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.
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.
With nimble fingers and fluttering melodies, flutist/composer Nicole Mitchell is a master of her instrument. Here she gathers a quartet version of her Black Earth Ensemble, a hard-bop lineup with plenty of grooves to hold down the solos and improvisational moments.