Clean Feed Festival
It says something about the local jazz scene’s growing international stature that estimable Portuguese label Clean Feed has opted to branch out to Chicago after five successful runs in NYC. For two days, four gigs and eight sets, the Clean freaks roll out a cross section of their world-class stable, pairing homegrown players with peers from abroad in artful configurations.
The Chicago Cultural Center hosts the early engagements gratis each day, beginning Friday 14 with a trio led by gifted local reedist Keefe Jackson. We’re most excited for what follows, the return of Tyshawn Sorey, a rising avant-garde composer and multi-instrumentalist. The imposing 29-year-old remains best known (and most sought after) for his work behind the kit, powering the likes of improv warriors Dave Douglas and Steve Coleman. For his first local appearance in five years, the exacting drummer spars with pianist Kris Davis and saxist Ingrid Laubrock. Afterward, the party moves to the Hideout, where lyrical Portuguese guitarist Luís Lopes teams with two local jazz journeymen, trombonist Jeb Bishop and bassist Joshua Abrams. Dylan Ryan’s Herculaneum follows, a tight-knit unit faithfully carrying out the savvy percussionist’s postbop.
Saturday begins with another showcase at the CCC, this one featuring two acts with local ties: Ex-Chicagoan Matt Bauder returns with long-running ambient trio Memorize the Sky, followed by North Side staple Nate McBride and his swing-happy mi3, spotlighting the offbeat figures of elegant pianist Pandelis Karayorgis. The inaugural mini fest wraps up at Wicker Park’s Heaven Gallery with Lisbon’s free-flying RED Trio and bass clarinetist Jason Stein’s nuanced Locksmith Isidore. Culled from the corners of contemporary creative music, this dense offering salutes the conversational spirit powering this increasingly important imprint.