The end of the year is a time for traditions that affirm social and spiritual priorities, and one of Chicago’s most enduring annual rituals comes from its music community. Since 1990, local percussionists Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang have convened at Links Hall to perform a concert that celebrates the season but doesn’t align with […]
Tag: Hamid Drake
Venerable jazz guitarist George Freeman celebrates 95 years with a new compilation
Legendary Chicago jazz guitarist George Freeman has been honing his dynamic, explosive style since the 1940s, working with dozens of the genre’s hall of famers, including Charlie Parker, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Gene Ammons, Jimmy McGriff, Buddy Rich, Shirley Scott, and his brothers Von and Bruz Freeman. On Sunday, April 10, Freeman turns 95, and to mark […]
Mandingo Griot Society: a global exchange born in Chicago
Foday Musa Suso absorbed centuries of tradition growing up in Gambia. As part of the griot caste, his family had performed a centuries-long role in Gambian society, narrating historical epics and singing praise songs while playing the kora, a harplike 21-string instrument his distant ancestors invented. Suso dreamed of bringing his music to places far […]
Percussionists Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang return to in-person performance for their annual solstice concerts
Six years ago, I characterized Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang’s winter solstice concert series as “an anchor, a beacon, and a seasonal tradition in its own right.” The two drummers began performing as a duo at Links Hall in 1990; surrounded by percussion instruments from around the world, they would begin by candlelight, then play […]
Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang livestream their traditional solstice duo
Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang livestream their traditional solstice drum duo, Che Arthur of Pink Avalanche drops two instrumental solo EPs, and more.
Liof Munimula took their play with sound seriously
Liof Munimula’s toolbox included a 42-piece percussion setup, a shortwave radio rig with a 40-foot antenna, and a subversive sense of humor.
A pair of Italian experimentalists help Ken Vandermark and Hamid Drake cross into new territory
For decades, percussionist Hamid Drake and reedist Ken Vandermark have sustained a partnership founded upon a deep engagement with the history of free jazz. Both within and outside the DKV Trio, their long-running ensemble with bassist Kent Kessler, their improvisations often arise from rhythmic foundations. But they’re also restless explorers, and on Open Border a […]
Mako Sica headline a showcase of challenging homegrown experimental music
Since it opened two years ago, Sleeping Village has become a hub for some of the city’s best (and most affordable) local shows. A fine example is this concert, headlined by Chicago underground stalwarts Mako Sica. They’ve been at it since 2007, with core members Przemysław Drążek (formerly of intense rockers Rope) and Brent Fuscaldo […]
Free-jazz piano great Dave Burrell plays a rare Chicago show
The only time I’ve seen wild jazz pianist Dave Burrell play live was in an odd setting for him—he joined free-jazz bass titan William Parker for a program called “The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield” at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 2009. The ensemble also included drummer and musical polymath Hamid Drake and writer Amiri […]
Ken Vandermark, Kent Kessler, and Hamid Drake are back to help improvised music fans release holiday stress
In January the DKV Trio released The Fire Each Time (Not Two), a six-CD box set documenting a string of gigs that percussionist Hamid Drake, bassist Kent Kessler, and reedist Ken Vandermark played with multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee in four different countries during the last two months of 2017. This set—and previous DKV recordings featuring the […]
Japanese trumpeter Toshinori Kondo pays a visit to honor late saxophonist Fred Anderson
Twenty-five years ago, Fred Anderson and Toshinori Kondo recorded a live quartet record with drummer Hamid Drake and bassist Tatsu Aoki that’s only now seeing release.
The 29th annual solstice concerts offer a yearly return or a new annual tradition
I have to admit, I literally slept on going to Michael Zerang and Hamid Drake’s winter solstice concerts for the first 27 years (though granted, I was only 17 when the first one happened). Out-of-town friends even crashed at my pad to attend the early-morning shows, but as a former night owl, I always thought […]
Photos: The Hyde Park Jazz Festival
The south side’s own world-class jazz fest played host to dozens of shows and more than a hundred musicians.
Homeroom’s Physics for Listeners series connects local trio ZRL with four disparate composers
Homeroom’s Physics for Listeners series connects local trio ZRL with four disparate composers, the Plastic (Crimewave) Ono Band releases its fourth tape-only split, and more.