The acclaimed Umbrella Music Festival returns November 3-7 for its fifth annual celebration of jazz and improvised music from Chicago and beyond. The festival opens with a special evening of free concerts dubbed “European Jazz Meets Chicago,” co-presented by Umbrella Music, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and 10 different European consulates and cultural organizations.
As we make our rounds this weekend, we plan to catch soulful folk crooner William Elliot Whitmore, multi-genre rapper Serengeti, rock/jazz/electronic quintet Zing!, and a local festival (Chicago Soundmap 2009) that asks selected composers to balance improvisation and composition.
Featuring members of NOMO, Silences (Sumire), Zing! and Eastern Blok, this newly formed improvisational outfit features four young standouts in Chicago’s jazz, rock, and electronic scenes, relying less on freeform contrast and more on repeated melodies and apparent sections.
With a melody-filled free-jazz oeuvre, Chicago drummer Mike Reed gathers a host of exceptional local jazz performers for his Loose Assembly, including saxophonist Greg Ward, vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, cellist Tomeka Reid and bassist Josh Abrams.