All week we’ll be sharing talks by the artists who’ll be performing in this weekend’s 3rd International M³ Festival, which will be presented online by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. CRS is a sponsor of M³ (Mutual Mentorship for Musicians). Below, you can hear Layale Chaker & Milena Casado Fauquet talk about their work “‘First Movement’ Nature Mort & ‘Second Movement’ Preguntas” premiering Saturday, March 19 @ 2pm ET. Festival details are below.

After nearly six months working together as part of the Mutual Mentorship for Musicians (M³) initiative, the project’s 3rd cohort of artists reconvenes virtually for the world premieres of their new, collaborative M³ commissions on Saturday, March 19 at 2:00 p.m. ET and Sunday, March 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET via the The National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

Hosted by renowned writer Kyla Marshell, 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. Reservations at or links in bio:

March 19: M³ 3rd Cohort World Premieres Pt. 1
March 20: M³ 3rd Cohort World Premieres Pt. 2

Deemed a “Rising Star” by BBC Music Magazine, the Lebanese violinist and composer Layale Chaker creates music at the intersection of classical contemporary music, Jazz, Arabic Music, and improvisation. A Jerome Hill Fellow 2020-2022, Layale began her musical training at the National Higher Conservatory of Beirut in her native Lebanon. She later went on to pursue her studies at Conservatoire Regional de Paris and the Royal Academy of Music in London. As a violinist and composer, she has received commissions and presented performances and projects around Europe, the Middle-East, North and South America and Asia, and has collaborated with Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Ziad Rahbani, Johnny Gandelsman, Holland Baroque, International Contemporary Ensemble, Oxford Orchestra, the New World Symphony, Babylon Orchestra, among others. Her debut album with her ensemble Sarafand, “Inner Rhyme,” recipient of the AFAC 2018 fund, is dedicated to the sounds, rhythms, rhymes, shapes and forms of Arabic poetry. The album was released on In a Circle Records, and listed as “Top of The World” by Songlines with a 5-star review, rated #2 on NPR 10 Best Releases, #1 for several weeks on the World Charts of iTunes and Amazon Music, and has received praises by the BBC Music Magazine, The New York Times, The Strad, Strings Magazine, Jazz World among others. A winner of the Silkroad Seeds inaugural 2020 award and a Nadia et Lili Boulanger 2019 laureate, Layale is also a finalist of the Rolex Mentor & Protege 2018 Prize, the recipient of the Diaphonique Franco-British Commission Prize 2019, the 2018 Arab Fund for Arts and Culture Grant, the Royal Academy of Music 2018 Guinness Award, and the winner of the Ruth Anderson 2017 Competition.

Milena Casado is a composer, flugelhorn and trumpet player from Spain, whose sound and creativity have led her to perform with acclaimed international artists such as Terri Lyne Carrington, Kenny Werner, John Patitucci, Kris Davis, Melissa Aldana, Jorge Rossy, Ben Street, George Garzone and Francisco Mela among others. In 2016, Milena obtained a “Full-scholarship” to study a Bachelor’s degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she graduated in December 2019. At Berklee, she studied with Sean Jones, Nicholas Payton and Ralph Peterson. She was part of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, studying with artistic director Danilo Perez and Joe Lovano. She also pursued studies at the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice directed by Terri Lyne Carrington. During the course of her career, Milena has performed and recorded alongside renowned artists at venues and festivals such as The Blue Note NYC, Monterey Jazz Festival, Washington DC Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival and Marciac Jazz Festival. She is currently composing her original music, and sharing it in different settings, which include trio, quartet, sextet and nonet.

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