Joshua Abrams, Ari Brown, Gerald Cleaver, Jeff Parker Quartet

Saturday, September 24, 9:30-10:30

International House

JOSHUA ABRAMS developed his voice in the 1990s Chicago music world, participating heavily across the city’s jazz, experimental and rock scenes. Over the last two decades he has recorded and toured with a wide range of artists including extended engagements with Fred Anderson, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Hamid Drake, Theaster Gates, Neil Michael Hagerty, Nicole Mitchell, Joe McPhee, Jeff Parker, Mike Reed, Matana Roberts, and The Roots. Since 2011 Abrams has toured North America and Europe with a shifting ­line up of musicians as ‘Natural Information Society’, which was assembled around his interests in the Moroccan instrument the guimbri. The band's most recent album, Magnetoception, was selected by The Wire Magazine as the #3 record of 2015 and by Pitchfork as the #2 experimental record of 2015. A film composer, Abrams has scored the music for seven feature length films including the award ­winning films Life Itself, The Interrupters, The Trials of Muhammad Ali and most recently Abacus : Small Enough to Jail.

Tenor saxophonist, pianist, and composer, ARI BROWN is a dynamic member of the Chicago avant-garde jazz scene who also demonstrates his traditional jazz chops on both of his instruments. Ari has performed all over the world, touring with Elvin Jones, and working with musicians ranging from McCoy Tyner and Don Patterson to Sonny Stitt, Lester Bowie, Bobby Watson, and Anthony Braxton. He has been part of Kahil El’Zabar’s “Ritual trio” and is the go-to saxophonist for Orbert Davis’s Chicago Jazz Philharmonic.  Chicago Reader critic Peter Margasak calls Ari “A terrific saxophonist with a deep understanding of both bop’s complex rhythms and the wild expressionism of free jazz.”

A Detroit native, drummer and educator, GERALD CLEAVER became deeply involved with the Michigan jazz scene, working with Ali Muhammad Jackson, Marcus Belgrave, Donald Walden, Rodney Whitaker, A. Spencer Barefield, Wendell Harrison, among others. An NEA fellowship allowed Gerald to study with drummer Victor Lewis after which he earned a music degree from the University of Michigan, later becoming a member of its jazz faculty. Gerald has worked with a long list of great jazz leaders, some of whom include Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Jacky Terrasson, Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Charles Gayle, Reggie Workman, and Eddie Harris.

Connecticut born and Berklee educated, JEFF PARKER is a guitarist, composer, educator, and “sculptor of sonic textures.”  A founding member of the critically acclaimed and innovative groups Isotope 217˚ and Chicago Underground, he is a longtime member of the band Tortoise, the Brian Blade Fellowship, and the Exploding Star Orchestra. He has performed all over North America, Europe, and Asia, been recognized seven times by DownBeat Magazine’s Critic’s Poll, named “Jazz Soloist of the Year” by the Chicago Reader “Reader’s Choice,” and acknowledged as one of contemporary music’s most versatile and innovative electric guitarists.