I haven’t had a good dose of world music since Philippines’ Pinikpikan regrouped into Kalayo and saw them perform live around 10 years ago (yes, time flies). So I was pleasantly surprised when this lovely city of Chicago introduced me to the music of flautist Nicole Mitchell. Hailed by Chicago Reader as “one of the most exciting jazz soloists and composers in the world” and greatest living flautist in jazz,” she recently released another collection of music that successfully brings Afrofuturism to the 21st century.
She is also an educator and former president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Blending the themes of technology, spirituality, race, and gender, Mitchell creates music that encompasses contemporary classic, gospel, funk-inspired groove, and even spoken word, among others Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds is her second full-length album, aptly recorded at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art on May of 2015. The live performance was part of that year’s Creative Music Summit, and was actually a sci-fi novella that chronicles the journey of a couple as they navigate between two civilizations: the World Union, a crumbling, masculine, and violent society, and Mandorla, a woman-centered, egalitarian, and peaceful utopia.
Personal Favorites: Staircase Struggle, Shiny Divider, TimeWrap