Hard times will bring out anyone’s true colors, and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival certainly showed what it was made of when COVID-19 brought live music to a halt in 2020. Its organizers emulated the music that the festival supports, improvising ways to support local jazz. First, they arranged the Jazz Postcards series, small-scale outdoor […]
In October 1982, members of seven LGBTQ+ concert and marching bands from across the U.S. met in Chicago and formed the Lesbian and Gay Band Association. Though the LGBA changed its name to the Pride Bands Alliance in 2021, it still provides “an international network of LGBTQ+ and affirming bands in all stages of development” […]
When the pandemic shut down live music, Chicago gallery Corbett vs. Dempsey began presenting great online gigs via Experimental Sound Studio’s Quarantine Concerts series. I remember the excitement I felt when the gallery made a last-minute, low-key announcement, mostly to friends and supporters, that the sixth of its Sequesterfest livestreaming events would also be open […]
After a COVID gap year, the Frequency Festival returns on February 22. The six-day event is an outgrowth of the Frequency Series, which is programmed by former Chicago Reader staff music critic Peter Margasak and hosted by Constellation. Founded in 2013, shortly after drummer and promoter Mike Reed opened the north-side venue, the series presents […]
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 […]
Former Reader staff writer Peter Margasak has been programming the Frequency Series at Constellation since 2013, bringing in artists from across the wide spectrum of experimental and new music for weekly showcases. Since 2016 Margasak has also booked the annual Frequency Festival, which skipped 2021 for obvious reasons; the festival will return for its sixth […]
Flutist Nicole Mitchell, cellist Tomeka Reid, and drummer Mike Reed initially formed Artifacts as a repertory group; the music on their 2015 debut album, Artifacts (482 Music), includes compositions by founding or early members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, among them Anthony Braxton, Muhal Richard Abrams, Amina Claudine Myers, and Roscoe […]
Cosmic Country star Andrew Sa drops a high lonesome covers collection, Dave Rempis releases a double album of live performances that COVID couldn’t stop, and more.
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 […]
This week’s featured gig poster was created by illustrator and musician Rei Alvarez, who lives in Richmond, Virginia.
With its ongoing Quarantine Concerts, ESS has built connections faster and cheaper than it could have in person.
Elastic Arts ramps up its programming, CIVL opens grant applications for its SAVE Emergency Relief Fund, and more.
Catalytic Sound launches a streaming service to support improvising musicians, rapper-producer Rashid Hadee collaborates with the Primeridian, and more
With short sets from small groups in unexpected spots, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival creates a communal experience that’s pandemic safe.
The city is replacing the Chicago Jazz Festival with a slimmed-down online event, while the smaller, nimbler Hyde Park Jazz Festival plans to try pop-up in-person shows.