On September, percussionist Matthew Duvall joined composer and Eighth Blackbird collaborator Matthew Burtner for opening night of New Music Detroit’s 2019 Strange Beautiful Music Festival, curated by Lab alum, soprano Jocelyn Zelasko. Saxophonist, composer and Blackbird Creative Lab alum, Nick Zoulek, who recently relocated to Chicago, also performed on the program. Over the weekend, Jocelyn performed pieces by Lab alumna Nina Shekhar and Zoulek’s upcoming release Enter Branch. New Music USA was in town for the festival, including its new CEO Vanessa Reed and new board member Chere Lott, who generously served on Eighth Blackbird’s board for several years.
The same weekend, pianist Lisa Kaplan and cellist Nick Photinos joined Blackbird Lab alumna, soprano Andrea Edith Moore, to record her debut album, Family Secrets: Kith and Kin in North Carolina. The 2017-18 Lab program director, five-time Grammy award-winning producer Elaine Martone joined the group as the album’s producer.