Made in Chicago Jazz 2014 Series Lineup Announced

Hal Russell
Cover of Hal Russell

From The Sun Times:

July 31: The Hal Russell Story
“A drummer, saxophonist, trumpeter and bandleader, Russell was one of the most colorful, flexible and fiery jazz musicians to ever work in Chicago. His long-running NRG Ensemble was formed in 1980 and became a major influence on the free jazz and improvised music scene of the 90s. The original lineup — reedist Mars Williams; bassist, guitarist, and trumpeter Brian Sandstrom; bassist Kent Kessler; and drummer Steve Hunt, along with reedist Ken Vandermark (who often subbed in the band) and cellist/trumpeter Fred Lonberg-Holm — reunites to play the last album they made with Russell: “The Hal Russell Story.” Academy Award-Nominated actor Michael Shannon will perform the original texts delivered by Russell on the album.”

Aug. 14: Matana Roberts: Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile
“Chicago composer, alto saxophonist and sound artist Roberts plays in her hometown for the first time in years, performing the second chapter of her ambitious American-history-focused epic, “Coin Coin.” The 18-section “Mississippi Moonchile” suite draws explicitly from the composer’s deep roots in jazz.”

Aug. 28″ Homage to Nelson Mandela: Ernest Dawkins’ Memory in the Center, an Afro Jazz Opera
“The sounds and images of American jazz musicians from the U.S. were an important influence on the development of political discourse of resistance in apartheid South Africa. This project reflects the determination and spirit that energized the South African freedom movement led by Nelson Mandela by foregrounding the influential women in Mandela’s life — Winnie Mandela and Graça Machel — through the powerful voice of Dee Alexander. Bringing together musicians from Chicago, South Africa and London, the ensemble will represent their interconnected histories and mutual influences.”