December 1, 2020
Jen Shyu and Sara Serpa’s Mutual Mentorship for Musicians (M³) Initiative To Conclude Inaugural Season With Six Virtual World Premieres by Womxn Artists, December 6 and 12

Recently launched initiative cultivates collaboration among womxn musicians around the world, who grow artistically through the joint creation of newly commissioned works

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (December 1, 2020) — After nearly six months working together as part of the Mutual Mentorship for Musicians (M³) initiative, co-founded by Jen Shyu and Sara Serpa to foster creative partnerships among womxn musicians worldwide, the project’s inaugural group of artists reconvenes virtually for the world premieres of their new, collaborative M³ commissions on Sunday, December 6 at 7:00 p.m. ET and Saturday, December 12 at 7:00 p.m. ET via the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Hosted by M³ Editor-in-Chief Jordannah Elizabeth, each premiere will be followed by a Q&A with the artists, who will answer questions from the audience about their creative process. The performances are streamed via Zoom and may be accessed for free with RSVP. Reserve at

M³ launched in spring 2020 with 12 participating musicians: Romarna Campbell (UK), drums; Caroline Davis (New York), saxophone; Eden Girma, (US / UK), voice, multi-instrumentalist; Val Jeanty (Haiti / New York City), percussion, electronics, turntables; Maya Keren (Philadelphia), piano; Erica Lindsay (Rosendale, NY), tenor sax; Lesley Mok (New York City), drums; Tomeka Reid (Chicago / New York City), cello; Sara Serpa (Portugal / New York City), voice; Jen Shyu (New York City / East Timor), voice, multi-instrumentalist; Anjna Swaminathan (Brooklyn), violin, voice, multi-disciplinary theatre artist; and Sumi Tonooka (Philadelphia), piano.

The works to be premiered were created by pairs of the above musicians:

  • Romarna Campbell + Val Jeanty
  • Caroline Davis + Maya Keren
  • Jen Shyu + Sumi Tonooka
    (works on December 6)
  • Eden Girma + Anjna Swaminathan
  • Erica Lindsay + Sara Serpa
  • Lesley Mok + Tomeka Reid
    (works on December 12)

Each collaboration marks the first time that the two artists have worked together, reflecting M³’s mission to foster creative growth through new, mutual models of mentorship. With the goal of empowering and elevating womxn musicians around the world—including BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, and musicians of all abilities across generations—M³ encourages the reciprocal, intergenerational exchange of knowledge and experience; formation of new collaborations with musicians outside of one’s inner circle; and cultivation of new ideas and formats for solo and collaborative performance, whether live or virtual. M³ meetings and workshops take place over several months and culminate each season in a performance of the newly created collaborative commissions.

For more information about the M³ model, see the original announcement of the project, as well as Inquiries about the initiative may be directed to


About Jen Shyu

Guggenheim Fellow, USA Fellow, Doris Duke Artist, multilingual vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and dancer Jen Shyu is “one of the most creative vocalists in contemporary improvised music” (The Nation). Born in Peoria, Illinois, to Taiwanese and East Timorese immigrants and the first female and vocalist bandleader on Pi Recordings, she has produced seven albums; performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and is a Fulbright scholar who speaks ten languages. Her Song of Silver Geese was among The New York Times’ “Best Albums of 2017.” One of Ms. Shyu’s ongoing projects is a tour of her solo ZERO GRASSES (commissioned by John Zorn) across all 50 states. She is also a Paul Simon Music Fellows Guest Artist and a Steinway Artist. For more information, visit

About Sara Serpa

A native of Lisboa, Portuguese Sara Serpa is a singer, composer, and improviser, who through her practice and performance, explores the use of the voice as an instrument, working in the field of jazz, improvised, and experimental music since moving to New York in 2008. Literature, film, visual arts, nature, and history inspire Ms. Serpa in the creative process and development of her music. Described by The New York Times as “a singer of silvery poise and cosmopolitan outlook,” and by JazzTimes magazine as “a master of wordless landscapes,” Ms. Serpa started her recording and performing career with jazz luminaries such as Grammy-nominated pianist Danilo Perez, Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow pianist Ran Blake, and saxophonist Greg Osby. For more information, visit

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Presented by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem

Six world-premiere M³ commissions—
created by pairs of womxn musicians and streamed via Zoom

Jordannah Elizabeth, host and M³ Editor-in-Chief

Sunday, December 6 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Works by:

  • Romarna Campbell (drums) + Val Jeanty (percussion, electronics, turntables)
  • Caroline Davis (saxophone) + Maya Keren (piano)
  • Jen Shyu (voice, multi-instrumentalist) + Sumi Tonooka (piano)

Saturday, December 12 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Works by:

  • Eden Girma (voice, multi-instrumentalist) +
    Anjna Swaminathan (violin, voice, multi-disciplinary theatre artist)
  • Erica Lindsay (tenor sax) + Sara Serpa (voice)
  • Lesley Mok (drums) + Tomeka Reid (cello)

Access is free with RSVP. Reserve at

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Press contact:

Lisa Jaehnig | Shuman Associates | (212) 315-1300

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