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A black & white image of performer-composer Damian Norfleet dressed in black with the fingers of his left hand resting against his temple.

As an interdisciplinary performer-composer, I create pieces that exist at the intersection of contemporary music, improvisation, and theater.  My output focuses on the human condition and inter-communal relationships—with an awareness of shared space, my work seeks to uncover epiphanic moments and prolong them into empathetic experiences. I am fascinated by phonology, cosmology, and mathematics; mythological cosmologies and algebra are oft-employed in my work.

Decennium of Highlights

2024:  Named a 2024 Composing Fellow at the Gabriela Ortiz Composing Studio.  The Gabriela Ortiz Composing Studio by OAcademy is a six-month lab in partnership with Harvard University DRCLAS. The cohort (comprised of 12 innovative, early-career composers) receives mentorship from a diverse roster of composers and innovators in the composition field.  Lead composer Gabriela Ortiz works with the fellows directly during our 5-day in-person residency in Maryland.

2023:  World premiere of my composition Praise Pecola!.  Praise Pecola! is duet for bass clarinet and voice and was inspired by Toni Morrison's seminal work The Bluest Eye. It received its world premiere on May 15th, 2023 by Ensemble Pi as part of their concert Banned Books at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

2022:  Studio session with twelve time Grammy Award-winning producer Judith Sherman to record my piece for solo voice Kendi's Secret. (scheduled release: April 28, 2023)

2021:  Collaboration with Courtney Bryan, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Janinah Burnett & Rob Kaplowitz as part of Opera Philadelphia's Digital Commission Series.

2020:   Reparations Now! concert at the Center West in NYC with Ensemble Pi featuring commissions and premieres from composers Allison Loggins-Hull, Angélica Négron, Courtney Bryan, Trevor Weston, and Damian Norfleet.

2019:  Guest star appearance on the third season of the hit CBS television show Bull.

2018:  Performance in composer David Lang's Mile-Long Opera on the High Line in New York City.

2017:  Composer Dr. Nkeiru Okoye wrote the monodrama Invitation to a Die-In for Damian Norfleet and the Mount Holyoke Orchestra.  The piece officially premiered in Mount Holyoke, but also toured the Chicago metro area.

2016:  Principal actor in the world premier of the play Nix as part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity in NYC.  Damian was awarded Best Actor in a Musical for his performance.

2015:  Principal actor in the world premier of the play Little Rock at the Passage Theatre company.  The cast received a 2015 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Play. 

2014:  Principal actor in the experimental opera Makandal as part of the Works & Process Series at the Guggenheim Museum, NYC

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