Sunday, June 28, 2015

Marquis Hill | Chicago's Sound Palette III


The Marquis Hill Blacktet (yes, it's blacktet, not quartet) played in the Yates Gallery of the Chicago Cultural Center surrounded by the art of world renowned artist Archibald Motley. Smaller more intimate rooms like the Yates Gallery are the perfect place to see jazz. You can clearly see the musicians as they interact to create music that lives in the moment. The room was small enough that little amplification was needed to hear the musicians instruments. I could hear the complex tone of Marquis Hill's trumpet directly from the bell of his horn.

Archibald Motley painting - Hot-Rhythm

From my perspective the music of The Marquis Hill Blacktet epitomizes what jazz is all about, created in the moment yet grounded enough to be musical and accessible to it's audience. Jazz aficionados will not be disappointed. If you are new to jazz The Marquis Hill Blacktet is a great place to start your exploration of the universe of jazz music.

This was the first time my wife and I had seen trumpeter Marquis Hill and his band perform. With each song the band got tighter, hotter, the performances more inspired. It was a night of great music my wife and I will both remember for many years to come. The Marquis Hill Blacktet will perform at the upcoming Chicago Jazz Festival. I'll see you there!

The Band:
Christopher McBride - Alto Saxophone
Justin Thomas - Vibes
Joshua Ramos - Bass
Makaya McCraven - Drums
Marquis Hill - Trumpet - Winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Chicago Jazz Festival | September 3 - 6, 2015


Whether you're a music fan or musician, jazz music offers an experience that is unique in music. The Chicago Jazz Festival provides an opportunity to hear world class jazz for the low, low price of FREE. New to jazz music? The 37th Chicago Jazz Festival is the perfect opportunity to see a variety of styles of jazz performed in comfortable settings.

Some of the performers I'm looking forward to seeing include, Butler, Bernstein & The Hot 9, Dee Dee Bridgewater, The Fred Hersch Trio, The Brian Gephart Sextet and Douglas Ewart, Inventions and The Marquis Hill Blacktet. See you there!

See this years schedule for more details. Go to the Inspired Chicago Web site to learn about great FREE things to do while you visit Chicago.

I've included a couple of pictures of Chicago's own Ari Brown Quintet from last years Chicago Jazz Festival. Read more about The Ari Brown Quintet. NOTE: Yes, Ari Brown is actually playing two saxophones at the same time (see image below). Sure, it's a gimmic, but isn't it fun! Enjoy music, enjoy life, be kind to others. Tom