Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist MIKEL PATRICK AVERY has been active within the Chicago art scene since moving to the area 8 years ago. Established as a jazz drummer, he is commonly recognized for his orchestral and melodic style of drumming that often involves the use of unconventional "non-musical" objects. Mikel is also a dedicated composer, photographer, producer and educator. In recent years, he has become an integral voice in Rob Mazurek's Moon Cycles, Joshua Abrams's Natural Information Society, The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and Theaster Gates’s Black Monks of Mississippi. He also leads several of his own projects including 1/2 Size Piano Trio, Mikel Patrick Avery *PLAY*, and a new conceptual dance company co-led with artist Amanda Avery called The Something Beautiful Movement Orchestra. Mikel has performed at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Documenta 13 (in Kassel Germany), Kepler Studio (Berlin), Guelph Jazz Festival, White Cube (London), MCA Chicago, and he has given a performance for President Barack Obama.
For the 2015 Festival, Kate Dumbleton, Executive & Artistic Director of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, says that Mikel “is inventing a piece that will open in the form of a parade and likely culminate with a stage performance. . . .What he came up with is exactly why I wanted to pick him [for a commission]. . . .He’s going to have this crazy parade – really connected to the neighborhood--a lot of fun.”
The commission to Mikel Patrick Avery is a collaboration with the Rebuild Foundation. The project has been developed in conjunction with the Hyde Park Jazz Festival's Story Share Project. For this commission, Mikel has created a new composition in response to stories collected with residents in the neighborhood around the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative on the South Side of Chicago. We are grateful to the Chicago Community Trust for their support of this project.