Mutual Mentorship For Musicians (M³), A New Initiative Created by Jen Shyu and Sara Serpa, Dedicated to Elevating and Empowering Women and Non-Binary Jazz and Creative Musicians, Announces 2nd M³ Lifetime Achievement Award to Michele Rosewoman & World Premieres of M³’s 5th Cohort Duo Commissions

June 13th, 7-9pm, National Jazz Museum in Harlem


Purchase Tickets Here ($30)
(tickets include complimentary wine/drink)
7pm Drinks/Welcome 

7:15pm World Premiere video screenings of 6 duo commissions by Fall Equinox 2023 Cohort 5

8:45pm Silent Auction Fundraiser closing

8:50pm Michele Rosewoman receives M³ Lifetime Achievement Award

9pm Fall Equinox 2023 Cohort 6 is announced

When the COVID-19 lockdown began in March of 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 non-binary 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, Mutual Mentorship for Musicians (M³) has commissioned 60 women, non-binary, and mostly BIPOC musicians, to create 30 collaborative music & 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 Michele Rosewoman on June 13, 2023, at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (a regular partner organization with M³) in recognition of her contributions to the community through her prolific musical accomplishments, leadership, and educational work. The award is an unrestricted prize of $5000.

For four decades, pianist/composer/educator Michele 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.

Hosted by journalist and producer Angélika Beener, this event will also celebrate and premiere six new duo commissions of video and music completed by the current cohort of musicians – the M³ Fall Equinox 2022 Cohort 5:

1) Wobbly Tales by Rosángela Isabel Pérez Molero (Venezuela) + Jessica Jones (US)

2) Mirrored Hands by Naomi Nakanishi (US) + Aline Frazão (Angola)

3) Wake Me When It’s Green by Gwen Laster (US) + Dafna Naphtali (US)

4) Suryaning Giri Danu by CC Sunchild (US) + Ni Made Ayu Dwi Sattvitri (Indonesia)

5) Miniatures by Kavita Shah (US) + Zeynep Toramon (Turkey)

6) Apex, Rocketship, Seasons, What is it time for by Krissy Bergmark (US) + Tara Kannangara (Canada)

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

M³ Fall Equinox 2022 Cohort 5 composer-performers:

Krissy Bergmark– tabla (Chicago, IL)
Aline Frazão– voice, guitar (Angola/Berlin)
Jessica Jones– tenor saxophone/piano (NYC)
Tara Kannangara– trumpet, voice (Toronto, Canada)
Gwen Laster– violin (Beacon, NY)
Rosángela Isabel Pérez Molero– violin (Venezuela/Argentina)
Naomi Nakanishi– piano (Boston)
Dafna Naphtali– electronics, voice (NYC)
Ni Made Ayu Dwi Sattvitri– gamelan (Indonesia)
Kavita Shah– voice, piano, ukelele, electronics (NYC)
CC Sunchild– piano/voice (Atlanta, GA)
Zeynep Toraman– electronics, guitar (Berlin/Turkey)

Angélika Beener is an award-winning journalist, DJ, host and producer. A journalist who writes about music and culture at the intersections of race, gender, and generation, her work has been recognized by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and The New York Association of Black Journalists. She is the host of the music podcast Milestones in partnership with WBGO Studios.

Krissy Bergmark (Chicago, IL) is a tabla player, percussionist, composer, and educator. She has received commissions and grants through the Cedar Commissions, the Jerome Foundation, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and the Minnesota State Arts Board for her tabla studies and compositions for tabla, percussion, and strings.

Aline Frazão (Angola/Germany) is a singer, songwriter, producer and performer. She has published fiction short stories and essays and studied Communication in NOVA University of Lisbon. Aline is a member of the Angolan Feminist Collective Ondjango Feminista.

Jessica Jones (NYC) is an innovative jazz educator and consultant, Jones has worked with Jazz at Lincoln Center, Stanford Jazz Workshop, and the Vision Festival. Currently, she is an Artistic Director for creative arts non-profit REVA, Inc. and the Global JazzWomen Festival.

