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Top Flutist Takes Stage at Santa Monica Library
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By Jorge Casuso

May 11, 2016 -- Widely regarded as a performer, as well as a respected teacher, it's fitting that flutist Nicole Mitchell will showcase her talents at the Santa Monica Public Library next week.

A cutting-edge modernist composer and leader of several adventurous ensembles, Mitchell is currently a professor of music in the University of California at Irvine’s Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology program.

But Mitchell, who honed her skills playing on the streets before becoming an integral part of Chicago's legendary jazz scene, remains a compelling performer who has toured the states and Europe leading her "Black Earth" ensembles.

Next Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Mitchell will perform music for solo flute from her 2014 album "Engraved in the Wind," as well as duets with percussionist Randy Gloss, the current Chair of CalArts’ World Music Program at the Library's Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard.

The winner of Down Beat's critics poll two years in a row, Mitchell was the first woman president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), whose early members included Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton, Jack DeJohnette, the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

Last year, Mitchell, along with cellist Tomeka Reid and drummer Mike Reed, recorded a 50th anniversary tribute to AACM, which New York Times Jazz Critic Nate Chinen picked as one of the year's top ten jazz albums.

Chinen called the album "intrepid, soulful and, on a piece like Steve McCall’s “I’ll Be Right Here Waiting,” hauntingly beautiful."

Next Wednesday's concert is part of the new music concert series Soundwaves, which is sponsored by the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library.

The concert is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and on a first-arrival basis.

The Santa Monica Public Library is wheelchair accessible. For special disabled services, call Library Administration at (310) 458-8606 at least one week prior to event. For more information, visit or contact the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600.

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