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Kaufman Music Center Announces 2019-20 Artists-in-Residence

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2019-20 Artists-in-Residence: JACK Quartet, Nathalie Joachim and Rob Kapilow
New Residency Program Puts Acclaimed Artists on Stage and in the Classroom at Kaufman Music Center

This fall, Kaufman Music Center will launch a new Artist-in-Residence program that embeds acclaimed, multi-faceted artists who are transforming the music world within a broad range of KMC programs spanning the concert stage and the classroom. The 2019-20 artists are: JACK Quartet, a 2019 Avery Fisher Career Grant winner hailed as the “nation’s most important quartet” (New York Times) and “superheroes of the new music world” (Boston Globe); Nathalie Joachim, flutist, composer, multi-genre performance artist and member of the urban art pop duo Flutronix and the multiple Grammy-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird; and Rob Kapilow, NPR and PBS music commentator, conductor, composer, author and host of the concert series What Makes It Great?

During the 2019-20 season, the Artists-in-Residence will weave together the many threads of Kaufman Music Center, performing on Merkin Hall series and working with students from Kaufman Music Center’s music education programs: Special Music School, the only K-12 public school in the U.S. that teaches music as a core subject; Face the Music, a youth new music ensemble dedicated to performing cutting-edge music by living composers, including its own members; and Lucy Moses School, NYC’s largest community music school.

“The Artists-in-Residence are as multi-faceted as Kaufman Music Center, a unique musical ecosystem where audiences and learners of all ages and backgrounds can connect with music on stage and in the classroom,” says KMC Executive Director Kate Sheeran. “We’re thrilled that our students – the musical leaders of tomorrow – will have unparalleled opportunities to work with these forward-looking artists, who are also outstanding educators, as mentors and role models.”

This season, JACK Quartet will be the Resident Quartet of Face the Music, and will also coach and perform at SMS. KMC will serve as home base for the JACK Studio Project, a new initiative that will help support a more equitable musical landscape by commissioning six artists each year from communities underrepresented in classical music. JACK and KMC students will participate in workshops and performances throughout the year, including works by selected JACK Studio artists at Kaufman Music Center’s Ecstatic Music series in Merkin Hall next spring.

In addition to flute, composition and chamber music masterclasses, Nathalie Joachim will lead an extensive creative collaboration experience with SMS and LMS students culminating with the performance of new works co-created with the students. She will perform Fanm d’Ayiti (Women of Haiti), an evening-length work for voice, flute, string quartet and electronics celebrating some of Haiti’s most iconic yet underrepresented female artists, with Spektral Quartet as part of Kaufman Music Center’s Ecstatic Music series at Merkin Hall on October 26. In February, her work with Face the Music will culminate in a performance of new arrangements of the Fanm d’Ayiti project at National Sawdust on February 10.

In addition to his popular What Makes It Great? series at Merkin Hall, Rob Kapilow will work with SMS students in the classroom, exploring the diverse pathways open to 21st century musicians and the role of entrepreneurship in music careers in presentations and workshops. He will inspire students to write poems about their experiences and set them to music, and help them develop meaningful community engagement projects centered around music. Author of the forthcoming Listening for America: Inside the Great American Songbook from Gershwin to Sondheim (W.W. Norton & Company), Kapilow will place the songs and stories of some of the most treasured American Songbook composers within a larger historical context for the students, and coach them leading up to the school’s annual cabaret performance in May.