FRIDAY MARCH 22, 2019
At Hairpin Arts Center, 2810 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Tatsu Aoki brings together a new musical series to facilitate new catalystic events, providing a substratum for Chicago’s musical artists to collaborate and bring forth different musical experiments.
Jeff Chan & Greg Diethrich
Mai Sugimoto & Jason Roebke
Chicago saxophonist/composer Jeff Chan is dedicated to advancing the understanding of the Asian American experience through music. He has worked with many of the leaders of the Asian American creative music movement, including saxophonist Francis Wong and bassist Tatsu Aoki as well as some of the top figures in the Chicago music scene such as saxophonists Jimmy Ellis, Ari Brown, Mwata Bowden and Edward Wilkerson Jr., trumpeter Ameen Muhammad, drummer Avreeayl Ra and pianist/vocalist/bandleader Yoko Noge. With a discography of more than 10 recordings as a leader, sideman and producer, Chan has performed extensively in the Chicago area, across the nation and in Europe. Critics have said that Chan is “… a voice to be reckoned with… (Brian Gilmore, JazzTimes, April 15, 2010)” and that his work is “music of uncommon majesty, spirituality and emotional depth (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune, October 11, 2005).”
Greg Diethrich (drums) has been a performer and music educator for over 25 years, and holds a Masters and Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology. He frequently performs, records, and teaches a range of musical styles including jazz, world music, rock, funk/soul, and Americana. Greg has lived and studied music in India and the Caribbean, and performs and teaches musics of Latin America, India, West Africa, and more. He has held visiting faculty positions at several colleges and universities and is a member of the percussion faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago. Greg has enjoyed playing jazz and improvised music with Jeff Chan for over 25 years.
Mai Sugimoto is a Japanese born saxophonist and composer living in Chicago, IL. In 2018, she released her debut quartet album, Born/Raised (Asian Improv Records) which was made possible by an artist grant from the city of Chicago. Sugimoto is also an integral member of Chicago-based quartet, Hanami, with which she has released two albums and performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival. In addition to these main projects, she often appears with bassist, Tatsu Aoki’s ensembles including Fred Anderson Legacy Band and Miyumi Project. Howard Reich of Chicago Tribune has described her as a “a compelling performer” with “dry-champagne tone and lyrical lines.” Sugimoto channels inspiration from her Japanese and American musical roots into her writing and performing approach with various groups.
Jason Roebke is a Chicago bassist and composer. In addition to playing bass in several of Chicago’s most compelling jazz groups, he has composed music for his own Octet and small groups. His playing is intensely physical, audacious, and sparse. The Chicago Reader described his work as “a carefully orchestrated rummage through a hardware store.” He is a member of Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore, Mike Reed Flesh & Bone, and Tomeka Reid Quartet. Roebke studied privately with saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell as well as legendary double bass pedagogue Stuart Sankey. In 2009, he was awarded the Fellowship in Music Composition from the Illinois Arts Council. Roebke tours widely in the US and Europe. He was the subject of an extensive interview and career overview in Point of Departure.