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Arts & Culture

Connecticut Composer Tyshawn Sorey Scores Another Prestigious Fellowship

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John Rogers
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Composer, conductor, pianist, percussionist, and trombome player Tyshawn Sorey

Connecticut musician Tyshawn Sorey has followed up last year's MacArthur Fellowship with another prominent award.

Sorey is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and an assistant professor of music at Wesleyan University. Besides his work as composer-in-residence with the Brooklyn-based International Contemporary Ensemble, he also leads the Tyshawn Sorey Trio, a group that seems to defy musical genres.

In a 2017 interview with the MacArthur Foundation, who awarded him a “genius” grant last year, Sorey said he's not interested in musical labels and discourages listeners from classifying his music.

“Terms like jazz, R&B, avant-garde and things like that -- I don't consider them really important when it comes to my music” said Sorey. “I'm interested in the totality of all different musics throughout the world, and seeing what I can do with them.”

Now, Sorey has just been chosen for a 2018 United States Artists fellowship, along with 45 other artists, including jazz greats Terence Blanchard and Wayne Shorter.

Sorey and the other fellows will receive a $50,000 unrestricted award, for "their contributions to the field, and allowing them to decide how to best support their lives" according to the United States Artists’s website.

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Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series “Where Art Thou?” Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of “Morning Edition”, and later of “All Things Considered.”

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