DePaul University Newsline > Sections > DeBuzz > DePaul alumna named MacArthur 'genius'
By Rachel Wojnicki /
October 12, 2022 /
Posted in: DEBUZZ /
Tomeka Reid, a graduate of the School of Music, has been named a member of the 2022 MacArthur Fellows program. Reid is a jazz cellist, composer and improviser who creates unique music that draws from various traditions. In 2002, she earned a Master of Music degree from DePaul.
"Tomeka is a formidable improvisor, composer, educator and visionary whose genius has long been recognized by her peers and the many festivals, organizations and institutions she has been invited to," says Dana Hall, a professor and director of jazz studies at DePaul. Hall and Reid have collaborated professionally on numerous ensembles and projects. Hall also served as an advisor for her doctoral work at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and as her jazz combo coach.
"It is extremely gratifying and most welcome that the MacArthur Foundation has also recognized her genius," he says.
Each year, the MacArthur Foundation awards unrestricted fellowships, commonly known as "Genius Grants," to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. The foundation recognized Reid for "forging a unique jazz sound that draws from a range of musical traditions and expanding the expressive possibilities of the cello in improvised music."
The MacArthur Fellowship is a $800,000, no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential. Since the fellowship program's inception in 1981, the MacArthur Foundation has awarded more than 1,100 fellowships.
Learn more about Reid in the MacArthur Foundation video below.