The 6th Annual New Music Gathering: Full Schedule, Keynote Speaker, Headliners

Hailed as “more than just another new music festival” (Wall Street Journal) and “a joyous celebration of the art and craft, and yes, even the business, of making contemporary music,” (I Care If You Listen), conference New Music Gathering heads to Minneapolis for in-person events August 12-14, 2021 and presents virtual events August 12-18, 2021.

New Music Gathering 2021 is co-presented by American Composers Forum, New Music USA, and Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This year’s theme centers on “Money?” highlighting participants’ reflection and reaction to navigating an arts ecosystem during this time of stark economic uncertainty. In addition to presenting in-person programming August 12th through 14th, New Music Gathering will livestream Twin Cities events, followed by exclusively online events from August 15th through 18th, curating four full days of virtual, interactive programming — including live streaming concerts, panel discussions, lecture-demos, role playing games, and interactive web-installations.

Garrett McQueen--Photo by Devon Fails

Garrett McQueen–Photo by Devon Fails

New Music Gathering proudly features bassoonist, Executive Producer and co-host of podcast TRILLOQUY, equity consultant, and curator Garrett McQueen as keynote speaker; his keynote address, to be delivered on August 12, will focus on the conference’s theme of “Money?”

Headlining performers include vocalist, and performance/soundscape artist Queen Drea on August 13, whose recent work is concerned with “acknowledging Black Love in its many forms and expressing this love through [her] art;” Recap (Arlene Acevedo, Alexis Carter, Tiahna Sterling, and Aline Vasquez) on August 14, a new percussion quartet who “embrace their diverse backgrounds as well as the history and culture of their city and community to create a musical identity uniquely their own;” and Turning Jewels into Water on August 18, an electronic duo consisting of Haitian-born drummer, DJ, educator, and electronic music artist Val Jeanty and Indian-born drummer, composer, and educator Ravish Momin, who pull from a “deep reservoir of their respective cultural experiences” and  challenge “mainstream assumptions about global music.”

New Music Gathering 2021 headliners Queen Drea, Recap, and Turning Jewels into Water

New Music Gathering 2021 headliners Queen Drea, Recap, and Turning Jewels into Water

Over 100 offerings will be presented and celebrated across the week of events, including performances, lectures, demonstrations, discussions, audience-participatory music-making, and installations. Events include “Grant Writing Glow Up” by Giant Squid Group; “Artist-Centered Curation & Compensation” by ChamberQUEER; “Money Buys Not Only Power, but Culture” by The Achelois Collective; “Unpacking the Art/Money Binary” by Kirin McElwain; and “Sustainable and Ethical Contract Practices” by Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti, among many others. Proposals were curated by guest panelists Armando Castellano, Garrett McQueenElena Moon Park, and NMG co-organizers Mary Kouyoumdjian, Jascha Narveson, and Angélica Negrón.


All conference passes, to both physical events and virtual events, are free with registration. Special outdoor events are open to the public without registration.  Conference passes are now available online at


Full schedule is available at Schedule subject to change.

About New Music Gathering

New Music Gathering (NMG) is an annual conference/festival hybrid dedicated to the performance, production, promotion, support, and creation of new and forward-thinking music. With concerts, lecture/recitals, roundtable discussions, talks, and choreographed socializing like musician meet-ups and live action role playing games, NMG aims to be both a conference in the traditional sense but also a collective place for things to grow, improve, solidify, and above all, get personal. It is volunteer-organized by five working musicians — Lainie Fefferman, Daniel Felsenfeld, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Jascha Narveson, and Angélica Negrón — focused on meeting the needs and desires of the community in ways that are increasingly direct and diverse. NMG is based in a different city every time. Aside from bringing together those who create and promote New Music to meet, talk, and develop collaborative relationships, we also seek to showcase the beauty and idiosyncrasy of the work made by the population specific to each year’s region.


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