As artistic director of Global Arts Performance Initiatives at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Jason Finkelman additionally serves as program administrator for the Robert E. Brown Center for World Music, an engagement program of the School of Music committed to promoting understanding and appreciation of music and dance traditions of the world. In presenting guest artist residencies, performances, and workshops on behalf of the center since 2012, Finkelman continually aims to connect global arts programming with interests of students and faculty, campus programs and community partners.
As a teaching artist of the School of Music, Finkelman leads Improvisers Exchange Ensemble, a student performance group exploring omni-idiomatic improvised music. This ensemble, along with ongoing workshops and concerts grew from a two-year Center for Advanced Study programming, performance and research initiative from 2017-2019.
Finkelman’s professional work as an artist is focused on improvised music, cross-cultural collaborative projects, and composition for dance. He continually performs with a host of genre-blurring improvisers from Urbana Champaign, and currently leads Kuroshio, an ever-evolving ensemble of Asian and Asian-American musicians exploring identity, culture and diasporic histories through sound and image. Kuroshio’s debut release on Asian Improv Records (2020) features Shu-Cheng Allen Wu and Joy Yang
Finkelman received a 2019 Advocate ACE Award from the Champaign County Arts Council 40 North | 88 West “for consistently advocating for, creating, and nurturing remarkable partnerships and collaborations between multiple institutions, organizations, programs, and local, national, and international artists, as well as tirelessly supporting, presenting, and promoting our cultural community to audiences across all boundaries with passion, conviction, and creativity.” He also received recognition in 2019 as Best Promoter of the Decade by Champaign-Urbana’s online magazine Smile Politely.