Tara Kannangara (Canada) is a second-generation, Sri Lankan-Canadian force of nature, JUNO-nominated musician. Tara has been featured on CBC’s The Signal, The Sunday Edition and NPR Tiny Desk with Lido Pimienta and has also performed on Lido’s Grammy nominated record, “Miss Colombia.”

Gwen Laster (NY) is a violinist, composer, teaching artist, and  adventurous composer, arranger and orchestrator. Gwen has been the recipient of awards by the National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, MPower Sphinx, Jubilation Foundation, Puffin Foundation and Arts Mid Hudson.

Rosángela Isabel Pérez Molero (Venezuela/Argentina) is a Venezuelan migrant woman, is a violinist, composer, improviser, performer, sound artist and educator. She currently resides in Argentina, where she is completing her degree in Music Therapy at the University of Buenos Aires.

Naomi Nakanishi (NYC) is a dynamic pianist, improviser, and composer paving a way in through the contemporary music scene with a background in classical and folk repertoire. As a bandleader Naomi recently released their debut E.P. Hear Me Speak, and is a Berklee Global Jazz Institute alum.

Dafna Naphtali (NYC) is a singer, electronic-musician, sound-artist, composer-performer-improviser and computer programmer, and 2023 Guggenheim Fellow. She collaborates, performs/records internationally with musicians/video-artists including: Hans Tammen, Ras Moshe Burnett, Shelley Hirsch, Kathleen Supové, Chuck Bettis, Barbez band, Gordon Beeferman.

Ni Made Ayu Dwi Sattvitri (Indonesia) is a Balinese gamelan musician born in 2000 who is studying the art of composing with Balinese gamelan. Sattvitri plays such Balinese gamelan instruments such as Gender Wayang, Kendang Bali, Selonding. She is currently pursuing her Masters degree at ISI Solo (Art Institute of Indonesia) in Surakarta, Indonesia.

Kavita Shah (NYC) is an award-winning vocalist, composer, educator, 2023 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, and lifelong New Yorker hailed by NPR for possessing an “amazing dexterity for musical languages”. Her projects blending modern jazz, new music, and world traditions include “Visions” (2014), “Folk Songs of Naboréa” (2017), “Interplay” (2018), and “Cape Verdean Blues” (forthcoming, 2023).

CC Sunchild (Atlanta, GA) is an international pianist, vocalist, and composer who has  worked with major artists such as Patti LaBelle, Sir Elton John, Raphael Saadiq, India Arie, Bruce Hornsby, Bobby McFerrin, Rueben Studdard, Dionne Farris, Caron Wheeler, and a host of others and also selected as the alternate keyboardist for the Pop Icon Beyoncé.

Zeynep Toraman (Berlin/Turkey) is a composer and scholar from Istanbul, Turkey, living and working in Berlin, Germany. Her music has been performed at festivals such as Darmstadt Ferienkurse, Summer Academy Schloss Solitude and IRCAM ManiFeste. In September 2017, she joined the doctoral program in composition at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

When the COVID-19 lockdown began in NYC in March of 2020, Jen Shyu and Sara Serpa co-founded Mutual Mentorship for Musicians (M³), recognizing that the music and performing arts worlds, with their multiple languages and traditions, have been mostly shaped by male power. This imbalance results in unequal environments and presents multiple challenges for musicians from underrepresented groups to have access to meaningful mentorship and career opportunities.

In just three years, Mutual Mentorship for Musicians (M³) has commissioned 60 women, non-binary, and mostly BIPOC musicians, to create 30 new duo music/video compositions across five cohort cycles, each lasting 6-10 months. M³ has produced and presented three interactive online M³ Festivals premiering 18 music/video commissions in December 2020, June 2021 and March 2022 at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. M³ also published its first M³ Anthology of Writings, The Art of Being True edited by acclaimed jazz writer Jordannah Elizabeth in April 2021 and its first physical M³ Anthology of Writings Volumes 1 & 2, with Volume 2 edited by writer, poet, and scholar Naomi Extra. Volumes 3 and 4 have been published online, with Volume 3 also edited by Naomi Extra and Volume 4 edited by writer, poet, and journalist Kyla Marshell. This series is a legacy and archive of writings on creative work, listening, struggles and hopes of women, non-binary musicians, and artists of other underrepresented gender identities.


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