Earshot Jazz 2023 Commissions 

Jahnvi Madan, Carlos Snaider, and Sheridan Riley photos courtesy of the artists.

At the start of the year, Earshot Jazz opened up its Call for Composers. Now in its second iteration and with nearly 60 applications received, we are excited and honored to announce the three composers who will be presenting the world premiere of their works at the 2023 Earshot Jazz Festival.

Jahnvi Madan is an Indian American clarinetist, composer, and songwriter who has grown up in the greater Seattle area. She has involved herself deeply with music education through organizations like Seattle JazzED and is proving to be a promising new composer and performer. Madan’s compositions reflect her lived experience and respond to the invisibility she felt growing up as a first-generation Indian American.

Sheridan Riley was born and raised in Long Beach, California until moving to Seattle in 2015. They played in their school’s jazz band, but spent most of their adolescence playing in rock bands and played their first tour when they were 17. Riley became particularly interested in pinpointing what was asked of the drummer depending on the context of a musical piece, which led them to explore improvisation. For their commission, they are interested in exploring the sensation of memory and how it informs the way people move through their lives. 

Carlos Snaider is a guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, improviser, and composer based in Seattle. His work explores extended encounters of the present through individual and collective experiences of sound, language, and movement. He operates in the interstices of jazz, creative music, global dance music, and hip-hop. For his commissioned work, Snaider plans to create an avant-Latin fusion trio or quartet that includes electronic instruments and open forms.

The process of analyzing nearly 60 applications had to be thorough, intentional, and collaborative. Earshot Jazz assembled a panel of five esteemed resident artists and music educators to evaluate applications: Johnaye Kendrick, Kelsey Mines, Beth Fleenor, James Falzone, and Xavier Lecouturier. Panelists independently scored each application over the course of a few weeks. Then the averages of their scores were collected. The ten highest-scoring applications were then reviewed, discussed, and rescored by the panel in a final meeting at the end of March. Scores were averaged again during that meeting, after which the panel ultimately selected the three composers for Earshot Jazz to commission. The panel’s honorable mentions include: Ray Larsen, Mario Layne Fabrizio, Josh Hou, Marcin Pączkowski, Freddy Fuego, and Kaley Lane Eaton.

Earshot Jazz thanks the Mellon Foundation for making the Call for Composers possible. Individual donations can be made at earshot.org to ensure that Earshot Jazz can continue programs like this!

More details on the 2023 composers will be available on our website, social media, and Earshot Jazz magazine in the coming months. Please contact info@earshot.org for sponsorship and participation opportunities.


Posted on

April 30, 2023