Composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate Named Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State for 2021-2022 Virtual Season

Part of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ American Music Abroad Program

“Tate is rare as an American Indian composer of classical music. Rarer still is his ability to
effectively infuse classical music with American Indian nationalism.” – The Washington Post

New York, NY (June 30, 2021) — Composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate has been named one of 31 cultural ambassadors for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Part of the  American Music Abroad Program’s 2021-2022 season, Tate’s appointment will take him on a month-long, multi-country virtual tour, where he will engage with international audiences through public concerts, interactive performances with local musicians, lectures and demonstrations, workshops, jam sessions, and media interviews.

Born in Oklahoma, Tate lives under dual citizenship – United States and Chickasaw Nation. His father is a Chickasaw lawyer and tribal judge and was author to the current Chickasaw constitution and his mother is of Manx descent originally from Nebraska. In addition to being an active leader of American Indian law and politics, Tate’s father is a classically trained pianist and baritone and his mother was a professional choreographer and dancer, leading to Tate’s immersion into American dance, ballet, musical theater, and opera. Like his classical composer role models such as Debussy (France), Bartók (Hungary), and Stravinsky (Russia), Tate strongly identifies with his culture and imbues it into all of his compositions.

American Music Abroad activities focus on younger and underserved audiences in countries where people have few opportunities to meet American performers and experience their music first-hand. AMA bands have traveled to more than 100 countries around the world since 2011.

About Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate
Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate is a classical composer, citizen of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma, and is dedicated to the development of American Indian classical composition. His Washington Post review states that “Tate is rare as an American Indian composer of classical music. Rarer still is his ability to effectively infuse classical music with American Indian nationalism.”

Tate’s recent commissions include Shell Shaker: A Chickasaw Opera for Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra; Ghost of the White Deer, Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra for Dallas Symphony Orchestra; and Hózhó (Navajo Strong) and Ithánali (I Know) for White Snake Opera Company. He recently hosted San Francisco Symphony’s Currents series and curated a performance by the ETHEL Quartet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His music was recently featured on the HBO series Westworld.

His commissioned works have been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Ballet, Canterbury Voices, Dale Warland Singers, Santa Fe Desert Chorale and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Tate has held Composer-in-Residence positions for Music Alive, a national residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA, the Joyce Foundation/American Composers Forum, Oklahoma City’s NewView Summer Academy, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and Grand Canyon Music Festival Native American Composer Apprentice Project. Tate was the founding composition instructor for the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy and has taught composition to American Indian high school students in Minneapolis, the Hopi, Navajo and Lummi reservations and Native students in Toronto.

Mr. Tate is a three-time commissioned recipient from the American Composers Forum, a Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program recipient, a Cleveland Institute of Music Alumni Achievement Award recipient, a governor-appointed Creativity Ambassador for the State of Oklahoma and an Emmy Award winner for his work on the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority documentary, The Science of Composing.

In addition to his work based upon his Chickasaw culture, Tate has worked with the music and language of multiple tribes, such as: Choctaw, Navajo, Cherokee, Ojibway, Creek, Pechanga, Comanche, Lakota, Hopi, Tlingit, Lenape, Tongva, Shawnee, Caddo, Ute, Aleut, Shoshone, Cree, Paiute and Salish/Kootenai.

Among available recorded works are Iholba’ (The Vision) for Solo Flute, Orchestra and Chorus and Tracing Mississippi, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, recorded by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, on the Grammy Award winning label Azica Records. His most recent release is Lowak Shoppala’ (Azica), a fusion of modern classical music and theatre in eight scenes that features orchestra, narration of a libretto by Chickasaw poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist Linda Hogan, children’s chorus, traditional Chickasaw and classical vocal soloists, and American Indian storytellers. Each scene (Fire and Light, Double Header, Shell Shaker, Clans, Removal, Spider Brings Fire, Hymn, Double Header & Finale) depicts a part of Chickasaw culture and history and is sung in Chickasaw.

Tate earned his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Northwestern University, where he studied with Dr. Donald Isaak, and his Master of Music in Piano Performance and Composition from The Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Elizabeth Pastor and Dr. Donald Erb. He has performed as First Keyboard on the Broadway national tours of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon and been a guest pianist and accompanist for the Colorado Ballet, Hartford Ballet and numerous ballet and dance companies.

Mr. Tate’s middle name, Impichchaachaaha’, means “his 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 corncrib was built high off the ground on stilts to keep its contents safe from foraging animals. Learn more at