In 2014, Mitchell was commissioned by the Jazz Institute of Chicago to write music inspired by the poetry of Haki Madhbuti. Liberation Narratives, the latest release by composer, flautist and conceptualist Nicole Mitchell, will be released by the notable African-American publisher, Third World Press. The founder and director of Third World Press is named Haiki R. Madhubuti. The album features Madhubuti reading his own poetry spanning his entire career from the 1960s to the present. Known formerly as Don L. Lee, he was a protege of Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American poet to receive the Pulitzer Prize.
Mitchell and Madhubuti have a deep connection which spans a number of years, starting when Mitchell first moved to Chicago, and sought employment at Madhubuti's Third World Press. She explains: "When moved to Chicago in 1990, I looked up Third World Press in the phone book and went down to this little storefront off of 75th and Cottage Grove. Here it was — a bookstore, a publishing company and a school all squeezed up in the same building. The vibe was exciting and I immediately asked to meet the owner, Haki Madhubuti. I told him I wanted to work there because I believed in what he was doing — he was making a real difference in the community. He looked at... more
released September 29, 2017
Liberation Narrative features Mitchell on flutes, vocalist Ugochi, trumpeter Pharez Whitted, cellist Tomeka Reid, violinist Rene Baker, pianist Miguel de la Cerna, bassist Harrison Bankhead, and drummer Tomas Fujiwara.