Faculty In the News

Daniel Joseph Martinez has been selected for the Vancouver Biennale

Professor Daniel Joseph Martinez has been selected to be featured at the Vancouver Biennale in July.

Kei Akagi Releases a New Album that Features Fellow UCI Faculty Members Kojiro Umezaki and Darek Oles

Chancellor’s Professor of Music Kei Akagi releases a new album that features fellow UCI faculty members Kojiro Umezaki and Darek Oles:


Contemporary Asian Perspectives in American Music

Kei Akagi (piano)

Kojiro Umezaki (shakuhachi)

Darek Oles (bass)

Tamaya Honda (drums)

“This project has its roots in a question I asked myself a long time ago: As a first-generation Japanese American, how can I bring together the music of my heritage with the immense richness of jazz that I have been blessed to be part of? I was doubly fortunate to be able to call on such enormously gifted musical compatriots: Kojiro Umezaki, Darek Oles, Tamaya Honda.

This album brings together contemporary music and Japanese modernism within a framework of jazz improvisation. The music is haunting but grounded, delicate but energetic, structured yet free.

The recording includes four of my original compositions. There are two pieces...

Mari Kimura – The Tradition of Revolution: Improvisation, Composition and Motion Sensor for the Violin

Violinist and composer Mari Kimura will give a lecture at UC Santa Barbara's Alliance of Women in Media Arts and Technology on February 9, 2018. She will discuss and demonstrate her renown extended technique “Subharmonics”, playing pitches one octave lower than the lowest open G without changing the tuning of the violin.

Nicole Mitchell Black Earth Ensemble European premiere of "Mandorla Awakening"

Flutist-composer-ensemble leader Nicole Mitchell's award-winning Mandorla Awakening II project with the Black Earth Ensemble—joined by UCI colleague Ko Umezaki on Shakuhachi—will make its European premiere on February 9 in Stockholm

UW-Madison to host Performance Architect - Sheron Wray- as the Spring 2018 Arts Institute's Interdisciplinary Artists in Residence

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Arts Institute weclomes Sheron Wray as the Spring 2018 Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence. She will focus on interaction with students and their growth as interdisciplinary scholars, and her guest artists will engage with students and participate in public lectures. This plethora of engagement will challenge collaborators and audiences alike with new levels of awareness, extending beyond the scholarly realm to inspire creative living.

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...