For Immediate Release 

Contact: Nichole L. Knight,

New York, NY (December 5, 2019)—Chamber Music America (CMA), the national network for ensemble music professionals, today announced the distribution of $248,900 through two new programs, Performance Plus and Ensemble Forward, that focus on strengthening and supporting ensembles at pivotal stages in their development.

Details for each program, as well as the inaugural grantees follow:


Funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
2020 Performance Plus Grantees (L-R as listed)

A total of $180,100 was awarded through the Performance Plus program, which supports U.S.-based female-led jazz ensembles by connecting them with an experienced jazz artist-educator for six evaluative listening sessions with the goal of enhancing the ensemble’s performance. The listening sessions will culminate in a recording session resulting in a high-quality demo for use by the grantee ensemble.

Amanda & Associates (Brooklyn, NY)
Leader: Amanda Ekery | Artist-Educator: Sylvie Courvoisier

Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses (New Orleans, LA)
Leader: Aurora Nealand | Artist-Educator: Tim Berne

The Bounce (East Lansing, MI)
Leader: Gina Benalcazar | Artist-Educator: Rodney Whitaker

Camille Thurman Quartet (Newburgh, NY)
Leader: Camille Thurman | Artist-Educator: Charles Tolliver

Endea Owens & The Cookout (New York, NY)
Leader: Endea Owens | Artist-Educator: Curtis Lundy

Johnaye Kendrick Ensemble (Tacoma, WA)
Leader: Johnaye Kendrick | Artist-Educator: Jim Knapp

Kavita Shah Quintet (New York, NY)
Leader: Kavita Shah | Artist-Educator: Miguel Zenón

The Mara Rosenbloom Trio (New York, NY)
Leader: Mara Rosenbloom | Artist-Educator: Amina Claudine Myers

Nadje Noordhuis Ensemble (Brooklyn, NY)
Leader: Nadje Noordhuis | Artist-Educator: Maria Schneider

Santa Bikini (Easton, PA)
Leader: Laura Watts | Artist-Educator: Frank Ku-umba Lacy

Simone Baron & Arco Belo (Washington D.C.)
Leader: Simone Baron | Artist-Educator: Linda May Han Oh


Funded by The New York Community Trust
2020 Ensemble Forward Grantees (L-R as listed)

Fourteen grants totaling $68,800 have been awarded through the Ensemble Forward program, an initiative built to support young New York City-based ensembles that perform Western European classical and contemporary chamber music. CMA provides grant funds for the ensembles to work with established chamber music coaches to help them develop their distinctive ensemble sound, make information resources available for building their careers, and create networking opportunities to enlarge their professional circles. All grantee ensembles are based in New York City.

Coach: Mike Block | Instrumentation: Violin, cello

Coach: Stephanie Griffin | Instrumentation: Violin, viola, cello

Coach: Kathleen Supové | Instrumentation: Piano/toy piano duo

Concordian Dawn
Coach: Drew Minter | Instrumentation: Tenor/medieval harp, soprano, countertenor, countertenor/winds, baritone, vielle/percussion

Cramer Quartet
Coach: Mark Steinberg | Instrumentation: Two violins, viola, cello

Coach: Claire Chase | Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Lilac 94
Coach: Bridget Kibbey | Instrumentation: Harp duo

Lotus Chamber Music Collective
Coach: Curtis Stewart | Instrumentation: Two violins, viola, cello

Metropolitan Horn Authority
Coach: Jeff Scott | Instrumentation: Four French horns

Quartet 121
Coach: Victor Lowrie Tafoya | Instrumentation: Two violins, viola, cello

Coach: David Krakauer | Instrumentation: Saxophone Quartet

The Brass Project
Coach: Raymond Mase | Instrumentation: Two trumpets, French horn, two trombones, tuba

Unheard Of Ensemble
Coach: Joshua Rubin | Instrumentation: Clarinet/electronics, violin, cello, piano

Warp Trio
Coach: Stephen Prutsman | Instrumentation: Piano, violin, cello, percussion

Chamber Music America, the national network of ensemble music professionals, was founded in 1977 to develop, strengthen, and support the chamber music community. With a membership of nearly 6,000, including musicians, ensembles, presenters, artists’ managers, educators, music businesses, and advocates of ensemble music, CMA welcomes members representing a wide range of musical styles and traditions —including western and non-western classical, contemporary, jazz, and evolving genres. CMA provides its members with grant programs, consulting services, access to instrument and other insurances, conferences, seminars, and several publications including Chamber Music magazine and the weekly e-newsletter, Accent.

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research, and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.

A public charity,The New York Community Trust connects past, present, and future generous New Yorkers with vital nonprofits working to make a healthy, equitable, and thriving community for all. It is a public grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the lives of residents of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island.