BaSH: Clark Sommers, Geof Bradfield, Dana Hall

Saturday, September 24, 7:15-8:15pm

International House

Dan McClenaghan, in AllŸAboutŸJazz, writes “There's something quite ‘free’ about a trio without a guitar or piano in the mix, with no chords nailing the sound down.” Three veterans of the Chicago jazz scene have teamed up under the lead of bassist CLARK SOMMERS for “an organic sounding outing.” Bassist, composer and educator, Clark holds the bass chair with vocalist Kurt Elling, with whom he has toured the globe from Istanbul to the Canary Islands. He has played on two GRAMMY nominated recordings with the band, one of which won the GRAMMY for best vocal jazz album in 2009. Clark also performs with Portland’s Darrell Grant in his “Territory” ensemble, which includes Brian Blade, Joe Locke and Steve Wilson. He has also performed with Cedar Walton, Ernie Watts, Bennie Maupin, Von Freeman, Ira Sullivan, Frank Wess, Charles McPherson, Peter Bernstein, Jodie Christian, and Kevin Mahogany, among others.

Reared in Houston, TX, and honing his chops in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington before settling in Chicago, multi-reedist, composer, and educator, GEOF BRADFIELD is Associate Professor of Jazz Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University. He has worked alongside many jazz luminaries and performed throughout the United States and Europe, Russia, Africa and the Middle East. His critically acclaimed CD, African Flowers, was named one of the top 10 CDs of 2010 by the Los Angeles Times, and Melba! was selected as one of the best CDs of 2013 by DownBeat Magazine. Writes Neil Tesser, Geof  “has drawn plenty of praise for his work as a reed soloist. . . . But in the last few years, Bradfield has made just as much impact with his precise and colorful writing, in compositions that evoke a vivid sense of place through the same mixture of detail and sweep.” Geof’s recent project, Our Roots, released last year, took its name and inspiration from Chicago saxophonist Clifford Jordan’s 1965 Atlantic record, These Are My Roots: the Music of Lead Belly. He is also leading his Garden of Souls project in this Festival.

Drummer, percussionist, composer, bandleader, educator, and ethnomusicologist, DANA HALL has been an important musician on the international music scene since 1992 after leaving aerospace engineering for a life in music. Dana has performed, toured, and/or recorded with such luminaries as Roy Hargrove, Joshua Redman, Horace Silver, Clark Terry, Maria Schneider, Jackie McLean, Mulgrew Miller, Marcus Belgrave, Joe Henderson, Curtis Fuller, and Charles McPherson. His debut CD, Into the Light, was released to great critical acclaim. Former Artistic Director of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Dana is an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies and Ethnomusicology at DePaul University and the Director of the DePaul Jazz Studies program. In addition to his active composing, travel, and university schedule, Dana leads his group Black Fire around town. Neil Tesser has noted, “even among modern drummers, Dana Hall stands out.” Howard Reich describes him as “viscerally exciting, intellectually formidable” with a “seemingly bottomless well of ideas.” Last year, Dana premiered "The Hypocrisy of Justice: Sights and Sounds of the Black Metropolis: Riffin' and Signifyin(g) on Richard Wright's Native Son” at Symphony Center, receiving great acclaim and a standing ovation for his powerful work. He is offering a composer’s talk on that work in this Festival.