Chicago native, trombonist, composer, and scholar George Lewis wrote the definitive book on the history of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians with his 2008 masterpiece A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music. He knows about that history firsthand, as he got involved with the influential south-side organization in 1971. This year marks the AACM’s 50th anniversary, and there’s been no shortage of events and exhibitions marking the landmark, including the MCA’s wonderful show “The Freedom Principle,” which examines the enduring legacy of Chicago’s Black Arts movement, of which the AACM was a huge part. On October 16 and 17, Lewis will oversee the world premiere of his new multimedia opera at the museum, Afterword: The AACM (as) Opera—a collaboration with media and theater artist Catherine Sullivan and director Sean Griffin—which takes its libretto from his AACM book (a no-frills concert version of the work was performed this past May at New York’s Roulette). New York’s superb International Contemporary Ensemble, which has been consistently performing Lewis’s compositions over the last half decade or so, will be performing.
Fri 10/16-Sat 10/17, 7:30 PM, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, 312-280-2660, mcachicago.org, $30.