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Creative Music Mini-festival: Heart of the Ghost / Rempis/Lopez/Packard / Ingebrigt Håker Flaten / Ernest Dawkins Trio / Garrett/Tucker Duo


Sunday April 21 * 5pm * $20 * TICKETS


set times subject to change

Heart of the Ghost is an improvisational unit from the Baltimore/Washington area. Comprised of Jarrett Gilgore (saxophone), Luke Stewart (bass) and Ian McColm (drums), this group is the culmination of years of encircling orbits. Collectively encompassing a massive variety of interests and collaborators and themselves known players in the circles of improvised music, these three find common ground within their individual vocabularies: an aim to deconstruct and reshape canonized creative tropes into a new & stunning language.

Rempis/Lopez/Packard -This working trio finds journeyman Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis alongside two of the brightest talents in a younger generation of improvising musicians. Bassist Brandon Lopez is a musician whose virtuosity knows no bounds, currently one of the most in-demand bassists on the New York jazz and improvised music scene. Percussionist Ryan Packard counters that depth with his own breadth of interests, working in contemporary classical ensembles, indie rock bands, and jazz groups alike around Chicago, not to mention his doubling abilities on electronics. These two together provide a formidable rhythm section that can veer from hard-driving grooves to luscious soundscapes with total ease.

Active since the summer of 2017, the trio made its first studio recording in March of 2018, released in early 2019 on Rempis’ Aerophonic Records imprint. This debut outing is titled The Early Bird Gets, and is perhaps the “jazziest” project any of them are involved with; a result that even the band members found surprising. But after honing their sound through live gigs in 2017 and early 2018, it became apparent that their free-improvised conversation kept returning to a similar destination: a three-way exploration of rhythm and tempo that left them working solidly within the jazz tradition. Not the one fixed into predictable stylistic corners, but the one defined by a spirit of boundless curiosity and exploration. A tradition they stretched back and forth like so much taffy.

The way these three unite into a groove is truly remarkable. Not as something to be closely adhered to, but as something to turn upside down, inside out, and ass backwards, as they expose every last facet of it. At times this means slowing it down, speeding it up, or splitting those two approaches up amongst the band simultaneously. At other times it means jumping to another dimension on the turn of a dime. And while that methodology may feel counterintuitive to the end result, it’s not. This band has a classic approach that has an inherent life and energy to it that dates back to the beginnings of jazz as an art form. It truly swings.

Ingebrigt Håker Flaten: a muscular player whose tone and attack run the gamut from Paul Chambers to Buschi Niebergall. His sense of both openness and control serves ensembles as diverse as The Thing, Free Fall, Atomic, Scorch Trio and the Kornstad/Håker Flaten Duo. In addition to his own Chicago Sextet and Austin-centric Young Mothers, Flaten has also recorded and performed with Frode Gjerstad, Dave Rempis, Bobby Bradford, the AALY Trio, Ken Vandermark, Stephen Gauci, Tony Malaby, Daniel Levin, Dennis Gonzalez and numerous others. Flaten studied at the Conservatory in Trondheim (1992-1995), turning professional shortly afterward, yet his hunger to play in new situations with new musicians – schooled or amateur, frequently recorded or just starting out – puts him in a rare class, that of a truly broad-minded artist. That mettle has served him well, living and developing the music under his own steam and drawing from influences as diverse as Derek Bailey, George Russell, Chris McGregor, filmmakers Ingmar Bergman, contemporary pop melody and gritty punk music as well as everyday sights and sounds.

"Chicago saxophonist Ernest Dawkins has pursued music professionally for nearly 40 years, and in that time he's built a legacy that's among the city's richest. Over the decades his New Horizons Ensemble, active since the late 70s, has included some of modern jazz's most gifted stylists and innovators, among them bassist Yosef Ben Israel, guitarist Jeff Parker, drummer Avreeayl Ra, and trumpeter Marquis Hill (who won the Thelonious Monk Competition this year). His extended compositions for larger groups have been presented at prestigious festivals on both sides of the Atlantic, among them Sons d'Hiver in Paris and the DC Jazz Festival; the most recent piece, last year's Memory in the Center, an Afro Opera: Homage to Nelson Mandela, premiered as part of the 2014 Chicago Jazz Festival. Much of Dawkins's work exemplifies an activist commitment to African-American heritage and social justice—an outlook he shares with his colleagues in the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, the Chicago-­based collective that helped accelerate the embrace of black free jazz by the global avant-garde. (The AACM celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and he's currently its chairman.) His compositions are militant yet celebratory, interspersing declamatory narratives from spoken-word artist Khari B. and passages of iconoclastic dissonance with hard-swinging, exultant celebration." -the Chicago Reader

Later Event: April 22
Drone Comedy