Thursday, December 15, 2011

Aakash Mittal Quartet wins CMA/ASCAP Jazz Ensemble Award

The Aakash Mittal Quartet at the Dakota by John Whiting
From Chamber Music America and ASCAP:
Five presenters and three ensembles will be recognized with CMA/ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming at the 34th Chamber Music America National Conference on Sunday, January 15, 2012. The ceremony will take place at the Westin New York at Times Square (207 W. 43rd Street) in New York City. Cia Toscanini, vice president of concert music, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), will present the awards. 
Established jointly by Chamber Music America and ASCAP, the annual awards recognize U.S.-based professional ensembles and presenters for distinctive programming of new music composed in the past 25 years. The recipients were chosen by an independent panel of judges, who evaluated the applicants on the basis their programming of recent works and innovations in attracting audiences to new music performances... 
The Aakash Mittal Quartet (Boulder, CO) will receive the jazz ensemble award.  Led by saxophonist Aakash Mittal, the group performs its members’ original works and draws heavily on the improvisational vocabulary and compositional aspects of the North Indian classical raga tradition. Mittal’s Videsh Suite takes the listener on a journey to India through the use of post-bop, raga music, serialism and electronic samples.
I've enjoyed this quartet since their debut independent release, Possible Beginnings (2008) and had the pleasure of hearing them play Videsh (2009) from start to finish at a Dakota late-night show in 2010. They've been to the Dakota three times and played the 2010 Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Most recently, in October, they gave a combined performance and clinic at Walker West Music Academy.

Related: Larry Englund's March 12, 2011 interview with Mittal.

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