Edgefest 2018: Chicago-Out Kind of Town
Kerrytown Concert House (KCH) presents its 22nd annual avant-garde jazz and creative new music festival Edgefest 2018: Chicago-Out Kind of Town. Almost a century ago the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovski wrote: “Then there is Chicago and this Chicago is different from all other cities—different not by its houses or its people, but by its very own, Chicago-style centered energy.” This metropolis has long attracted people from all over the world and music has always played an important role, be it early jazz, blues, house music, or avant-garde improvisation. Edgefest 2018 celebrates the experimental sounds of Chicago, including artists of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and the iconic Art Ensemble of Chicago (AEC). Since the 1960’s these artists have established new forms of music and new avenues for artistic self-determination and social involvement. Artists who currently populate the improvising scene in Chicago will be featured along with those whose creativity will always be associated with the city. All share that illusive “Chicago-style centered energy” that has existed since King Oliver brought his music there a century ago.
Diverse audiences from the region and beyond are exposed to this oft-ignored, category-defying musical genre through a series of free and ticketed public concerts in downtown Ann Arbor with related educational activities.
Edgefest creates a community spirit making engagement the lifeblood of the festival with in-depth school workshops and an improvised music parade offering the next generation fun and accessible introductions to uncompromising creativity.
At KCH, one cannot avoid “meeting the composer”! One is never more than 8 rows from composer/performers as they speak/perform. Post-receptions encourage more interaction.
Funding and awards: ASCAP/CMA award- adventurous programming; NEA; Chamber Music America; Foundations/individuals.
Ticketed concerts: KCH (115) and nearby church (400). Concerts are recorded. 2 concerts are broadcast live by WCBN radio.
- 13 ticketed concerts. Featured event: large ensemble organized by AACM/AEC statesman Roscoe Mitchell celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
- Open Workshop: Locksmith Isidore ( Jason Stein, bass clarinet, Mike Pride, drums, Jason Roebke, bass) works with Community HS jazz students at KCH.
- Roscoe Mitchell conducts open rehearsals and performance of his large ensemble compositions. (U-Mich students, community, and Edgefest artists participating).
- Roscoe Mitchell leads discussions with students and faculty at the U-Mich Department of Afroamerican and African Studies on topics related to the artistic content of the festival, such as the influence of African music in the genre.
- Steve Rush interviews Roscoe Mitchell.
- Nicole Mitchell, Mike Reed and Tomeka Reid perform 6 middle-school residency activities in 2 schools (1 under-funded school). KCH has an 11-year relationship with these schools; introducing improvisation and performance outside of the usual curriculum.
- Tomeka Reid’s String Ensemble performs for middle-school orchestra program.
- 4 free “fringe” concerts in non-traditional venues in downtown Ann Arbor; with Edgefest and area artists collaborating. This includes the Saturday Edgefest Parade led in 2018 by Nicole Mitchell.
- 1 art exhibit inspired by the theme; used in PR material.
Artists: Roscoe Mitchell, saxophone; Craig Taborn, piano; Kikanju Baku, drums/percussion | Album: Conversations I | Date Released: 2014 |
A confirmed artist for Edgefest ’18, Mr. Mitchell will write music for large ensemble based on compositions of former AEC members; celebrating the 50th Anniversary and paying tribute to the now deceased members Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman and Malachi Favors for their lasting contributions to “Great Black Music-Ancient to the Future”.
No recent AEC recordings; A new release of AEC is expected in 2019
Start and End Dates
10/17/2018 — 10/20/2018
Ann Arbor, Michigan