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2015-2016 Grants Announced




Baltimore, MD – October 7, 2015 – Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and FACE Foundation have announced five grants totaling $118,700 in support of the 2015-2016 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 Français, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, and Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs de Musique (SACEM).

The following five projects were recommended and approved for funding:

Yacine Boulares with Vincent Segal
French-Tunisian saxophonist Yacine Boulares and French cellist Vincent Segal will compose and record original music, for their new trio with American drummer Nasheet Waits, re-appropriating the forgotten Stambeli repertoire. Stambeli is a healing trance music created by the descendants of Sub-Saharan slaves brought to Tunisia. Boulares and Segal’s original compositions will form a series of variations on the legend of the hunter Abu Sadiya. In his wandering search for his enslaved daughter, Abu Sadiya danced and sang his sorrow in the streets of Tunis thus becoming the first musician of Stambeli and personifying the memory of Sub-Saharan slaves in Tunisia.

Aaron Goldberg with Leon Parker
Pianist Aaron Goldberg and percussionist Leon Parker expand the sonic, communicative, and expressive possibilities of the piano trio setting, emphasizing a primary role for Body Percussion and Body Rhythm techniques-both in place of and in addition to the traditional drum set. With bassist Joe Sanders and special guest Jacques Schwartz – Bart, Goldberg and Parker will take their new trio approach into the recording studio and on tours of the US and Europe.

Ryan Keberle with Frank Woeste
Trombonist Ryan Keberle and pianist Frank Woeste create a musical homage to the seminal French composer Maurice Ravel, whose music has had an important influence on the history of jazz. Inspired by the techniques employed in Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin – itself an homage to the tradition of the French Baroque keyboard suite – Keberle and Woeste’s exploration, accompanied by cellist Vincent Courtois and drummer Jeff Ballard, will result in the composition, performance, and recording of original jazz works.

David Krakauer with the Anakronic Electro Orkestra
The collaboration between David Krakauer and the Anakronic Electro Orkestra aims to further the development of contemporary jazz by bringing together unexpected musical influences and genres into an accessible improvisational context. Krakauer’s jazz and Klezmer roots collide with the electronic and groove worlds of the AEO creating a musical ‘laboratory’ involving deep research into timbre, sound, and energy. Recording sessions, a new album, and extensive touring are planned.

Samuel Strouk with Mariam Adam
“Dialogue of Languages” explores the common territories between jazz, classical, and contemporary musics. The simultaneous development of jazz in the US and ‘classical’ music in France and Europe in the first decades of the 20th century inspires French guitarist Samuel Strouk and American clarinetist Mariam Adam to create a suite of miniatures for a sextet setting. Their compositional concept co-habits the modal, tonal, and atonal musical languages and rhythmic conceptions inherited from the interactions of these art forms.

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:

  • Laurent de Wilde, jazz artist and author, Paris, France
  • Benjamin Levy, agent and founder of BL Music, Paris, France
  • Jason Olaine, Director of Programming, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York, NY

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.

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 facilitates creative collaborations by advancing professional development and artistic discovery between musicians of two countries united through a shared history of jazz.” Elisabeth Hayes, Executive Director of FACE Foundation, added “The five musical partnerships selected this year are a perfect example of the collaborative international exchange that our partnership with MAAF and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy exemplifies.” Ben Cameron, Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, commented, “The French-American Jazz Exchange supports wonderful new collaborations between French and American Jazz musicians-collaborations that benefit audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. We look forward to the wonderful work this newest group of grantees will be able to undertake with these grants.”

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

About FACE Foundation
FACE Foundation is a 501c3 chartered by the state of New York. FACE and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States have created a unique partnership which allows these two institutions to promote cultural exchange between France and the U.S. through grant programs and special projects in all the disciplines of the arts and education. New and recent work of living artists remains the priority. Bilingualism and the promotion of the French language are the focus of programs in secondary education. An innovative program in higher education and research allows French and American universities to build institutional relationships and to create new curricula together. Novel partnerships as well as long established relationships between artists, intellectuals, educators and cultural and educational institutions of both countries result from FACE’s 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 theatre artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. For more information, please visit