L.A. Residency Gives Young Jazz Artists a Leg Up | KCET
L.A. Residency Gives Young Jazz Artists a Leg Up
In partnership with 18th Street Arts Center: 18th Street Arts Center is an artists' residency program that provokes public dialogue through contemporary art-making.
It may not get top billing, but the jazz scene in Los Angeles is unexpectedly rich. The city is home to Sam First and The Blue Whale; the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA, the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts and USC Thornton School of Music. The city also has venues such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that regularly features jazz music in its programming.
It’s no wonder that a three-month residency here in L.A. is heaven for a jazz artist. Just ask Samantha Boshnack, last year’s recipient of the Make Jazz Fellowship at 18th Street Arts Center. Sponsored by the Herb Alpert Foundation, the fellowship awards a composer a monthly stipend, a furnished live-in studio in Santa Monica and arranged opportunities to explore their craft in Los Angeles. “Having three months of dedicated writing time, without the distraction of teaching or gigging helped me to focus as a composer and nurture my creative practice. This kind of growth and building is an invaluable thing,” said Boshnack about her time in Los Angeles.
During her three months here, Boshnack composed a staggering eight movements about the Ring of Fire in the Pacific Ocean, where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are an everyday occurrence. Her project, “Seismic Belt” focus on the area’s geological pace, but also on the region’s many bright and tropical countries, giving her movements a refreshing variety. “This residency has been a life-changing experience for me. There is very little support out there for jazz composers. Getting encouragement and support to build my body of work has given me a lot of motivation to forge ahead in a career that is very hard to find an established path in.”
More Stories About 18th Street
18th Street’s Artistic Director Anuradha Vikram agrees. She points out that there are many recognitions available to mid-career and established jazz artists, but only this fellowship focuses on emerging U.S. composers.
Since its establishment in 2011, 18th Street’s Make Jazz Fellowship has been a springboard for many jazz artists. Shortly after he was awarded the Make Jazz Fellowship, Marquis Hill won the Thelonious Monk Competition in 2014. Teddy Raven recorded an album, "The Flock," of compositions developed during the residency. John Ellis and his group Double-Wide recorded an album, "Charm," released in 2015, based on the music he created in the residency in 2014.
This year, bassist Tabari Lake takes his turn in Santa Monica. During his three-month stay, Lake plans to work on his first full-length work exploring the conditions of his Virgin Islands identity and politics. Through his work, he hopes to highlight the beauty of “America’s Paradise,” and to spark dialog about what it means to exist in a constant duality. He will debut his work at the World Stage, March 9. Attend the event for free here.
Watch and listen to Boshnack’s work below:
Top Image: Samantha Boshnack in her final performance in L.A. | Emma Wang
Connect with KCET
During the late 19th and early 20th century, many mass-produced black dolls were stereotypical, caricature-like and expressed racist undertones. Shindana Toys helped change the paradigm, irrevocably changing the toy industry today.
On November 24, 1965, the Louis Smith and Robert Hall launched an organization called Operation Bootstrap. The organization emphasized the importance of black entrepreneurship and used its business initiatives to shift public perception of black identity.
The Yurok people care for all of their family members, and their kin — including condors and salmon — reciprocate the care.
Astrophysicist Andrea Ghez, user experience designer Evan Sullivan, and choreographer Kyle Abraham talked about everything from what it means to be creative to how we can overcome creative fears.
- 1 of 221
- next ›
From the typeface of “The Godfather” book cover to the Noguchi table, the influence of Japanese American artists and designers in postwar American art and design is unparalleled. Learn how the World War II incarceration affected their lives and creations.
"Artbound" looks at the dinnerware of Heath Ceramics and a design that has stood the test of time since the company began in the late 1940’s.
Inspired by Oaxacan traditions, Dia de Los Muertos was brought to L.A. in the '70s as a way to enrich and reclaim Chicano identity. It has since grown in proportions and is celebrated around the world.
Gospel music would not be what it is today if not for the impact left by Los Angeles in the late 60’s and early 70’s, a time defined by political movements across the country.
A behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary art world through the eyes of a legendary art dealer and curator, Jeffrey Deitch.
- 1 of 11
- next ›