The flutist and composer Nicole M. Mitchell, will lead the University of Pittsburgh’s storied jazz studies program, the school announced Monday. Mitchell also will be the director of the Jazz Studies Program and a professor in Pitt’s Department of Music.
Mitchell takes over leadership for the late Geri Allen, a groundbreaking pianist and educator. She will lead the only program to offer a Doctor of Philosophy in jazz. Mitchell will also hold the William S. Dietrich II Endowed Chair in Jazz Studies at the university.
Mitchell initially emerged from Chicago’s jazz scene in the late 90s. She founded the Black Earth Ensemble, a midsize group with a rotating cast and in 2001 she released her debut album with Black Earth Ensemble, entitled Vision Quest
Her work often brings together instruments and musicians from across the globe, Afrocentrism across multiple genres. It celebrates collective thought and delivers messages of empowerment with an activist’s audacity.
Music has the power to be transformative, and that we can create visionary worlds through music that can allow us to see alternatives in the way we live.”