Next Jazz Legacy Announces First Group of Laureates

The New Music USA Organization and the Berklee Institute of Jazz & Gender Justice announced the seven winners of the Next Jazz Legacy program: Ivanna Cuesta, Lexi Hamner, Keyanna Hutchinson, Alexis Lombre, Anastassiya Petrova, Loke Risberg and Kali. Vandever. Each winner will be paired with an established artist for performance learning and another artist for creative mentorship. Additionally, each winner will receive a scholarship to enroll in a Berklee Online course of their choice, as well as a $10,000 grant “to be used as an investment in the next steps of their career,” according to a press release received. by JazzTimes. The program received major funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Winners were chosen through an open call and extensive review process by a panel of jazz artists, chaired by Terri Lyne Carrington, Artistic Director of Next Jazz Legacy and Founder of Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, and including Cassandra Wilson, Nicole Mitchell, Ambrose Akinmusire, Sean Jones, Miguel Zenón, and many more. Once the winners were chosen, Carrington and the Next Jazz Legacy team worked with each of them to pair them with established bandleaders for a year-long performance apprenticeship and additional creative mentorship. “Jazz’s rich heritage can only improve when we’re inclusive,” Carrington said in the press release. “We are at a time in history where different communities need to rethink their social and political positions. This generation demands that we open our minds and hearts to envision a future further removed from the customs and norms of the past. As educators and mentors, it is our duty to listen to them and work together to bring about the necessary changes. »

Mary Halvorson, one of seven artists who will provide a creative apprenticeship to a winner, acknowledged that this program marks a change from when she first appeared on the scene. “When I was just starting out in the world of jazz and improvised music, I had very few female mentors or peers, and I always wish I had more,” she said. “This is one of the many reasons why I think it’s important to support and encourage a young generation of non-binary female musicians and songwriters. I’ve also always been very keen on cross-generational collaborations and shifting momentum towards a more inclusive and diverse community as a whole. I’m thrilled to be part of the Next Jazz Legacy program, a great new initiative that will help foster those relationships and keep the momentum going.

Upcoming Jazz Legacy honorees – top row (LR): Lexi Hamner, Loke Risberg, Anastassiya Petrova; Center: Alexis Lombre; Bottom row (LR): Keyanna Hutchinson, Ivanna Cuesta, Kalia Vandever

Here is the list of winners and their pairings with renowned conductors:

Ivanna Cuesta (drums): Apprenticeship with Esperanza Spalding; creative mentorship with Wayne Shorter

Lexi Hamner (vocals & trombone): Learning with Tia Fuller; creative mentorship with Bobby McFerrin

Keyanna Hutchinson (guitar): Learning with Lizz Wright; creative mentorship with Brandon Ross

Alexis Lombre (piano): Apprenticeship with Marcus Miller; creative mentorship with Georgia Anne Muldrow

Anastassiya Petrova (piano & organ): Apprenticeship with Chris Potter; creative mentorship with Kris Davis

Loke Risberg (guitar): Learning with Linda May Han Oh; creative mentorship with Bill Stewart

Kalia Vandever (trombone): Apprenticeship with Mary Halvorson; creative mentorship with Jen Shyu

Next Jazz Legacy will reopen applications to women and non-binary musicians every year throughout its three-year tenure. Additionally, the program revealed 16 nominees who were nominated for the final stage of the selection process by Next Jazz Legacy panelists. Each will receive a one-on-one mentorship session with a creative professional of their choice, cohort gathering, and promotion on Next Jazz Legacy channels. The list of nominees includes: Adi Meyerson (bass); Ailey Verdelle (piano); Alden Hellmuth (saxophone); Alex Hamburger (vocals/flute); Arcoiris Sandoval (piano); Estar Cohen (voice); Kavita Shah (voice); Liany Mateo (bass); Miki Yamanaka (piano); Minnie Jordan (violin); Naomi Nakanishi (piano); Nikara Warren (vibraphone); Sequoia Snyder Redwood (piano); Summer Kodama (bass); Yvonne Rogers (piano); and Zoh Amba (saxophone).

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