Great Black Music

Ars Nova Workshop



Roscoe Mitchell. Photo courtesy of Ars Nova Workshop.

Ars Nova Workshop presented Great Black Music in June 2011, a six-concert series featuring music by composers and multi-instrumentalists Henry Threadgill and Roscoe Mitchell, champions of avant-garde jazz, and early members of the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The festival was named after AACM's motto: "Great Black Music, Ancient to the Future," which speaks to the collective's commitment to supporting and championing the work of visionary artists. The project included performances by the Collide Saxophone Quartet, Ethel (string quartet), International Contemporary Ensemble, S.E.M. Ensemble, the Sound Ensemble (with Roscoe Mitchell), Tyshawn Sorey Ensemble, Threadgill's Zooid, and a program of music by Fieldwork, a trio consisting of pianist Vijay Iyer, alto saxophonist Steve Lehman, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey, accomplished composers and key disciples of the AACM.