[JPL] Jazz Vibraphonist Cecilia Smith Recipient of Prestigous Joyce Foundation Award

Kari-On Productions karionprod at knology.net
Thu Feb 21 13:20:36 EST 2008

For Immediate Release


Contact:          Kari Gaffney
                        Kari-On Productions


                        karionprod at knology.net



5th Annual Joyce Awards
2008 Recipients Includes
Jazz Vibraphonist and Composer

Cecilia Smith


Grants of $50,000 were awarded to Public Art Saint Paul in St. Paul, MN, to support the commission of a six-mile outdoor photography installation by photographer Wing Young Huie;the Ragamala Music and Dance Theater in Minneapolis, MN, to support the commission of a new dance by master Balinese choreographer, dancer, composer and musician I Dewa Putu Berata; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN, to commission a new multi-media performance work by hip-hop theater artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph; and Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in Cleveland, OH, for the commission of a new jazz score by vibraphonist and composer Cecilia Smith. The announcement was made by Joyce Foundation President Ellen Alberding at the annual celebratory gathering at The Arts Club of Chicago.


Launched in 2004 as a yearly competition, the Joyce Awards target cultural organizations in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and St. Paul/Minneapolis, while the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation has long provided major funding to Chicago-area cultural institutions, the establishment of the Joyce Awards marked the expansion of its culture grant-making to other Midwest cities. To date, 20 organizations have received a noted Joyce Award.


"For five years, the Joyce Awards has connected exceptional artists with cultural institutions and diverse audiences," says Joyce Foundation President Ellen S. Alberding. "We are proud of our role in bringing innovative works of art to communities throughout the Midwest, and are excited to continue this work."


The Joyce Awards grants are made directly to arts organizations and are awarded in dance, music, theater, and visual arts. This year's competition drew 30 entries from around the region. Projects were reviewed by independent arts advisors from outside the Midwest and voted on by the Foundation's board.  Each award supports the work of the individual artist as well as significant community engagement efforts.


CECILIA SMITH - Music Category Recipient: (Jazz Artist and Composer)

Cecilia Smith, born in Cincinnati and raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is a professional composer, recording artist and performing vibraphonist. Smith is one of the leading four mallet technique vibraphonists in the United States. 


She is the first woman vibraphonist with recordings released both nationally and internationally, and has performed in concert halls, nightclubs and festivals throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Smith attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston earning a bachelor's degree in Professional Music. 


In 2003, Smith was commissioned by the Kennedy Center to bring to life the music of Mary Lou Williams, widely credited as the first woman of jazz. Smith performed in concert original compositions inspired by Williams' life, as well as music that Williams wrote but never performed.


The Joyce Award will support The Performing Arts Division at Cuyahoga Community College to engage in a multi-year collaborative with Smith. As part of Tri-C's Creative Campus Project, Smith will have a long-term residency in Cleveland where she, along with Tri-C students and faculty, will identify an African American from the Cleveland community as the subject and inspiration for a new composition. The finished composition, to be performed by Cleveland musicians and members of the Cecilia Smith Quintet during the 2009 Jazz Fest, will include spoken word and visual media. 


The project will be documented by the Tri-C Media Center, which operates the campus television station. Based in Chicago with assets of $930 million, the Joyce Foundation makes grants of $50 million a year to support efforts to strengthen public policies in ways that improve the quality of life in the Great Lakes region. Cultural funding supports projects that bring diverse audiences together to share common cultural experiences and encourage more people to see the arts as integral parts of their lives. The Foundation also makes grants in the areas of Education, Employment, Environment, Gun Violence Prevention, and Money and Politics.


Ten works made possible by the Joyce Awards have thus far been completed. Those works include 2004 awardees Cleveland Art Museum (Trenton Doyle Hancock, visual art installation Moments in Mound History), Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (Roberto Sierra, classical composition La Salsa No. 3) and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (Chinary Ung, classical composition Tears of Rain); 2005 awardees University of Illinois, Chicago/Gallery 400 (Edgar Arceneaux, multi-media installation The Alchemy of Comedy) and Columbia College Dance Center (Lin Hwai-Min, choreography Cursive III); 2006 awardees Chicago Cultural Center (Nick Cave, visual art installation Sound Suits) and American Composers Forum (Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, classical composition Serenade for Nitoshi); and 2007 awardees Detroit Institute of Arts (Julie Mehretu, visual art exhibition City Sitings), Joffrey Ballet in collaboration with Luna Negra Dance Theater (Pedro Ruiz, choreography Allegro con Sabor) and Wayne State University (Tyree Guyton, sculpture installation Invisible Doors and companion visual art exhibition Street Sense: Celebrating 20 Years of the Heidelberg Project).



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