Jenna Przybysz Quartet

Saturday, September 29, 3:00-4:00PM

Little Black Pearl 

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Alto Saxophonist and ethnomusicologist JENNA PRZYBYSZ is an emerging saxophonist on the Chicago scene and a recent graduate of DePaul University's jazz studies program. While keeping tradition in focus, THE PRZYBYSZ QUARTET explores the newer trends of jazz. Influenced by world music, hip-hop, and more, its members offer an organic and refreshing approach to jazz standards and original compositions.

The focus of this performance is Przybysz’s current project of re-imagining Mary Lou Williams’ Zodiac Suite. Williams composed Zodiac Suite for solo piano during her residency at Café Society, an interracial nightclub in New York’s Greenwich Village, affiliated with the Popular Front. Williams dedicated each movement of the suite to one of the many musicians with whom she became acquainted there. 

Although many concepts and ideas are embedded within the composition, among the most relevant is Williams’ vision of democracy. Importantly, the piece was genre-less. WIlliams did not classify it as jazz or classical music. Later, trombonist and arranger Melba Liston arranged Williams’ compositions for strings, woodwinds, brass, and rhythm section. In her re-imagined arrangements, Przybysz blends recognizable elements of each artist within their respective movement in Williams’ work.

The musicians are: JENNA PRZYBYSZ (alto saxophone); ZAC NUNNERY (guitar); DAVI PRIEST (bass); and ANDY DANSTROM (drums and cymbals).