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Celebrated percussion duo reconvenes for their 28th annual winter solstice sunrise concerts

Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang played their first sunrise percussion concert in 1990. Timed to coincide with the winter solstice, the performance was an open-invite gesture, nonpreachy spiritual gesture to welcome all their friends who felt out of place attending more conventional holiday-oriented festivities. Twenty-eight years later, much of the country feels like it could […]

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Michael Zerang and Jim Baker, two indefatigable titans of Chicago’s improvised music community, celebrate 35 years of collaboration

The backbone of Chicago’s illustrious history of improvised music is made up of a small handful of indefatigable players who endlessly explore and play gigs—sometimes for just a handful of folks—but few have been as long devoted to spontaneous experimentation as keyboardist Jim Baker and percussionist Michael Zerang. Each Tuesday this month at the Hideout […]

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Spires That in the Sunset Rise and Michael Zerang blend primitive folk and spacey improvisation

Since forming 16 years ago, Spires That in the Sunset Rise have been blazing their own trippy path, with the group’s two core members, Kathleen Baird and Taralie Peterson, increasingly embracing a more improvisational ethos while retaining homemade folk roots. That shift has never been more pronounced than in their ongoing collaboration with percussionist Michael […]