Piazza Martiri, 3, 09010 Sant Anna Arrresi CI
0781 966102

Black Earth Ensemble

the southwestern Sardinian jazz festival

Black Earth Ensemble

Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble (BEE) is a musical celebration of the African American cultural legacy. Founded and directed in 1998 by creative flutist/composer Nicole Mitchell, BEE has performed in festivals and art venues throughout Europe, Canada and throughout the U.S.  BEE’s music embraces the ancient past and paints visions of a positive future. The music is the weaving of swing, blues, avante garde jazz, bebop, African rhythms, Eastern modes and Western classical sounds. The name “Black Earth” was chosen to honor the feminine source that our lives depend on—Mother Earth.  The purpose of Black Earth Ensemble is to inspire the human spirit with thought-provoking beauty and to present a positive, healthy and culturally aware image of African Americans.   As a woman-directed, co-ed, multi-generational group, it touches a range of emotional spaces rarely expressed in a “jazz” setting.  Black Earth’s message is intended for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.  BEE has five critically acclaimed CDs:  Vision Quest (Dreamtime), Afrika Rising (Dreamtime), Hope, Future and Destiny (Dreamtime), Black Unstoppable (Delmark) and Xenogenesis Suite(Delmark).

Black Earth Ensemble Projects

Black Unstoppable

Black Unstoppable features a diverse collection of exciting songs that touch all sides of Great Black Music. The music of Black Earth’s upcoming album with Delmark Records is avant-garde jazz dipped in blues, seasoned with R&B and simmering with soul. The group ranges in size from a quartet to a nonet. Ideal instrumentation for the Black Unstoppable Project is an octet with flute (Nicole Mitchell), vocals (Ugochi), tenor sax (David Boykin), trumpet (David Young), cello (Tomeka Reid), guitar (Jeff Parker), bass (Josh Abrams) and drums (Marcus Evans).


Nicole Mitchell’s suite Xenogenesis is inspired by the Afrofuturist science fiction writer Octavia Butler.  Commissioned by Chamber Music America with the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, Mitchell composed a suite that evokes journey into the horrific, yet fascinating unknown. Xenogenesis Suite premiered at the Vision Festival XII in New York in 2007.  Xenogenesis Project has been recorded on Firehouse 12 Records with the following personnel:   flute (Nicole Mitchell), voice (Mankwe Ndosi), tenor sax (David Boykin), trumpet (David Young), cello (Tomeka Reid), piano (Justin Dillard), bass (Josh Abrams), drums (Marcus Evans), percussion (Avreeayl Ra).

Line up:

Lisa E Harris – voice, theremini

Julian Otis – voice

Zara Zaharieva – violin

Tomeka Reid – cello

Ben Lamar – trumpet

Avreeayl Ra – percussion

Nicole Mitchell – flutes

Joshua White – piano

Haki Madhubuti – poet




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