The Reader‘s first gig poster of 2021 is a tribute to jazz, Cuba, and collaborative concert organizing by a designer with roots in alternative weekly papers. Venerable local arts presenter HotHouse, which has been bringing diverse online programming to international audiences for the past few months, celebrates its 34th year with HotHouse Meets Havana, a five-night stream of Latin-jazz musicians based in Cuba interspersed with sets by artists based in the States—including current and former Chicagoans Hamid Drake & Michael Zerang, Tomeka Reid & Junius Paul, Ari Brown (with Josef Ben Israel and Charles Heath), Ben LaMar Gay (with Mike Reed and Mayda Del Valle), and Edward Wilkerson Jr. (with Jamie Kempkers and Jim Baker).

Each night is hosted by a different jazz scholar, and every program will also be broadcast on Cuban television. The series kicked off Monday, January 18, with a discussion about Cuban music and jazz moderated by James Early. You can find it archived on HotHouse’s YouTube channel (and if you do, be sure to make a donation).

The streams resume on Thursday, January 21, and they’re all benefits for HotHouse. They have no paywalls to watch, but admission for each night is a $25 suggested donation (though of course you can give more, to subsidize fans of limited means). All programs will stream on Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, and on the HotHouse website.

The poster was designed by Shelley Hiam, a photographer and graphic designer based in Austin, Texas. Hiam currently works as an art director for South by Southwest and contributes to the Austin Chronicle, where she was a staffer for more than a decade (she greeted me with a friendly “Hello from a fellow alt-weekly!” when I e-mailed her).

The Reader continues to accept submissions of made-up posters for made-up gigs, made-up posters for shows that really happened, posters for livestreamed shows, and posters for concerts where the audience can attend in person (with safety guidelines in place).

To participate, please e-mail with your name, contact information, and original design or drawing (you can attach a JPG or PNG file or provide a download link). We won’t be able to publish everything we receive, but we’ll feature as many as possible. Your submission can also include a nonprofit, fundraiser, or action campaign that you’d like to bring to the attention of our readers.

Not everybody can make a gig poster, of course, but it’s simple and free to take action through the website of the National Independent Venue Association—click here to tell your representatives to save our homegrown music ecosystems. You can also pitch in using the Reader‘s list of fundraisers for out-of-work or underemployed staffers at Chicago’s venues. And don’t forget record stores! We’ve also published a list of local stores that will let you shop remotely.

ARTIST: Shelley Hiam
GIG: HotHouse Meets Havana, Mon 1/18 plus Thu 1/21 through Sun 1/24, main program at 7 PM all nights, Thu through Sun start with a Zoom set by DJ Madrid at 6:30 PM, livestream info at HotHouse’s website