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Mutual Mentorship for Musicians’ Virtual Festival Set for June 12-13

Frank Hammel • News • June 3, 2021

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NEW YORK (JUNE 3, 2021) — A second cohort of 12 artists working together as part of the Mutual Mentorship for Musicians (M³) initiative, co-founded by Jen Shyu and Sara Serpa to foster creative partnerships among womxn musicians worldwide, will have their collaborative works premiered at a virtual M³ festival on Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13 at 2:00 p.m. ET via the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Hosted by M³ Editor-in-Chief Jordannah Elizabeth, each premiere will be followed by a Q&A with the artists, who will answer questions from the audience about their creative process. The performances are streamed via Zoom and may be accessed for free with RSVP. Reserve at JazzMuseumInHarlem.org.

 More details from Mutual Mentorship for Musicians:

M³ launched in spring 2020 with artists whose work premiered in December 2020. A new winter solstice cohort was selected in December 2020 and have spent the past six months collaborating. The artists taking part in this second cohort whose duo commissions will be premiered in June are:

Each collaboration marks the first time that the two artists have worked together, reflecting M³’s mission to foster creative growth through new, mutual models of mentorship. With the goal of empowering and elevating womxn musicians around the world—including BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, and musicians of all abilities across generations—M³ encourages the reciprocal, intergenerational exchange of knowledge and experience; formation of new collaborations with musicians outside of one’s inner circle; and cultivation of new ideas and formats for solo and collaborative performance, whether live or virtual. M³ meetings and workshops take place over several months and culminate each season in a performance of the newly created collaborative commissions. is supported by a New Music USA Partnership Grant.

 M³ released The Art Of Being True: M³ Anthology of Writings, the first of a rare archive of writings that takes control of the narrative with regard to the work of underrepresented musicians, on International Jazz Day, Friday, April 30. It is available from online literary arts publication, Publik / Private, for free.

 From essays and poetry on creative expression, composition, mentoring, artistic statements, to personal experiences in music, grief, motherhood, mental health, and fertility treatment, The Art Of Being True: M³ Anthology of Writings reveals an extraordinary inner world that has largely been ignored and diminished in the music field, one in which non-male voices are powerful creators, listeners and critics. 

 The Art Of Being True: M³ Anthology of Writings aims to expand M³’s mission, by empowering and elevating narratives by musicians of underrepresented gender identities including musicians marginalized on the basis of race, sexuality, or ability. It features contributions by M³’s inaugural Summer Solstice 2020 Cohort’s performer-composers: Romarna Campbell (UK), drums; Caroline Davis (New York), saxophone; Eden Girma, (US / UK), voice, multi-instrumentalist; Val Jeanty (Haiti / New York City), percussion, electronics, turntables; Maya Keren (Philadelphia), piano; Erica Lindsay (Rosendale, NY), tenor sax; Lesley Mok (New York City), drums; Tomeka Reid (Chicago / New York City), cello; Sara Serpa (Portugal / New York City), voice; Jen Shyu (New York City / East Timor), voice, multi-instrumentalist; Anjna Swaminathan (Brooklyn), violin, voice, multi-disciplinary theatre artist; and Sumi Tonooka (Philadelphia), piano.

 M³ founders Jen Shyu and Sara Serpa say:

 We wanted to create an archive of writings that takes control of the narrative with regards to underrepresented musicians. We envision it as a legacy for future generations in which authorship and power shifts towards womxn while decentering white patriarchy in music.

 Jordannah Elizabeth, the founder of Publik / Private and also Mutual Mentorship for Musicians’ Editor-in-Chief, adds:

 Women in jazz and creative music fight through the disparity of representation, and it takes bravery to work in such a medium and male-dominated realm. This anthology is a testament that art must prevail within the prison of others’ perceptions.

 For more information about the M³ model, see the original announcement of the project, as well as MutualMentorshipForMusicians.org. Inquiries about the initiative may be directed to info@MutualMentorshipForMusicians.org.

 The inaugural cohort commissions and anthology are supported by Nancy and Joe Walker and mediaThe foundation. The Winter Solstice 2020 Cohort is supported by New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from Helen F. Whitaker Fund, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Fidelity Foundation, The Rogers & Hammerstein Foundation, Anonymous.

 

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