About Us

Crossing Borders Music is a multicultural organization of color that shares the stories and music of those whose voices are suppressed because of race, ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation, other identity, or related trauma. We do this through free, accessible performances in community spaces in service and affirmation of our communities and collaborators.

The mission of Crossing Borders Music is to use music to promote the dignity of people from all cultures.

To this end, Crossing Borders Music shares:
– stories and chamber music of composers from backgrounds that have been suppressed in Western classical music
– fusion music performances involving classical and folk music traditions that have been suppressed plus Western classical instruments
– in-school interactive educational performances
– a virtual music performance library
– an annual Young Composers Project for music students on Chicago’s West Side
– commissioning artists from under-represented backgrounds
– guidance on diverse repertoire and inclusive practices

The Crossing Borders Music string quartet warm up their instruments and joke around before a livestream program titled “From Slavery to Justice: The Ongoing Journey” Photo credit Mike King

We envision a more harmonious world in which people experience musical and artistic dimensions of cultures in such a way that influences how they shop, invest, travel, volunteer, do business, and live their day-to-day lives.

Founded in 2011, Crossing Borders Music has become a leading, critically acclaimed interpreter of chamber music by composers from under-represented cultures. Crossing Borders Music was a Headline Artist at the African Festival of the Arts, a Resident Arts Organization at the Chicago Cultural Center, and has been presented by the Old Town School of Folk, Montréal’s Society for the Research and Promotion of Haitian Music (SRDMH), United World College of South East Asia, and at Chicago’s Symphony Center through the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s African American Network. Crossing Borders Music has been featured on NBC-5 and ABC-7 Chicago News, on WFMT, on WBEZ, in the Chicago Tribune, and as a Critic’s Pick in TimeOut Chicago. Through a grant from The Chicago Community Trust, in August, 2016, Crossing Borders Music released a world premiere album of newly commissioned string quartet music by Haitian composers Jean “Rudy” Perrault and Sabrina C. D. Jean Louis. Through a grant from the Sparkplug Foundation, Crossing Borders Music recorded a world premiere album of original chamber music with the composer, Grammy-nominated sitarist Gaurav Mazumdar, which was released in 2023 on Ropeadope Records.

Crossing Borders Music is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.