Gerber/Hart is partnering with the Leather Museum (6418 N. Greenview) for a free screening of AIDS Diva: The Legend of Connie Norman. Connie Norman was a trans woman who advocated for her fellow HIV-positive community in Los Angeles in the late 80s and early 90s. AIDS Diva is a documentary that follows her work, not […]
Born in Pennsylvania, Ben Zucker lived in Berkeley, New England, and London before moving to Chicago for a graduate composition program at Northwestern University. He was excited to come here to study because he’d been a longtime fan of the city’s rich, varied musical scenes, including the jazz stalwarts in the AACM and the adventurous […]
Since the 1950s, Chicago has hosted a succession of visionary Black musical groups and societies. They’re best known as purveyors of avant-garde jazz, but that characterization sells short Sun Ra and his Arkestra, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and Phil Cohran’s Artistic Heritage Ensemble. Each was—and in some cases still is—a […]
Ensemble dal Niente commissions and selects new music that earns the designation “new” not just because it’s freshly composed; it also challenges both players and audiences to experience performance in new ways. This program, jointly presented by Ear Taxi and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, draws on the resources of Chicago in two ways. First, […]
Ari Brown hasn’t often sought the spotlight, but his blend of bebop rigor and avant-garde daring puts him on par with the likes of Fred Anderson and Von Freeman.
My mother always told me, “When you get older, you’ll begin to see the world in shades of gray.” Generally speaking, she was right (as usual), but I often find that idiom falling short of my personal experience. Listening to the prismatic 12 Comp (ZIM) 2017, I finally understood why: I’d much rather see the […]
For nearly 70 years, Bob Koester owned the Jazz Record Mart and Delmark Records—and though his businesses could be “crazy town,” they helped nurture thriving communities.
Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has made recordings over the past decade that celebrate uplifting movements, such as the Occupy protests and the civil rights struggle, and great jazz musicians, including Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis. At first glance Sun Beans of Shimmering Light, a six-year-old concert recording of a group that played just a handful […]
“I’ve been on this journey to be able to present within the jazz community. . . . To be a union of creative beauty.”
When the Awakening formed in the early 1970s, they combined veterans of Chicago’s R&B sessions and jazz players affiliated with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. The sextet drew on these diverse sources for its 1972 debut album, Hear, Sense and Feel, which is being reissued domestically this month as part of Real […]
The Year of Chicago Music has had less music in it than anybody anticipated, but we still have plenty to celebrate.
Prolific musician Kahil El’Zabar has hardly gone unnoticed, but I wish every music fan knew about this living legend. The son of a drummer, El’Zabar was born Clifton Blackburn in Chicago in 1953, and raised on the city’s south side. He joined the Association of the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) at age 18, and […]
The band is already midflight as the sound fades up at the beginning of “You Are Free to Choose,” the opening track of the Junius Paul double LP Ism (International Anthem). Perhaps unintentionally, this parallels his career, which has also been in motion for some time. The Chicago-born-and-raised bassist first performed in 2002 at Fred […]
Moor Mother and Roscoe Mitchell met in 2017 when they played back-to-back at Skaņu Mežs, an experimental music festival in Riga, Latvia. Mitchell, who plays a vast assortment of woodwind and percussion instruments, got his start in the mid-60s as an early member of visionary Black arts organization the Association for the Advancement of Creative […]
A charter member of the AACM and a longtime partner of saxophonist Kidd Jordan, drummer Alvin Fielder was an encyclopedia of jazz history with an eye on the future.