about the artists
Angel City Jazz Festival
The Angel City Jazz Festival — LA’s most adventurous jazz festival — was conceived in 2008 as a vehicle to present the best contemporary West Coast jazz and beyond.
Since then the festival has grown into an essential multi-day celebration of creative jazz from around the world, at some of the most exciting and prestigious venues in LA, such as, LACMA, the World Stage, REDCAT at Disney Hall, 2220 Arts, the Moss Theater, and Zebulon.
The festival is presented by Angel City Arts, a nonprofit organization committed to cultivating and revitalizing jazz culture in Los Angeles by producing concerts by established and emerging music innovators who have brought forward a significant contribution to the evolution of jazz and improvised music.
The Angel City Jazz Festival consistently features the most innovative and original musicians working today, balancing established artists with emerging talent and focusing on West Coast creative jazz, past, present, and future.
Next Jazz Legacy
Focused on increasing opportunities for musicians who are most underrepresented in the art form, Next Jazz Legacy, the three-year, national program launched by New Music USA and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice — with major funding from the Mellon Foundation — invests in awardees through personalized apprenticeships, financial support, and a mission to inspire waves of lasting change.
Combining individual and group learning opportunities with a comprehensive support package designed to deliver deep impacts on every candidate’s career, awardees receive $10,000, performance opportunities with master bandleaders, two-way mentorship, a learning cohort, and professional promotional support.
With gender and racial justice as guiding principles, Next Jazz Legacy awardees are chosen through an open call process and a meticulous months-long review by a distinguished and diverse panel of jazz luminaries, chaired by NEA Jazz Master and Next Jazz Legacy’s Artistic Director Terri Lyne Carrington. Once the seven awardees are selected, Carrington and the Next Jazz Legacy team work closely with each of the seven musicians to match them with a pair of master bandleaders for a yearlong performance apprenticeship, as well as an additional creative mentorship, both aligned with the awardees’ unique interests.
Alongside Terri Lyne Carrington, the selection committee for the 2023 Next Jazz Legacy cohort included JD Allen, Tanya Darby, Caroline Davis, Carlos Henriquez, Brian Lynch, Allison Miller, Rufus Reid, Matthew Stevens, Camille Thurman, and more. Over the next three years, Next Jazz Legacy will be guided by an advisory board that includes artists Gerald Clayton and Kris Davis as well as representatives from institutions, such as Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz, NPR, WBGO, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, New York Winter Jazz Festival, and beyond.
Nicole Mitchell is an award-winning creative flutist, composer, bandleader, and educator. She is perhaps best known for her work as a flutist, having developed a unique improvisational language and having been repeatedly awarded “Top Flutist of the Year” by DownBeat Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association (2010-2022). Mitchell initially emerged from Chicago’s innovative music scene in the late ’90s. She started with Maia and Shanta Nurullah in Samana (the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians’ first all-woman ensemble) and as a member of the David Boykin Expanse. Her music celebrates contemporary African American culture. She is the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Sonic Projections, and Ice Crystal.And she composes for contemporary ensembles of varied instrumentation and size, while incorporating improvisation and a wide aesthetic expression.
Billy Mohler is an exploratory jazz bassist who has also amassed wide-ranging credits in the pop world as a Grammy-nominated writer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and session player, working with Dolly Parton, Macy Gray, Lady Gaga, Nile Rogers, Sia, Awolnation, Mavis Staples, Kelly Clarkson, Steven Tyler, Jon Brion, and a host of others. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Mohler attended the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz as one of only five students, studying with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and other luminaries. His 2019 debut Focus, hailed by Nextbop.com as “an incredibly free, unconstrained, and inventive record filled with exciting twists and turns and constant detours,” marked the auspicious start of his quartet, featuring tenor saxophonist Chris Speed and Kneebody members Shane Endsley (trumpet) and Mohler’s childhood friend, Nate Wood (drums). The group has followed up with its 2022 sophomore release Anatomy, a sonically inventive effort that highlights the players’ loose, raw, indeterminate chemistry as well as Mohler’s rough-hewn, insistently rhythmic compositions.
Growing up, Todd Cochran found a middle ground between the dimensions of the intellectual and spiritual when he discovered jazz music. His parents and grandparents were highly educated and motivated him to become the same. That led to his serious investment in classical piano study; performing and entering competitions when he was just 8 years old. His cousin introduced him to jazz at 13, and Cochran found a parallel, magnetizing pulse. He began to revisit his parents’ collection of Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, and Ahmad Jamal recordings, transcribing and analyzing them so he could apply their lessons to his own music. It wasn’t long before Cochran was reaching out to local jazz leaders.
A San Francisco native, with formative school days in the ’60s and college and coming of age in the ’70s, Cochran is a product of the dynamic convergence of attitudes and sociocultural revolution. His hometown was the frontline at a pivotal time in American music history, and the visionary principles of the era influenced his worldview and the trajectory of his pursuits. At just 17 years old, he found himself performing alongside jazz masters John Handy, Mike Nock, and later, Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Herbie Hancock, Julian Priester, and Eddie Henderson.
Though his own music would branch out dramatically from his earliest jazz grounding, Cochran always remained in touch with the blues element of the music. Now after a 10-year hiatus from recording while nurturing his son into adulthood, Cochran has returned to the music that has given him so much joy and that he feels is necessary to reinvest in for the betterment of society.
Internationally renowned flutist Hubert Laws is one of the few classical artists who has also mastered jazz, pop, and rhythm-and-blues genres; moving effortlessly from one repertory to another. He has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, with the orchestras of Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Cleveland, Amsterdam, Japan, Detroit, and with the Stanford String Quartet. He has given annual performances at Carnegie Hall and performed sold-out shows in the Hollywood Bowl with fellow flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal. He was also a member of the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestras. In addition, he has appeared at the Montreux, Playboy, and Kool Jazz festivals; he performed with the Modern Jazz Quartet at the Hollywood Bowl in 1982 and with the Detroit Symphony in 1994. His recordings have won three Grammy awards.
Laws has been involved in unique projects, such as collaborations with Quincy Jones, Bob James, Claude Bolling for Neil Simon’s comedy California Suite, and Earl Klugh and Pat Williams for How to Beat the High Cost of Living, as well as film scores for The Wiz, The Color Purple, A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich, and Spot Marks the X.
Next Jazz Legacy Showcase
Voice: Anais Maviel
Trumpet: Milena Casado
Saxophone: Neta Raanan
Keys: Anastassiya Petrova
Trombone: Kalia Vandever
Guitar: Keyanna Hutchinson
Bass: Anna Butters
Drums: Ivanna Cuesta
Nicole Mitchell’s Images Beyond
Artist and Poet: Joan Beard Mitchell
Music Composer: Nicole Mitchell
Flute: Nicole Mitchell
Guitar: Jeff Parker
Cello: Maggie Parkins
Violin: Jeff Gauthier
Bass: Anna Butters
Percussion: Rajna Swaminathan
Billy Mohler Quartet
Bass: Billy Mohler
Tenor Saxophone: Mark Turner
Trumpet: Shane Endlsey
Drums: Jonathan Pinson
TC3 with Hubert Laws
Piano: Todd Cohran
Bass: John Leftwich
Drums: Lyndon Rochelle
Flute: Hubert Laws