The University of Pittsburgh has announced that Nicole Mitchell, the award-winning flutist, will become its William S. Dietrich II Endowed Chair in Jazz Studies on July 1. Mitchell will also take over as director of the university’s jazz studies program, a position previously occupied by the late pianist Geri Allen.
“I have big shoes to fill, following the incredible work Geri Allen accomplished, making connections between tradition and innovation,” she said in a press release. “I’m excited to explore the full spectrum of creative possibilities for jazz at Pitt.”
Mitchell, who previously served as the chairwoman of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, currently serves as a professor of music at the University of California, Irvine, where she teaches composition and improvisation at the graduate level.
The Department of Music at the University of Pittsburgh offers, along with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, the only doctoral program in jazz research and performance in the United States.
“Coming to Pitt is a special moment,” Mitchell said, “a sort of calling for me to bring my full self, where I feel a refreshing openness and enthusiasm from the Pitt community to share my vision.”