Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate

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Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate (Chickasaw, born in Norman, Oklahoma, on July 25, 1968) is a Chickasaw classical composer and pianist.[1] His compositions are inspired by American Indian history and culture.


Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate was born in 1968 in Norman, Oklahoma, is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and a 2011 Emmy Award winner. Mr. Tate is dedicated to the development of American Indian classical composition, and his review by The Washington Post states that “Tate’s connection to nature and the human experience was quite apparent in this piece...rarer still is his ability to effectively infuse classical music with American Indian nationalism.” This review was a response to a performance of Iholba’ (The Vision), for Solo Flute, Orchestra and Chorus, which was commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra and premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Iholba' and Tracing Mississippi, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, were recorded in 2007 by the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Symphony Chorus and are currently available on Thunderbird Records.

In 2006, Mr. Tate received a Joyce Award and Alumni Achievement Award from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He was appointed Creativity Ambassador for the State of Oklahoma in 2008, has received awards from Meet the Composer and the Percussive Arts Society and was a 2011 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship nominee. He is a three-time commission recipient from the American Composers Forum and, in 2011, he received an Emmy Award for his work in the documentary The Science of Composing. This documentary covered his residency with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation where he taught composition to seven world-renowned research scientists. Their compositions culminated in a public performance at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art by members of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.

Mr. Tate received his BM in Piano Performance from Northwestern University where he studied with Dr. Donald J. Isaak. He received his MM in Piano Performance and Composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Elizabeth Pastor and Dr. Donald Erb. Shortly after beginning his piano studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, his first composition, Winter Moons ballet score, was commissioned by Dr. Patricia Tate and premiered at the University of Wyoming in 1992. Colorado Ballet subsequently performed it in 1994 and 1996.

Since then, his commissioned works have been performed by National Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Colorado Ballet, South Dakota Symphony, The New Mexico Symphony, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, ETHEL, Voices of Change, New Jersey Chamber Music Society and the Philadelphia Classical Symphony, to name a few.

Mr. Tate was Founder of the Chickasaw Chamber Music Festival. He was Co-Founder and Composition Instructor for the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy and was Composer-in-Residence for the Grand Canyon Music Festival’s Native American Composer Apprentice Project in 2004 and 2005. In 2007, he was Composer-in-Residence for The Joyce Foundation/American Composers Forum, teaching composition to American Indian high school students in Minneapolis. In 2009, Mr. Tate conceived, coordinated and implemented the CD project Oshtali: Music for String Quartet. The album consists of original compositions by his students from the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy and is the first professional recording in history of works by young American Indian composers. The second CD project, entitled Tobachi, was released in 2013.

Mr. Tate’s middle name, Impichchaachaaha’, means “high corncrib” and is his inherited traditional Chickasaw house name. A corncrib is a small hut used for the storage of corn and other vegetables. In traditional Chickasaw culture, the corncrib was built high off of the ground on stilts to keep its contents safe from foraging animals.


  • 2008 - Works by Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate. Includes Tracing Mississippi and Iholba'. Performed by Christine Bailey Davis and Thomas Robertello, flutes, with the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Symphony Chorus, dir. Edwin Outwater. Cleveland, Ohio: Thunderbird Records.


  1. ^ Karl Gehrke, "American Indian traditions come to classical music", Minnesota Public Radio, 26 October 2007

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