Nicole Mitchell


Nicole Mitchell (born 1967) is an American jazz flautist and composer who teaches jazz at the University of Virginia. She is a former chairwoman of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).

Early life and education
Mitchell was born in Syracuse, New York, and moved to Anaheim, California at the age of eight. Her first instruments were piano and viola, which she started playing in fourth grade. She was classically trained in flute and played in youth orchestras as a teenager. Though she intended to major in computer science in college, she took a class in improvisation from Jimmy Cheatham at University of California, San Diego, and started busking in the streets playing jazz flute. After two years at UCSD, she transferred to Oberlin College in 1987, then moved to Chicago in 1990.

Mitchell returned to school in 1993 and 1996, completing her degree at Chicago State University in 1998; she earned a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University in 2000.