Douglas R. Ewart

Instrumental Musician

The polymathic Douglas R. Ewart has been honored for his work as a composer, improvising multi-instrumentalist, conceptual artist, sculptor, mask and instrument designer, builder and more. As an educator, Ewart bridges his kaleidoscopic activities with a vision that opposes today’s divided world by culture-fusing works that aim to restore the wholeness of communities and their members, and to emphasize the reality of the world’s interdependence. From Kingston, Jamaica, Ewart immigrated to Chicago in 1963. There he studied with the master musicians of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians—an organization he later served as chairman, at different intervals from 1979-1987 and into the millennium. He also studied music at VanderCook College of Music, and electronic music at Governors State University. Ewart is the founder of Arawak Records, is the leader of ensembles such as the Nyahbingi Drum Choir, Quasar, Clarinet Choir, and Douglas R. Ewart & Inventions. He is a designer and creator of instruments and kinetic sonic sculptures that have been exhibited in venues such as Houston’s Contemporary Arts Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago. “Crepuscule,” his vast periodic conceptual work, is collectively actualized by scores of musicians, dancers, visual artists, poets, capoeira, puppeteers, martial artists, activists, the honoring of elders and more. Ewart’s honors include a U.S. Japan Creative Arts Fellowship, a Bush Artists Fellowship, and an Outstanding Artist Award granted by a former Chicago Mayor, Harold Washington. He is a Professor Emeritus at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago.