Music Professor Awarded Grant for Jazz Ensemble

Interactions Quartet

Dr. Andrew Raffo Dewar, second from left, recently won a grant to compose new works for the ensemble Interactions Quartet, shown here.

Dr. Andrew Raffo Dewar, an assistant professor in the School of Music and New College, was awarded a New Jazz Works Commissioning and Ensemble Development Grant from Chamber Music America in the amount of $20,500.

He was among 10 composers and ensembles selected for awards from a pool of 167 applicants by independent review panels of musicians and presenters.

Dewar will use the grant to compose, perform and record a new book of compositions for his San Francisco Bay Area-based “Interactions Quartet.” The quartet includes Dewar as composer and soprano saxophone; Kyle Bruckmann, oboe and English horn; Gino Robair, percussion; and John Shiurba, acoustic and electric guitars.

Chamber Music America is an organization that gives support to ensemble music professionals by awarding grant funds to support community-based residencies, or in Dewar’s case, to support the composition of new works.

“Since my music is largely non-commercial, having these monies available will ease the usual funding related stresses and constraints of producing new work so I can concentrate fully on the creative process,” Dewar said.

Dewar holds an interdisciplinary BA in anthropology, music and Asian studies from the University of Minnesota, an MA in music composition and ethnomusicology and a Ph.D. from Wesleyan University. Dewar regularly performs his work internationally and studied with avant-garde jazz legends Steve Lacy, Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, and experimental composer Alvin Lucier. He has also had a long involvement with Indonesian traditional and experimental music.

In addition to his work as a composer and soprano saxophonist, he conducts research in experimentalism in the arts, intercultural music, jazz and improvisation, and music and technology.