Ernest Dawkins' Chicago 12
Performs A Black Op "era"
Monday, January 9, 7 pm
Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center
This performance is part of the New Millennium/New Music series, which showcases avant-garde and improvised music by touring artists and local musicians. The project combines the experience and resources of Chicago's most knowledgeable new music promoters, tying in many of the presenters and venues, to offer appearances by artists from all over the world.
The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs presents Ernest Dawkins’ Chicago 12 performing a new piece titled A Black Opera. Dawkins composes for and directs the Chicago 12, which includes some of the city’s rising stars of jazz, as well as fellow veteran players of AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), the Chicago based musicians' cooperative. Dawkins, a well-known saxophonist, has dedicated much of his career to working with nascent jazz players as part of the organization's commitment to providing musical training to South Side Chicago youth.
Chicago 12 includes Josh Abrams (bass), Khari B. (disco poet), Harrison Bankhead (bass), Justin Dillard (piano), Hamid Drake (drums), Aaron Getsug (baritone sax), Kevin Nabers (tenor sax), Norman Palm III (trombone), Isaiah Spencer (drums), Greg Ward (alto sax), and Corey Wilkes (trumpet).
Dawkins started his musical career at age twelve when he learned how to play the bass and conga drums. At nineteen he became mesmerized by the sound of the saxophone while listening to his father's jazz recordings of Lester Young. When he heard the alto sax of Guido Sinclair, he knew this was the instrument he wanted to play. He purchased his first saxophone, clarinet and flute for $24. He taught himself the music scale and then found he had to practice at Washington Park because he could not practice at home. Dawkins received his first lesson from members of the AACM. From there his illustrious career in music began.
Dawkins also takes the time to share his musical genius and knowledge with Chicago's youth. He has taught music in the Chicago Public School system since 1989. Prior to that he worked with the Urban Gateways' Educational Performances Program for schools. He has also worked with the Chicago Park District. In 1978 Dawkins formed his own group, New Horizons Ensemble, which continues to create a sound that showcases their unique combination of jazz, bebop, swing, and the avant-garde.
Dawkins has worked with a myriad of music greats, including Ramsey Lewis, Muhal Richard Abrams, Lester Bowie, Edward Wilkerson, Jr., Henry Threadgill, Amina Claudine Myers, Anthony Braxton, Jack McDuff, Don Moye, Jerry Butler, and The Dells. As a world-renowned musician, Dawkins has performed in Maputo Mozambique and appeared on local radio and television programs as well as workshops there. In South Africa, he performed with Zina Nggawana in Pretoria and at the Hugh Masekela Club J&B in Johnanesburg. He also works as a consultant to The Jazz Club De Maputo in Mozambique. He composed music for the documentary film Malcolm in 1995 under the direction of Alan Siegal. In 1994 he was commissioned to write a three-piece suite honoring Rahsaan Roland Kirk for the King Arts Complex in Columbus, Ohio.
Sons d'Hiver Festival: FREE JAZZ, BLACK POWER
(in 1971, Philippe Carles & Jean-Louis Comolli published "Free Jazz, Black Power", a landmark book about jazz in its Afro-american socio-political context. A book now available in trade paperback "Folio" collection.)
Since New Thing emerged in the mid-60’s, Jazz has been closely linked to the social, political and cultural history of Black Folks and to their liberation movements. We’re pleased to introduce you to two personalities with quite a different background but who took a common part in the revolutionary adventure of the 70’s: the Black Panther Party. Matthew Shipp & Ernest Dawkins are the living proofs that the fight is not over.
January 13, 2006, 8:30 pm
"FRED HAMPTON PROJECT" CHICAGO 12
ERNEST DAWKINS, composer, conductor, saxophone
KHARI B, spoken words / AARON GETSUG, baritone saxophone / KEVIN NABORS, tenor saxophone / GREG WARD, alto saxophone / NORMAN PALM III, trombone / COREY WILKES, trumpets / HARRISON BANKHEAD, JOSH ABRAMS, double bass / JUSTIN DILLARD, piano / ISAIAH SPENCER, HAMID DRAKE, drums
35 years after his assassination by the FBI, Fred Hampton, tragic hero of the Black Panther Party, has become a genuine icon of Afro-american counter-culture. Ernest Dawkins, key figure of the Chicago Jazz scene, lyrical saxophonist and, above all, hyperactive militant within the black community is a tremendous catalyst of energies willing to musically draw the portrait of a Black Folks cause’s martyr, turning his music into a political weapon. With the explosive AACM youngsters of the Chicago 12, Dawkins is creating an ambitious music both looking back at its Great Black Music roots and opened to the more recent fads of contemporary Black music (Khari B, a young militant poet, even gives the orchestra a Hip-Hop flavour). Dawkins, here, let us hear that Afro-american still is untameable. Fred Hampton can be proud.
Chicago Creative Arts Online(CCAO) is the first artist owned and operated video streaming company featuring the best in Chicago’s creative music scene via Internet presentation, the site will allow viewers access to a wide range of musical performances, arts, and entertainment.
The purpose of CCAO is to provide worldwide exposure to Chicago’s vibrant artistic audience. Chicagocreativeartsonline.com will showcase the celebrated talents of improvisational masters in music and other artistic genres. In addition to streamed music performances CCAO will have a photo library, lectures, demonstrations, exhibitions
and much more.