MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Dianne Reeves Names Next Rolex Mentor in Music

Last Friday, at a ceremony conducted at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative announced the artists who will take part in the 2023-24 cycle of the initiative. Dianne Reeves will become the next mentor in the music division. She has chosen the South Korean singer and composer Song Yi Jeon as her protégée. 

The other mentors will include Anne Lacaton (Architecture), Jia Zhang-Ke (Film), Bernardine Evaristo (Literature), and El Anatsui (Visual Arts), each of whom will also serve as mentor to an outstanding emerging artist. Their protégé[e]s are, respectively,  Lebanese-Armenian architect, designer and researcher Arine Aprahamian; Filipino filmmaker Rafael Manuel; Senegal-based Ghanaian author Ayesha Harruna Attah; and Capetown, South Africa-based visual artist Bronwyn Katz, whose practice embraces sculpture, installation, video, and performance. 

The five-time Grammy winner Dianne Reeves is considered the pre-eminent jazz vocalist in the world. She is recognized for her breathtaking virtuosity, improvisational prowess, and unique jazz and R&B stylings. Her most recent album, 2014’s Beautiful Life, received the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. She became the first Creative Chair for Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and, in 2018, was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts: the highest honor the U.S. bestows on jazz artists.

Song Yi Jeon is a modern jazz singer and composer from South Korea. She is especially known for her hypnotic voice, which has been likened to a malleable wordless instrument. Jeon studied classical composition at the University of Music and Fine Art in Graz, Austria, and jazz vocals at the Academy of Music in Basel, Switzerland, and Boston’s Berklee College of Music. At Berklee, she was the inaugural Quincy Jones CJ&E fellow and was also awarded the Billboard Endowed Award. Song Yi Jeon released her first album, Movement of Lives, in 2018.

Since 2002, the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative has been connecting extraordinary young artists with acclaimed mentors in different artistic disciplines. The mentors personally select the protégé(e)s with whom they wish to collaborate through an international search. 

The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative was established “to aid in the transmission of artistic knowledge and craft from one generation to the next,” according to the renowned watch designer and manufacturer based in Geneva, and “exemplifies Rolex’s pursuit of excellence, symbolized by the word ‘perpetual’” — which is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster watch. 

The list of mentors who have taken part in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative to date includes the following: Sir David Adjaye, Margaret Atwood, (the late) John Baldessari, Tahar Ben Jelloun, (the late) Trisha Brown, (the late) Patrice Chéreau, Sir David Chipperfield, Mia Couto, Alfonso Cuarón, (the late) Sir Colin Davis, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Olafur Eliasson, Brian Eno, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, William Forsythe, Stephen Frears, Gilberto Gil, Philip Glass, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, (the late) Sir Peter Hall, David Hockney, Rebecca Horn, Zakir Hussain, Joan Jonas, Sir Anish Kapoor, William Kentridge, Jiří Kylián, Robert Lepage, Lin Hwai-min, Phyllida Lloyd, Spike Lee, Lin-Manuel Miranda, (the late) Toni Morrison, Walter Murch, Ohad Naharin, Mira Nair, Youssou N’Dour, (the late) Jessye Norman, Michael Ondaatje, Crystal Pite, Alexei Ratmansky, Kaija Saariaho, Martin Scorsese, Kazuyo Sejima, Peter Sellars, Álvaro Siza, Wole Soyinka, Julie Taymor, Saburo Teshigawara, Jennifer Tipton, Colm Tóibín, Kate Valk, Mario Vargas Llosa, Carrie Mae Weems, Robert Wilson, Zhang Yimou, Pinchas Zukerman, and Peter Zumthor.

Filed under: music news

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