Tomeka Reid Receives MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant

Tomeka Reid, Jazz Cellist and Composer, 2022 MacArthur Fellow, Chicago, IL

The 25 recipients of the 2022 MacArthur Foundation grants announced today include Tomeka Reid, a jazz cellist, composer, and improviser creating a unique jazz sound that draws from a range of musical traditions. Reid forged a genre connection as part of Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble, playing on all three of Mitchell’s Octavia Butler-themed recordings, Xenogenesis Suite, Intergalactic Beings, and EarthSeed.1

The complete list of grant recipients is here. The fellows receive $800,000 each, which they are free to spend however they see fit.

A complete profile of Tomeka Reid is at the link.

Trained in the Western classical tradition, Reid is also fluent in musical modes rooted in the African diaspora and avant-garde minimalism. She employs extended techniques in her practice—attaching pencils or clips to the strings or making use of the percussive qualities of the body of the cello—to produce a rich and textured palette of sounds.

1 To learn more about the Xenogenesis Suite, read Rob Thornton’s two-part interview with Nicole Mitchell, “A World of Afrofuturism: Creating Nicole Michell’s ‘Xenogenesis Suite’” Part I and Part II.