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Billy Childs Named President of CMA’s Board of Directors

First jazz musician to be elected to the position

Performance by Billy Childs at 2010 Monterey Jazz Festival

Chamber Music America announced that it has appointed pianist and composer Billy Childs as president of its board of directors, effective July 1.

Childs-the first jazz musician to be elected to this influential position-is a four-time Grammy Award winner and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.

In 2005, Childs received his first appointment to CMA’s board, where he served a key role in guiding the organization’s then-young jazz programs, as well as advocating for the needs of small-ensemble musicians and composers of all genres. In 2006 he was awarded a CMA commission to fund a work for his Jazz-Chamber Ensemble-a “groundbreaking project that, as its name suggests, merged improvisation and jazz rhythms with the orchestration and instrumentation of a traditional chamber ensemble,” according to the organization’s website.

Over the course of his career, Childs has performed and recorded with many artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Wayne Shorter, the Kronos Quartet, Chick Corea and the American Brass Quintet. He has also composed new works for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Ying Quartet, the Dorian Wind Quintet, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and many others.

Also joining the board are violinist, violist and founder/artistic director of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival Aloysia Friedmann; violinist and composer Jessie Montgomery; performer, recording artist and educator Michele Rosewoman; flutist Kathie Lynn Stewart; Moss Arts Center Executive Director Ruth Waalkes; and violinist John Zion.

Click here to read CMA’s interview with Childs about his career, creative process and history with the organization.

Originally Published