Director, Charles Mingus Ensemble
James Newton (composer/flutist) is one of the world’s true flute virtuosos in numerous musical idioms. His work encompasses chamber, symphonic, and electronic music genres, compositions for ballet and modern dance, and numerous jazz and world music contexts.
Newton has been the recipient of many awards, fellowships and grants, including the Ford Foundation, Guggenheim, National Endowment of the Arts and Rockefeller Fellowships, Montreux Grande Prix Du Disque and Downbeat International Critics Jazz Album of the Year, as well as being voted the top flutist for a record-breaking 23 consecutive years in Downbeat Magazine’s International Critics Poll.
Described as a musician’s renaissance man, Newton has performed with and composed for many notable artists in the jazz and classical fields. His compositions have been performed by San Francisco Ballet, Vladimir Spivakov and the Moscow Virtuosi, David Murray, New York New Music Ensemble, Jose Limon Dance Company, Dino Saluzzi, Zakir Hussain, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Gloria Cheng, Ensemble für neue Musik (Zurich), Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, E.A.R. Unit, Southwest Chamber Music, Jon Jang, Orchestra Sinfonica D’Italia, Frank Wess, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group among others. Mr. Newton’s works have been performed at notable venues including Carnegie Hall, the San Francisco Opera House, Cité de la Musique, Berlin National Gallery, Teatro Romano, Verona, Italy, The Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Hollywood Bowl, Blas Galindo Auditorium, Mexico City, Teatro Strehler, Milano, Italy, Theatre de la Ville, Paris, France, Parco Concert Hall, Tokyo, Japan, DIRECTV Music Hall, Rio De Janeiro, Amsterdam Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney Museum.
Newton currently holds a distinguished professorship at the University of California at Los Angeles in the Department of Ethnomusicology. He has also held professorships at University of California at Irvine, California Institute of the Arts and Cal State University Los Angeles. In May of 2005 Newton was awarded a Doctor of Arts Degree, Honoris Causa, from California Institute of the Arts.
Jazz composition, analysis, jazz history
Doctor of the Arts Honoris Causa, California Institute of the Arts; B.M. California State University, Los Angeles