Dawn Norfleet is a jazz flutist, vocalist, and composer residing in the Los Angeles area. Dr. Norfleet’s academic and musical journey began when she was a student in L.A. public schools, where her creative talents were nurtured by flourishing arts programs. After graduating from Wellesley College, “Dr. Dawn” studied Classical musical composition and earned a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Columbia University. She began her career as professional musician on the excitingly competitive music scene of New York City. Dawn eventually returned to the Los Angeles music scene, where she is active both as a musician and a mentor for youth. As winner of a national competition for new Classical choral works, her composition was performed by a Minnesota-based vocal ensemble. She was delighted to have been chosen to participate in the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, and is thrilled to have the experience of writing her first composition for large ensemble through American Composers Orchestra/Jazz Composers Orchestra. Currently, she is on the Teaching Artist Faculty at the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, and the Colburn School of Performing Arts, and continues to perform and record with her own ensembles and as a side musician.
Seed grew out of one of numerous rhythmic/melodic ideas that I’d jotted down and shelved. The original sketch was for piano and a couple of uncommitted melodic instruments. Following James Newton’s advice to our group about bringing our unique voice to the medium, I wanted to organically incorporate my love of African and other non-Western-derived percussive rhythm, and counterpoint in my piece. I will expand my experience with writing for orchestra, especially strings and percussion, using both traditional and contemporary technique.
listen to Dawn’s Autumn Dances with Flute Solo: