Many have recognized her talents as a flute player, and she is often invited to play throughout Europe and Canada. And so Mitchell divides her time between constant international travel, a busy schedule of performances and teaching in Chicago, and organizational work for AACM. But she also possesses other talents that are key to understanding her well-deserved recognition. A true leader, she stands at the helm of a number of groups that serve to highlight different aspects of her musical vision. She can do this because she is not only a performer but also a dedicated composer and arranger, with a highly personal sense of melody and a love of complex but driving, swinging rhythms. As a leader-composer she follows in the great tradition of Duke Ellington and Sun Ra. Nicole Mitchell makes her Ann Arbor debut at the ninth Edgefest, at Kerrytown Concert House, with the Black Earth Strings on Thursday, October 20, and as a guest with the Ed Wilkerson Quartet on Friday, October 21.
[Review published October 2005]