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Tuesdays on the Terrace | Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth SWAY

July 12, 20225:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Admission for Tuesdays on the Terrace is free, and walk-up tickets are always available. Register in advance to receive pre-show reminders. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis; there are no pre-reserved seating options. In the event of rain, the event moves indoors to the Edlis Neeson Theater on the museum’s first floor.

portrait of Nicole Mitchell in a black, long-sleeved gown sitting on a bench holding a flute against a dark background

Nicole Mitchell. Photo: Kristi Sutton Elias.

About the Event

Summer Tuesdays come alive on the MCA’s Anne and John Kern Terrace Garden with free music highlighting artists from Chicago’s internationally renowned jazz community. Flautist Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble has been a staple in Chicago’s jazz scene since its founding in 1998. For her return to the terrace, Mitchell brings together Alexis Lombre on keyboard, Coco Elysses on diddley bow, and JoVia Armstrong on drums and electronics in a special version of the group.

About the Artist

Nicole Mitchell is an award-winning creative flautist, conceptualist, and composer. Having emerged from Chicago’s creative music community, she is the former first woman president of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a Doris Duke Artist, and a United States Artist. For more than 20 years, Mitchell has utilized her art to create worlds that “bridge the familiar with the unknown,” with her Black Earth Ensemble. She also composes for contemporary ensembles of varied instrumentation and size (from solo to orchestra and big band) while incorporating improvisation and a wide range of aesthetic expressions. She is perhaps best known for her work as a creative flutist, having developed a unique improvisational language that has repeatedly awarded her “Top Flutist of the Year” by Downbeat Magazine‘s Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association from 2010–21. Much of Mitchell’s creative process is informed by literature and narrative, with a special interest in science fiction. As a composer, she has been commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Music NOW, the French Ministry of Culture, the Fromm Music Foundation, Chamber Music America, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), MCA Chicago, the Newport Jazz Festival, the Art Institute of Chicago, the French American Jazz Exchange, the Chicago Jazz Festival, and the Chicago Sinfonietta. Mitchell currently teaches at the University of Pittsburgh as the Williams S. Dietrich II Chair and Director of Jazz Studies.


WDCB 90.9 is the official media sponsor of Tuesdays on the Terrace.

Tuesdays on the Terrace is made possible in part by a generous gift from Luminarts Cultural Foundation, supported by Cherilyn Murer.

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