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Grants Announced for 2012-2013 French-American Jazz Exchange

Baltimore, MD - September 20, 2012 - Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and FACE (French-American Cultural Exchange) have announced five grants totaling $111,930 in support of the 2012-2013 French-American Jazz Exchange ("FAJE") program. FAJE is dedicated to furthering the creative and professional development of jazz artists from France and the United States through the interchange of artistic practice and exposure to new constituencies. FAJE is made possible through the generous support of Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs de Musique (SACEM), Florence Gould Foundation and InstitutFrançais.

Applications to the program were assessed through an adjudicated review process. Four experienced artists and arts professionals, two from France and two from the United States, were selected to review the applications and serve as panelists. The panel included:

• Reza Ackbaraly, Jazz & World Music Programmer, Mezzo TV, Paris, France
• Gerald Clayton, jazz artist, New York, NY
• Patricia Cruz, Executive Director, Harlem Stage, New York, NY
• Benoit Delbecq, jazz artist, Clichy, France

The panel recommended the following projects for funding:

Amir ElSaffar with Sylvain Barou
Iraqi-American trumpeter, dulcimer player and vocalist Amir ElSaffar and his New York-based colleagues Emmanuel During (violin, guitar, lute) and Mavrothi Kontanis (uod) will collaborate with Sylvain Barou (wooden flute) of Brittany and the Paris-based French-Iranian percussionist Keyvan Chemirani to compose new works that combine elements of jazz, Middle Eastern music and Celtic folk tunes. The project will include a five-day residency in New York, a three-day Paris residency, recorded live performances in both cities, and a studio recording.

Jeremy Udden with Nicolas Moreaux
American saxophonist Jeremy Udden and French bassist Nicolas Moreaux will collaboratively compose new jazz pieces influenced by the folk traditions of their respective countries. The composers will be joined by Americans Robert Stillmann (saxophone and Fender Rhodes) and R.J. Miller (drums) as well as the French banjo and guitar player Pierre Perchaud. The new work will be rehearsed and recorded in Paris and performed at venues in New York City and Boston. The composers and full band will also conduct a number of workshops for secondary school students during their tour of the northeastern United States

Larry Ochs with Didier Petit
The East West Collective is a collaboration of Americans Larry Ochs (saxophone) and Miya Masaoka (Japanese koto), Frenchmen Didier Petit (cello, voice) and Sylvain Kassap (clarinet), and the Chinese guzheng player and vocalist Xu Fengxia that combines the compositional structure and sounds of free jazz with traditional Eastern music forms. The project will support three concert engagements at prestigious venues in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle; and five engagements at important French jazz festivals in Brest, Nantes, Paris, Strasbourg, and Tours. The ensemble is also planning a studio recording session while in France.

Sylvain Rifflet with Jon Irabagon
Saxophonist and clarinetist Sylvain Rifflet and his French ensemble members Joce Menniel (flute, electronics), Phil Gordiani (guitar), and Benjamin Flament (percussion, electronics) will work with American saxophonist Jon Irabagon on a project that celebrates the work of the eccentric, yet influential, Blind American composer and street performer Moondog (Louis Hardin 1916-1999). The project will include the composing of new music, a premier of the work at the prestigious Banlieues Bleues Festival outside of Paris, and the recording of a studio album.

William Parker with François Tusques
The cultural threads that connect France with New Orleans and New York will be explored by the French American Peace Ensemble, which is comprised of Americans William Parker (bass), Hamid Drake (drums), and Kidd Jordon (saxophone); and French musicians François Tusques (piano) and Louis Sclavis (bass clarinet, saxophone). Parker will compose a new musical suite for the ensemble which will be performed at venues in New Orleans, New York and Seattle. The performance at the Vision Festival in New York will be filmed and recorded. Discussions are underway for festival performances in France as well as for a studio recording.

FAJE, co-administered by FACE and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, annually awards approximately $100,000 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 FAJE for touring in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. 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 FAJE artists.

French applicants should contact Emmanuel Morlet, FAJE Program Officer and Director, Music Office, Cultural Services of the French Embassy at American applicants should contact Josh Kohn, Program Officer, Jazz and Traditional Arts at 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: www.midatlanticarts.orgAbout FACE (French-American Cultural Exchange)
FACE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting contemporary creative work in the context of French-American cultural and educational exchange. FACE administers programs and projects in dance, secondary and higher education, film, music, theater, and the visual arts. FACE is overseen by a Board of Trustees and works in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States. Visit: www.facecouncil.orgAbout the Cultural Services of the French Embassy
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy is dedicated to the promotion of French culture and language throughout the United States. With headquarters in New York, the Cultural Services also maintains regional offices in Washington, D.C. and other major cities in the U.S. It offers a broad spectrum of opportunities for the American public to learn about and experience French culture, in the fields of performing and visual arts, television and cinema, literature and humanities, and 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 the prevention of child maltreatment, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties. Visit:


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