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 grew from a two-year Center for Advanced Study programming, performance and research initiative that concluded in May 2019. Improviser Exchange workshops and concerts have continued in 2019-20 through a partnership with Unit One / Allen Hall.
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 Quartet, which draws from a rich current of creative practices for performances of multilayered channels of sound and image that explore and contemplate notions of Asian identity, culture and diasporic histories represented by the ensemble. In part, Kuroshio’s 2020 performances are meditations on the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
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.”