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Cornish Announces Rudresh Mahanthappa Visiting Artist-in-Residence for 2012 Spring Semester

January 04, 2012

January 4, 2012


SEATTLE, WA – Cornish College of the Arts announced today that Guggenheim fellow and Downbeat magazine’s “alto saxophonist of the year” Rudresh Mahanthappa will be Visiting Artist-in-Residence at the College this spring semester from January to April 2012.

As part of the four-month residency, Mahanthappa will teach masterclasses and clinics with Cornish saxophonists as well as coach a handpicked ensemble comprised of Cornish jazz students. Mahanthappa will also visit select Seattle Public Schools. The residency concludes with a performance by Mahanthappa and the Cornish student ensemble on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 8 pm at PONCHO Concert Hall presented as part of the Cornish Music Series.

“Cornish has always been at the forefront of innovation in the arts,” said Mahanthappa, “and I am truly excited to be a part of this long-standing tradition. Jazz is uniquely America’s art form and I can’t imagine a better place than Cornish to foster its growth.”

Cornish College of the Arts, founded by Nellie Cornish in 1914, is one of the nation’s premier colleges for the visual and performing arts, and the oldest, independent music conservatory on the West Coast. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Cornish’s jazz program, one of the first in the nation.

Mahanthappa joins a long and distinguished list of jazz artists who have served as faculty members and visiting artists-in-residence during the program’s forty-year history, a list that includes Carla Bley, Anthony Braxton, Jay Clayton, Gil Evans, Dave Holland, Art Lande, Nguyên Lê, Butch Morris, Gary Peacock, and Julian Priester, among others.

Rudresh Mahanthappa and Cornish Jazz Ensemble
PONCHO Concert Hall
710 East Roy Street, Seattle
Saturday, April 7, 8 PM
Concert Tickets: $20 general; $15 seniors; $10 students and Cornish alumni
Free parking available

About the artist

Guggenheim fellow and 2011 Downbeat International Critics Poll “Alto Saxophonist of the Year,” Rudresh Mahanthappa is one of the most innovative composers and performers in jazz today, fusing the musical culture of his Indian ancestry and jazz with myriad other influences to create a groundbreaking artistic vision.

Mahanthappa leads/co-leads several groups including his award winning quartet, the Indo-Pak Coalition with guitarist Rez Abassi (guitar) and Dan Weiss (tabla) and the critically-acclaimed project, Kinsmen, featuring Carnatic saxophone legend, Kadri Golpalnath. His 2010 release, Apex, highlighted the highly influential alto-sax master Bunky Green, which Time Out Chicago called “a force, blowing with ferocious power, clarity and creativity.” Mahanthappa’s latest release, Samdhi, featuring an electro-acoustic quintet comprising David Gilmore (guitar), Rich Brown (bass), Damion Reid (drums), and “Anand” Anantha Krishnan (Mirdangam / Kanjira), has already been named one of top jazz releases of 2011 by several publications.

As a saxophonist, Mahanthappa has achieved international recognition performing regularly at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide. As a composer, he has received commission grants from the Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund, American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America, and the New York State Council on the Arts to develop new work. Mahanthappa holds a Bachelors of Music Degree in jazz performance from Berklee College of Music and a Masters of Music degree in jazz composition from Chicago’s DePaul University. Rudresh Mahanthappa currently lives in Brooklyn.