Jerod Tate


Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate was born in 1968 in Norman, Oklahoma, is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, and is a 2011 Emmy Award winner. Mr. Tate is dedicated to the development of American Indian classical composition, and his review by the Washington Post states that “Tate’s connection to nature and the human experience was quite apparent in this piece… rarer still is his ability to effectively infuse classical music with American Indian nationalism.” This review was a response to a performance of Iholba’ (The Vision), for Solo Flute, Orchestra and Chorus, which was commissioned and premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Tate’s commissioned works have also been performed by the San Francisco, Detroit, Winnipeg, South Dakota, and Philadelphia Classical Symphony Orchestras, Oklahoma City, Buffalo, and New Mexico Philharmonics, Canterbury Voices, Minnesota Orchestra, Colorado Ballet, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Desert Chorale, ETHEL, Voices of Change, New Jersey Chamber Music Society, and Words & Music. Iholba’ and Tracing Mississippi, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, were recorded in 2007 by the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus and are currently available on the GRAMMY Award winning label Azica Records.

Tate received his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Northwestern University, where he studied with Dr. Donald J. Isaak, and his Master’s in Piano Performance and Composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Elizabeth Pastor and Dr. Donald Erb. Shortly after beginning his piano studies at the Cleveland Institute, his first composition, the Winter Moons ballet score, was commissioned by Dr. Patricia Tate. After premiering at the University of Wyoming in 1992, it was subsequently performed in 1994 and 1996 by Colorado Ballet.

In 2006, Tate received the Joyce Award and the Alumni Achievement Award from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He was appointed Creativity Ambassador for the State of Oklahoma in 2008, has received awards from Meet the Composer and the Percussive Arts Society, and was a 2011 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship nominee. He is a three-time commission recipient from the American Composers Forum and a 2011 Emmy Award winner for his work in the documentary The Science of Composing. This documentary covered his residency with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, where he taught composition to seven world-renowned research scientists whose compositions culminated in a public performance at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art by members of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.

Tate founded the Chickasaw Chamber Music Festival, was Co-Founder and Composition Instructor for the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy, and was Composer in Residence for the Grand Canyon Music Festival’s Native American Composer Apprentice Project in 2004 and 2005. In 2007, he was Composer in Residence for the Joyce Foundation/American Composers Forum, teaching composition to American Indian high school students in Minneapolis. In 2009, Tate conceived, coordinated and implemented the CD recording project Oshtali: Music for String Quartet, which consists of original compositions by his students from the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy and is the first professional recording in history of works by young American Indian composers. His second CD recording, Tobachi, was released in 2013, and a third, Taloowa’ Chokma’si’, will be released in 2017. All three albums are available on Azica Records.

Tate’s middle name, Impichchaachaaha’, means “high corncrib” and is his inherited traditional Chickasaw house name. A corncrib is a small hut used for the storage of corn and other vegetables. In traditional Chickasaw culture, the corn crib was built high off the ground on stilts to keep its contents safe from foraging animals.