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Festival of New American Music

About the Festival of New American Music

November 7-14, 2021

The Festival of New American Music brings extraordinary musicians to Sacramento, California, each year to present high-quality performances of a broad body of recently composed or improvised music by some of America’s most exciting artists. This year marks the 44th annual — and second virtual — Festival of New American Music!

Through public concerts, educational events, and outreach, the Festival serves three principal communities: those of the Sacramento State School of Music; the California State University, Sacramento; and the greater Sacramento region.

Committed to making music accessible to all, the Festival offers all of its concerts free of charge to the public.


Email Co-Director Scott Perkins or Co-Director Tim Stanley.

Watch this year’s FENAM online

Due to COVID-19 procedures in effect during the planning stages of this festival, FeNAM will again be presented online in 2021.

All concerts will be streamed on the Sacramento State School of Music's Facebook page.

Gala Concert - November 7

Sunday, 7:00 p.m.

The Festival opens with a Gala concert featuring Imani Winds, Matthew Even Taylor (saxophone/ improvisation), and Citywater, performing the instrumental music of Shawn Okpebholo.

Shawn Okpebholo, composer
Shawn Okpebholo, composer

Curtis Bannister - POSTPONED

Originally scheduled for November 8, this program has been postponed until 2022 due to illness.

Curtis Bannister performs the vocal works of Shawn Okpebholo. The 2021 recipient of the Actors Equity Foundation Roger Sturtevant Award, Bannister is praised by TimeOut Magazine as “radiating with slowly simmering energy” and as “quiet revelation” by the L.A. TImes as he continues to establish himself as one of the most dynamic and multi-genre performing artists of his generation in theatre, opera, and film.

Curtis Bannister

Matthew Evan Taylor - November 9

Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.

Composer/Improviser and saxophonist Matthew Evan Taylor has been hailed as “a promising new voice” (Miami Herald) and a “risk taker” (Huffington Post) whose music is “insistent and defiant ... envelopingly hypnotic” (Lucid Culture). His multi-faceted performance career has taken him all over the world to work with Grammy, Tony, Emmy and Oscar award winning artists.

Matthew Evan Taylor

Imani Winds - November 10

Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.

Celebrating over two decades of music making, the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds has led both a revolution and evolution of the wind quintet through their dynamic playing, adventurous programming, imaginative collaborations, and outreach endeavors that have inspired audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Imani Winds

"As One" - November 12

Friday, 7:00 p.m.; pre-concert talk at 6:00 p.m.

Mezzo-soprano Linda Baird, baritone Omari Tau, the Chevalier String Quartet, and conductor Ryan Murray perform As One, a chamber opera with music by Laura Kaminsky and libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed. This beautiful, moving, and groundbreaking work tells the story of a transgender woman as she comes to terms with her gender identity. Tune in at 6:00 p.m. for a pre-concert talk with As One composer Laura Kaminsky, As One librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed, mezzo-soprano Tona Brown, baritone Lucas Bouk, and baritone Omari Tau, moderated by FeNAM Co-Director Scott Perkins.

Linda Baird, Omari Tau, and Ryan Murray

Faythe Vollrath - November 13

Saturday, 4:00 p.m.

Alumnus Faythe Vollrath and friends present New Harpsichord Works for 2, 3 and 4 harpsichords. Hailed by the Wall Street Journal for her “subtly varied tempo and rhythm that sounds like breathing,” her solo performances include venues such as MusicSources in Berkeley, CA, Gothem Early Music in New York City, and Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Williamsburg, VA.

Faythe Vollrath

Local Voices - November 13

Saturday, 7:00 p.m.

Featuring performers and composers based in Sacramento

Transient Canvas - November 14

Sunday, 4:00 p.m.

Boston-based contemporary duo Transient Canvas has been praised as “superb” by the Boston Globe and “disarming” by Cleveland Classical, with the San Francisco Chronicle lauding “the versatile imagination they both display and inspire in others.” Bass clarinetist Amy Advocat and marimbist Matt Sharrock have amassed a varied repertoire of over 80 commissioned works in addition to working with hundreds of student composers from all over the world. They maintain an active touring schedule with recent performances at the Charlotte New Music Festival, Music on the Edge, Composers, Inc., Music at the Forefront, and People Inside Electronics, among others.

Transient Canvas

Sacramento State Choirs - November 14

Sunday, 7:00 p.m.

The closing concert of this year's Festival will feature the Sacramento State Choirs, under the direction of Dr. Andrew Kreckmann. The program will feature works by Michael Bussewitz-Quarm and Mari Esabel-Valverde.

Support FENAM!

We rely upon your financial support.

Please Make a Donation to help us continue to inspire, educate, and entertain the Sacramento community with high-quality performances of music by America’s most exciting artists!