Mentorship Initiative To Honor Michele Rosewoman


Mutual Mentorship for Musicians will honor pianist/composer/educator Michele Rosewoman on June 13.

(Photo: Chris Drukker)

When the COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020, musicians Jen Shyu and Sara Serpa co-founded Mutual Mentorship for Musicians (M³), an innovative platform created to normalize and give visibility to women and nonbinary musicians in the jazz and creative music industries.

“The music and performing arts worlds have been mostly shaped by male authority, creating huge inequities in access to resources, opportunities and career development for non-male artists and administrators,” Shyu and Serpa reflected. “M³ aims to bridge that gap, and make the arts world a much more equitable and equal place.”

In just three years, M³ has commissioned 60 women, nonbinary and mostly BIPOC musicians to create 30 collaborative music and video works across five cohort cycles, all while mentoring each other with wisdom imparted as musicians who have experienced the successes and injustices of the music industry.

Following three virtual festivals and one in-person festival, M³ will present its Second Annual M³ Lifetime Achievement Award to pianist/composer/educator Michele Rosewoman on June 13 at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem in recognition of her contributions to the community through her prolific musical accomplishments, leadership and educational work. The award is an unrestricted prize of $5,000.

For four decades, Rosewoman has expanded the horizons of jazz while remaining firmly rooted in tradition. A fearless bandleader and mentor, many have cited that working with Rosewoman made an indelible mark on their artistic development as musicians, composers and bandleaders. Rosewoman was part of M³’s Winter Solstice 2020 Cohort 2.

The event will also celebrate and premiere six new duo commissions of video and music completed by the current cohort of musicians, dubbed the M³ Fall Equinox 2022 Cohort 5: “Wobbly Tales,” by Rosángela Isabel Pérez Molero (Venezuela) and Jessica Jones (U.S.); “Mirrored Hands,” by Naomi Nakanishi (U.S.) and Aline Frazão (Angola); “Wake Me When It’s Green,” by Gwen Laster (U.S.) and Dafna Naphtali (U.S.); “Suryaning Giri Danu,” by CC Sunchild (U.S.) and Ni Made Ayu Dwi Sattvitri (Indonesia); “Miniatures,” by Kavita Shah (U.S.) and Zeynep Toramon (Turkey); “Apex, Rocketship, Seasons, What Is It Time For,” by Krissy Bergmark (U.S.) and Tara Kannangara (Canada).

To conclude the event, M³ will announce the 12 composer-performers of the next cohort (M³ Fall Equinox 2023 Cohort 6), who will start their mentorship cycle in September.

For more info on M³, click here. DB

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