I met Reena Esmail a few years ago when my friend Marc Peloquin (Ep. 20) featured her on the KeyedUp MusicProject. I was immediately taken with her musical style, and was thrilled to get to know her in person after the concert.

We tried for over two months to get this episode to happen, but our schedules refused to cooperate until just a few days before Christmas. Reena has some wonderful things to say on a host of topics, and I think that this is the perfect way to close out the year on a note of reflection and coming together.

During the course of our conversation, we chatted about:

  • What community feels like in the world of new music
  • Being inclusive, especially beyond the world of musicians
  • The “underbelly” of niche marketing
  • The pull of feeling like a representative for a minority
  • Being a woman composer

Some composers Reena thinks you should know about:
Derrick Spiva Jr.
Valerie Coleman
Jeffrey Mumford
Juan Pablo Contreras
Gabriela Lena Frank

Reena Esmail
KUSC: Arts Alive interview with Reena
The Portfolio Composer: Ep. 58
Laura van Demoot Lipsky: Trauma Stewardship
Street Symphony
Urban Voices Project
Salastina Music Society
River Oaks Chamber Orchestra