Delmark Records has just announced its first release from virtuoso flutist Nicole Mitchell and her big band, the Black Earth Ensemble. The live DVD/CD package (Delmark has relied on this dual format a lot the last couple years) will be recorded this Friday, June 8, and Saturday, June 9, at the Velvet Lounge, so stop on by and make yourself (your applause and occasional whoops of delight and amazement, at least) a part of Chicago creative-music history.

I’ve loved Mitchell’s playing since I first heard her during the AACM’s 35th Anniversary festival some years back, and I was especially delighted to learn from Delmark’s press release that she’s working on two projects in tribute to women whose recent passings I was very sad to see: the great science fiction writer Octavia Butler and composer, pianist, harpist, and spiritual leader Alice Coltrane. The latter project, a collaboration with Myra Melford  takes place live in Millennium Park on August 9, as part of the Made in Chicago series.