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The improvising trio of Jim Baker, Keefe Jackson, and Julian Kirshner specializes in surprise

Chicago’s improvisational music community has launched plenty of transformational figures over the decades. But while iconic individuals such as Sun Ra, Roscoe Mitchell, and Henry Threadgill have all changed the way people around the world approach music, a thriving scene also needs players who keep the fires burning every week in local clubs. Keefe Jackson […]

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Cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm reunites with his Chicago improvising trio featuring Keefe Jackson and Julian Kirshner

Multigenerational improvising trio J@K@L is one of the more exciting ensembles to emerge in Chicago over the last few years. Fueled by the energy of the young drummer Julian Kirshner, the group benefits from the vast experience and disparate aesthetics of reedist Keefe Jackson and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm. The latter left Chicago last year, and […]

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Two improvised saxophone-drum duos show that age is nothing but a number on the Chicago jazz scene

These two sax-percussion duos represent several generations in Chicago improvised music—saxophonist Gerrit Hatcher is 26, while drummer Steve Hunt is 63—but all the musicians share an exploratory curiosity, and both pairs engage in fascinating modes of communication. Reedist Keefe Jackson and Hunt—a perpetually overlooked titan in the city’s jazz scene who’s played in NRG Ensemble, […]