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Idris Ackamoor

IDRIS ACKAMOOR is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, actor, tap dancer, director, and producer. He is the Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the San Francisco performance company Cultural Odyssey. Under his leadership the company has become internationally recognized for artistic excellence. Idris' primary instrument is the alto saxophone. An accomplished tap dancer, Idris' signature performance is his uncanny ability to combine tap dancing with playing his saxophone simultaneously. During 2008 Idris performed his newest performance piece, The Love Project, written in collaboration with noted writer Pearl Cleage, at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia, Denison University in Granville, Ohio, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, and the National Black Theater Festival in North Carolina with artistic partner Rhodessa Jones. Mr. Ackamoor is the recipient of a 2007 Center for Cultural Innovation Award to support his work. Some of the noted artists he has collaborated with include percussionist Don Moye of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, saxophonists Chico Freeman, dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones, and writer/poet Ntozake Shange. During July and April 2007 he conducted residency activities in Trinidad & Tobago at the University of the West Indies. Idris has received many awards for his work with Cultural Odyssey. Several of the many that he is particularly proud of include a GOLDIE Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and a Business Arts Council Award for Non-Profit Excellence (both received in 2003). Most recently he received a Meet The Composer and American Composers Forum grant for composing new music. He is also the recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts Grants in jazz performance and composition, and several San Francisco Art Commission and California Arts Council Individual Artists Awards.


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