Faculty In the News

Cecil Lytle, Mike Wofford, Joshua White, Kei Akagi & Tobin Chodos to play 5-piano concert

Five pianists walk into a room… That may sound like the set-up for a grand joke. But it is the very real scenario for what promises to be a singular performance at the 22nd Annual Concert to Benefit the Lytle Scholarship at UC San Diego. To be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, at the university’s acoustically superior Conrad Prebys Concert Hall, the two-hour fundraising event — aptly billed as a Jazz Piano Summit — will culminate with a joint performance by Cecil Lytle, Mike Wofford, Joshua White, Tobin Chodos and Kei Akagi. 

S. Ama Wray named one of the CIES AD SIG Emerging Scholars

Prof. S. Ama Wray has been named one of the Comparative & International Education Society African Diaspora Special Interest Group’s (CIES AD SIG) Emerging Scholars. The award is given annually to exceptional scholars who are on the cutting edge and have the potential to make a contribution across the African Diaspora. 

The selection committee is comprised of highly accomplished scholars who are members of the CIES AD SIG. One panelist commented on Prof. Wray's works, “This author uses the arts and in particular dance to decolonize the curriculum and challenge traditional western/northern epistemologies. Dance is poorly served by theory that informs how we think about 'race', diaspora and their related politics, yet this scholar not only disrupts the status quo but offers innovative insights and concepts as pedagogical and critical tools.”

The CIES is dedicated to increasing the understanding of educational issues, trends, and policies through comparative, cross-...

La Jolla's Best Bets for Events

UC San Diego’s 22nd annual Lytle Scholarship Concert, “Jazz Piano Summit,” will feature a unique solo improvisation set from visionary musicians Cecil Lytle, Kei Akagi, Mike Wofford and Tobin Chodos, capped off by a show-stopping finale that will merge the talents of all four performers, 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, Conrad Prebys Concert Hall, UC San Diego campus, corner of Rupertus Lane and Russell Lane. 

UC Irvine theater professor’s new production tells a story through physical movement

The runaway wanders the cold streets of Los Angeles grasping for meaning in the uncompromising urban sprawl. Fleeing a life of evangelical conformity, the girl hopes to find something valuable hidden within the city's outer husk. The perennial theme of the directionless child's search for identity is told in the book "She" by author and UC Irvine English professor Michelle Latiolais. The 2016 book has been successful, receiving rave reviews from various outlets, and the tale will unfold in a new medium Jan. 25 through 28 with a free theater production adapted by fellow UCI professor Annie Loui.

Nicole Mitchell, an Innovative Flutist With an Afrofuturist Vision

Nicole Mitchell, 50, the artist-in-residence at this week’s Winter Jazzfest in New York, brings an eclectic ear and a frothy vigor to her instrument. The flute is rarely given much of a chance in jazz — maybe it seems too quiet, too liquid, too fey — but she has transcended all that, becoming a leading voice of the music’s cutting edge.

Yet Ms. Mitchell has the demeanor of an author more than a protagonist. Her projects typically begin with a conceptual narrative and end as a group endeavor, with many voices spilling into a collective expression. What can sometimes be forgotten is that Ms. Mitchell is probably the most inventive flutist in the past 30 years of jazz. So too can the fact that all her music — from its fetching melodies and shadowy harmonies to the synergistic resolve of her bands — flows from her careful engineering.

That was the case with Bamako*Chicago Sound System, a group that Ms. Mitchell coleads with the Malian kora player Ballake Sisoko, but that...

Nicole Grimes, guest lecturer at UCSB

Nicole Grimes, Assistant Professor of Musicology, gave a guest leture at UCSB on December 29, 2017 called "A Disembodied Head for Mythic Justice: Brahms, Tantalus, and Gesang Der Parzen."

Eli Simon named The Daily Pilot/TimesOC Man of the Year in Theater for 2017

The Daily Pilot/TimesOC Man and Woman of the Year in Theater for 2017 are the artistic director of UC Irvine’s New Swan Shakespeare Festival and the executive director of One More Productions at the Gem Theater in Garden Grove, Eli Simon and Nicole Cassesso.

Simon is a Chancellor’s Professor of acting at UCI, where he chaired the drama department for five years and spent another 11 years as head of acting. Since 2012, he has overseen the New Swan festival and directed one of the two shows presented each summer.

Simon wrote a book on his theatrical specialty, “The Art of Clowning” in 2008 and describes it as “illuminating a complete system of clowning that encourages the exploration, expansion and fortification of your distinct clown persona.” He’s also the artistic director of the original clown troupe Clownzilla.

He has directed more than 100 productions at major Shakespearean festivals, regional theaters and international venues. His New Swan shows during...

Sheron Wray, Artist Residency with Wisconsin-Madison Interdisciplinary

"The Art of Improvisation" with Dr. Sheron Wray at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Spring 2018

This course will reveal how to apply improvisation methodologies to enable productive interdisciplinary collaborations, while also showing how to tap into your personal creativity, bound within everyday life. Students are expected to form an active and integrated web-based community to facilitate group research and sharing of resources. The class will combine practice-based workshops, interdisciplinary guest lectures, fieldwork, journaling, and performance.

Sheron Wray's residency is hosted by the Art Department with Faisal Abdu’Allah as lead faculty. Co-sponsors include the Departments of Art History, Dance, Afro-American Studies, and African Cultural Studies.

Nicole Mitchell Top Best Jazz Concert of 2017

The Chicago Tribune named Nicole Mitchell and Malian kora virtuoso Ballake Sissoko's September performance at the University of Chicago's Logan Center for the Arts one of the top jazz performances of the year for the "daring world premiere" of “Bamako*Chicago Sound System," calling it "intensely contrapuntal, lustrously sonorous music-making."

Nicole Grimes presented at the symposium Music Aesthetics in Britain in the Long Nineteenth Century

Nicole Grimes, Assistatn Professor of Musicology, presented a paper called "On Silencing Brahms: Ethics and Aesthetics in E. M. Forster's Howards End," at the symposium "Music Aesthetics in Britain in the Long-Nineteenth Century," King's College London, December 15-16, 2017.

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