Tomeka Reid

Photo by Tony Smith

Volplaning (2021)

PRIMAVERA II the rabbits

from the composer 


v. to glide down

As described by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, “Vol plane was a phrase first used by 19th-century French ornithologists to describe the downward flight by birds.”

In this composition, one can imagine the downward flight of a bird, such as an Albatross or a Frigatebird, as it soars across the sea endlessly. Descending minor chords recur throughout symbolizing the birds’ descent and the arpeggiations signify the bird’s magnificent ability to glide along the ocean for weeks at a time.


Cellist and composer TOMEKA REID has emerged as one of the most original, versatile, and curious musicians in Chicago’s bustling jazz and improvised music community over the last decade. Her distinctive melodic sensibility, always rooted in a strong sense of groove, has been featured in many distinguished ensembles over the years. Reid has been a key member of ensembles led by legendary reedists like Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell, as well as a younger generation of visionaries including flutist Nicole Mitchell, vocalist Dee Alexander, and drummer Mike Reed. She co-leads the adventurous string trio HEAR IN NOW and in 2013 launched the first Chicago Jazz String Summit, an international festival of cutting edge string players held in Chicago. A 2021 USA Fellow, Reid has received awards from the Foundation of the Arts 3Arts and received her doctorate in music from the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign in 2017. In the Fall of 2019 Tomeka Reid received a teaching appointment at Mills College as the Darius Milhaud chair in composition.