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 […]
Though live shows are returning, there’s no safer way to support artists and labels than buying music online.
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.
Composer, multi-instrumentalist, educator, and conceptualist Anthony Braxton was born in Chicago on June 4, 1945, and the celebration of his 75th birthday has taken a major hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. At least nine 2020 events have been cancelled so far—the only live performance that hasn’t yet been stricken from the calendar for this year […]
Triad Radio, Chicago’s pioneering experiment in commercial free-form radio, left the airwaves in 1977. Now longtime program director Saul Smaizys is moving its archives online.
Four years after its golden anniversary, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians asserts a contemporary presence that extends its legacy. The organization first convened on Chicago’s south side as a collective, community-rooted effort to create possibilities for African-American musicians of all ages and experience levels to present their own music. In 2018 the […]
Current musical obsessions of Brown Girls writer Fatimah Asghar, Macie Stewart of Ohmme, and the Reader’s Peter Margasak
Cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, a longtime associate of Anthony Braxton, leads a strong improvising quartet on Sunday at the Hungry Brain.
The veteran bassist performs in town this weekend with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith.
The Ear Taxi Festival presents more than 80 new works in its six-day tour of Chicago’s rich contemporary classical scene.
Today’s 12 O’Clock Track is the title track off of the bassist’s 1973 album—he plays the Chicago Jazz Festival Saturday night.
Nat Baldwin of Dirty Projectors brings his peculiar bass-and-voice solo project to the Hideout on Friday.
Bassoonist Katherine Young returns to Chicago with Pretty Monsters, and more