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Nicole Mitchell Birthday and Biography

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Born:  February 17, 1967

Birthplace:  Syracuse, New York, U.S.

Zodiac Sign:  Aquarius

Nicole Mitchell is a jazz flautist and composer who teaches jazz at the University of Virginia.

She is a former chairwoman of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).

In Chicago, Mitchell performed on the streets and worked for Third World Press, a publisher of black culture.

She met drummer Maia, and bassist, sitarist and storyteller Shanta Nurullah, forming the all-female ensemble Samana and eventually joining the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Then, Mitchell became a chairwoman for the organization.

After earning her master's degree, she began teaching at schools around Chicago at the end of the 1990s, holding positions at Northern Illinois University, Chicago State University, Northeastern Illinois University, Wheaton College, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In 1995 Mitchell met Hamid Drake and collaborated with him throughout the second half of the decade. In 1997 she began an association with saxophonist David Boykin [de], who encouraged her to start her own group, leading to Mitchell's establishment of the Black Earth Ensemble.

In the early 2000s, she became a co-host for the Avant-Garde Jazz Jam Sessions.

Mitchell issued her debut album, Vision Quest, with Black Earth Ensemble in 2001 on her label, Dreamtime Records.

The album included appearances by Hamid Drake, Savoir Faire, Edith Yokley [de], Darius Savage [de], and Avreeayl Ra [de]. Vision Quest expanded into a theater piece in 2003.

In 2006, Mitchell worked in the group Frequency with Harrison Bankhead, Edward Wilkerson, and Avreeayl Ra. Thrill Jockey released their album during that year.

In 2017, she toured and recorded with the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

The Artifacts trio—Mitchell, Tomeka Reid, and Mike Reed—released albums in 2015 and 2019. (In 2008–2009, the three were the executive team of AACM.

As of 2022, Mitchell has continued to use the Black Earth and Black Earth Ensemble names for many of her projects, including recordings.

Mitchell published her first book in 2022, The Mandorla Letters: for the hopeful, under the name Nicole Mitchell Gantt.