"..... a thorough grounding in both string techniques and the blues idiom." downbeat magazine
"The term 'chamber jazz' doesn't come close to describing cellist Dixon and her [quartet]. ..... highly imaginative and beautifully textured arrangements." Washington Post
"...amazing vocals ....." Beyondjazz.net
Akua Dixon -- jazz cello, composer
Akua Dixon -- jazz cello, composer, clinician
Composing for improvising strings has been Akua's life work. She uses the rigorous tools of classical composition to convey a voice which, no matter how sophisticated and well-crafted, sings the blues. Akua's authentic jazz string concept will bring your ensemble to life! As a teacher and clinician, Akua commands a breadth of knowledge and professional experience that will take your seminar, workshop or classroom to new heights. She has something new to offer every string player, whether 4 or 54 years old. Check out Akua's music at Jazzbows, or visit her website, www.akuadixon.com
Akua Dixon, jazz cellist, composer, conductor, and vocalist, is the leader of the Akua Dixon Swing Quartet and Quartette Indigo. A Carnegie Hall "Musical Ambassador," Akua is on the roster of Carnegie Hall Education. In 2003, ADSQ was part of Lincoln Center's "Jazz-in-the-Schools Tour." Akua was a Founding Member and original cellist of the Max Roach Double Quartet and Uptown String Quartet. She was also a Founding Member of The String Reunion, as well as TSR's Director of New Music.
Akua has toured with such noted jazz luminaries as Archie Shepp, Henry Threadgill, Max Roach and Steve Turre. As a leader, she has displayed a talent for assembling great string ensembles -- many of the leading jazz string players have performed in Akua's groups.
Akua has taught strings in NY and NJ public schools, lectured on the blues at the Smithsonian, conducted for Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre at City Center in NYC, and given clinics on improvisation and jazz at numerous schools and colleges. As a composer, she has won grants from NEA, Meet the Composer, and the Rockefeller Foundation. She has served on panels for NYSCA and Chamber Music America. Akua wrote the string arrangements for Lauryn Hill's album, "The MisEducation of Lauryn Hill," (5 Grammy awards), and for Aretha Franklin's "A Rose is Still a Rose" (Grammy-nominated). She recently arranged eight tunes from the great American songbook and performed them with her string quartet at the first Made In NY Awards, hosted by Mayor Bloomberg. Her original compositions for strings can be heard on Quartette Indigo's recordings: "Quartette Indigo" (Landmark), and "Afrika! Afrika!" (Savant). She can be heard on Steve Turre's "Fire & Ice," "Lotus Flower," and "Right There." QI may be heard on a film score by Dizzy Gillespie, The Winter in Lisbon.