special advisor to the project.

Steve Lehman with Maciek Lasserre
American saxophonist Steve Lehman and French soprano saxophone player Maciek Lasserre will create a new set of compositions investigating the relationship between modern jazz, experimental hip-hop, and live electronics. The collaboration will also include hip-hop vocalists HPrizm and Gaston Baye Sen from New York and Paris, respectively. The project will include a recording and tours in France and the United States. For the American tour, the four artists will be joined by pianist Craig Taborn, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Damion Reid. For the French tour, they will be joined by flutist Magic Malik, percussionist Stephane Edouard and drummer Maxime Zampieri.

Yosvany Terry with Baptiste Trotignon
Cuban-American saxophonist Yosvany Terry will work with French pianist Baptiste Trotignon to create a new body of material inspired by the rich and diverse musical traditions that developed out of the African Diaspora in the United States and former French colonies in the Americas. The project includes individual and collaborative composition, rehearsals, performances in Paris and northeast United States, and a workshop at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City.

The French-American Jazz Exchange, co-administered by FACE Foundation and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, annually awards approximately $125,000 in 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.

Additional support is available to artists who received funding through the program for touring in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Nonprofit presenters in Delaware, 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 provides one of the very few platforms available to strengthen artistic and professional networks between two countries with storied jazz traditions.” Elisabeth Hayes, Executive Director of FACE Foundation, added “The program recognizes that jazz is a dynamic form that is constantly enriched by an interchange of ideas between practitioners and cultural influences.” Ben Cameron, Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, commented, “The French-American Jazz Exchange reflects the Foundation’s mission to support artists with the creation and public presentation of their work and Doris Duke’s enduring passion for jazz. We are thrilled to support such outstanding artists and look forward to their work together.”

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, and promote a more sustainable arts ecology. For more information on the Foundation’s programs and services, please visit:

About FACE Foundation
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.

About the Cultural Services of the French Embassy
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy provides a platform and resources for cultural exchange between French and American artists, intellectuals, curators, and arts professionals. Based in New York City, Washington D.C. and eight other cities across the US, the Cultural Services’ principal fields of action are the arts, literature, cinema, French language programs 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 theatre artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. For more information, please visit