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The Other CMAs

Since 1977, the Chamber Music America organization (CMA) has collected members, in the forms of musicians, managers, educators and anyone else who will help them to “promote artistic excellence and the economic stability of the [music] field, and to ensure that chamber music, in its broadest sense, is a vital part of American life.” With the help of over 8,000 members, CMA has made great strides toward achieving their goals. They provide members with consulting services, health and instrument insurance, conferences and seminars. And, as far as chamber music being a vital part of American life, I think we can all agree that it’s right up there with network television and Levi’s button-fly originals.

Three years ago the New York-based organization began doling out cash as part of its New Works: Creation and Presentation program. Grants are given annually to composer/performer-led ensembles to aid in their creation and eventual presentation of new jazz pieces. Ben Allison, Dave Douglas, Andrew Hill and Jane Ira Bloom have all benefited as past CMA grant awardees. This year 12 grants totaling $168,000 were awarded to Tim Armacost, Baikida Carroll, George Colligan, Robin Eubanks, David Gilmore, Charles Ned Goold, Jovino Santos Neto, Greg Osby (pictured), Michele Rosewoman, Walt Weiskopf and Michael Weiss.

The pile of over 130 applications received by CMA for 2002 grants was reviewed by an independent panel of jazzers: Ahmed Abdullah, Akua Dixon, Billy Harper, Cliff Korman, Oriente Lopez, Bennie Maupin, Jason Moran, Douglas Purviance, Cluadio Roditi and Rene Rosnes. They appear to have made some excellent choices. Who doesn’t love Charles Ned Goold?

For more information on CMA, including info on how you can apply for your very own CMA grant, visit

Originally Published