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Breath of Fresh Air

As one of the few female band leaders around, jazz flutist Nicole Mitchell has big responsibilities to shoulder. She carries it off splendidly.

Together with her band, Black Earth Ensemble, Mitchell interlaces swing, blues, avant-garde jazz, bebop, Eastern melodies, Western classical harmonies with a large dose of African rhythms. The result is a tantalizing sound that is accessible and exciting.

An active member in the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (she served as Vice President of the Chicago institution), Mitchell helped found the all-woman group Samana. When not performing with the Black Earth Ensemble, she keeps busy playing with numerous other groups, adding her unique voice to the world of jazz.

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Check out some more of Illinois' phenomenal jazz artists, playing everything from Dixieland to bebop to abstract, experimental tunes: the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Tatsu Aoki, Orbert Davis, the Malachi Thompson Freebop Band, Jean Kittrell, New Arts Jazztet and the New Horizons Ensemble.

Watch Mitchell's second appearance on Arts Across Illinois: CenterStage this time as a member of the David BoykinExpanse.

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Watch Nicole Mitchell and her Black Earth Ensemble perform "Afrika Rising" on Arts Across Illinois: CenterStage in 2003.


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Nicole Mitchell on Arts Across Illinois: CenterStage in 2003.

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Nicole Mitchell performs with the Black Earth Ensemble.


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