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DANCE PARTY BEFORE THE SHOW at 6:30pm
Warm up and dance with your own Cuban Cocktail as we count down to the HotHouse Meets Havana Festival each night
Toast to HotHouse at 34 years with a brindis (cocktail ) and a dance
Opening each night will be a “cuban cocktail dance party” at 6:30 pm CST with DJ MADRID – Zoom registration pass code is 756 523
THURSDAY JANUARY 21 at 7pm
Watch the Concert on the following channels
ROSCOE MITCHELL, HAROLD LOPEZ-NUSSA, HAMID DRAKE WITH MICHAEL ZERANG, BOBBY CARCASSES – HOST, LARRY BLUMENFELD
ROSCOE MITCHELL, SOLO
Roscoe Mitchell is considered one of the key figures in avant-garde jazz, integrating influences from everywhere—world music, funk, rock, classical—to create music that is at once beautiful and complex. He has been involved with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a Chicago-based nonprofit organization founded in the mid-1960s to advance new creative music. Mitchell has performed on more than 85 recordings and written in excess of 250 compositions in the jazz and classical realms. He continues to pass down his musical knowledge of composition and improvisation, both in educational and performance settings.
Mitchell first played saxophone and clarinet as a teenager in Chicago, Illinois, and while stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army, he played in a military band. While overseas, he met and played with saxophonists Albert Ayler and Rubin Cooper in military parades and jam sessions. Returning to Chicago in 1961, he performed with a group of Wilson Junior College students who included bassist Malachi Favors and saxophonists Joseph Jarman, Henry Threadgill, and Anthony Braxton. Mitchell also began studying with pianist/composer Muhal Richard Abrams and joined Abrams’ new Experimental Band, a group that explored extended forms of composition and improvisation.
In 1965, Mitchell became an inaugural member of the AACM, and his sextet became the first AACM group to record. This group eventually turned into the Art Ensemble of Chicago, including Favors and Jarman, and Lester Bowie on trumpet. Without a drummer, all the band members would share timekeeping duties, using makeshift percussion instruments ranging from found objects to toys. Even after they recruited percussionist Don Moye, they all continued to contribute to the beat. The Art Ensemble of Chicago took Europe by storm in the late 1960s with its fiery performances, unusual instrumentation, and African-inspired clothing and face-paint.
After the group’s return to the U.S. in the early 1970s, Mitchell continued working with the Art Ensemble and members of the AACM, but also created other groups for his restless musical output. He established the Creative Arts Collective in 1974, and as an outgrowth of that, the Sound Ensemble. Mitchell also began releasing more albums as a leader and experimenting with finding new ways to make music, such as learning the tradition of circular breathing and working with computers in improvisation. In the 1990s, he began collaborating with such classical composers as Pauline Oliveros and Thomas Buckner.
López-Nussa was born into a musical family in Havana where he still lives. He grew up in Centro, a neighborhood known for its folkloric Afro-Cuban ceremonies. “There would be two or three ceremonies each week, and I could hear them from my house,” he recalled. “What I soaked in there has never left me.” His father, Ruy López-Nussa Lekszycki, and his younger brother Ruy Adrián López-Nussa are drummers and percussionist. His uncle Ernán López-Nussa is a well-known jazz pianist. His mother, Mayra Torres, was a piano teacher.
He started on piano when he was eight years old. After graduating from the Instituto Superior de Artes, he toured with Omara Portuondo. In 2003, he worked with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, he participated in a piano contest at the Montreaux Jazz Festival and won first place. He released his first solo album, Canciones, in 2007. He has worked with Leo Brouwer, Gilles Peterson, and Alune Wade, and he has recorded with his father and brother. “I need the kind of relaxed life that Havana gives me,” he said. For López-Nussa, whose award-winning music has led to international tours and who holds dual citizenship in Cuba and France. “Every time I return to Cuba, I feel something special—not just a connection with my family and friends, but with the place itself. This is where my music comes from, what it talks about.”.
HAMID DRAKE WITH MICHAEL ZERANG
By the close of the 1990s, Hamid Drake was widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in jazz and improvised music. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion instruments and influence, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free jazz improvisers. Drake also has performed world music; by the late 1970s, he was a member of Foday Musa Suso’s Mandingo Griot Society and has played reggae throughout his career.
Drake has worked with trumpeter Don Cherry, pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonists Pharoah Sanders, Fred Anderson, Archie Shepp and David Murray and bassists Reggie Workman and William Parker. He studied drums extensively, including eastern and Caribbean styles. He frequently plays without sticks, using his hands to develop subtle commanding undertones. His tabla playing is notable for his subtlety and flair. Drake’s questing nature and his interest in Caribbean percussion led to a deep involvement with reggae.
Michael Zerang was born in Chicago, Illinois, and is a first-generation American of Assyrian decent. He has been a professional musician, composer, and producer since 1976, focusing extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater, experimental theater, and international musical forms.
As a percussionist, composer and collaborator, Zerang has over one hundred titles in his discography and has toured nationally and internationally to 35 countries since 1981, and worked with and ever-widening pool of collaborators, primarily in The United States, Western and Eastern Europe.
Zerang has collaborated extensively with contemporary theater, dance, and other multidisciplinary forms and has received three Joseph Jefferson Awards for Original Music Composition in Theater, in collaboration with Redmoon Theater, in 1996, 1998, and 2000.
29 August 1928, Kingston, Jamaica. Born into a Cuban family (his maternal grandfather worked as a diplomat in Jamaica at the time of his birth), Carcasses moved with his family back to Cuba aged four, where he was surrounded by the various forms of local music. However, he started out as an opera singer before switching to Cuban music and working as a vocalist at the famous Tropicana nightclub. It was here that he first began to experiment with incorporating scat and bebop influences into his vocal style. By 1960 he was also known as a dancer and athlete (he was Cuba’s Long Jump Champion for that year) and as a multi-instrumentalist (playing trumpet, bass, congas and drums). Later in the decade he travelled, including a year in Paris playing with resident jazz greats Bud Powell and Kenny ‘Klook’ Clarke.
On his return to Cuba Carcasses formed his own jazz group, as well as acting in films and television. In 1980 he organized the first Jazz Plaza Festival, bringing to Cuba a host of international artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Haden and Airto Moreira. The festival became an annual event, with Carcasses and his band performing each year. He also toured extensively throughout Europe and the USA, performing alongside Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri and many other big names of Latin jazz. Jazz Timbero was recorded in Havana in 1997 with an all-star Cuban big band (including members of Irakere and Los Van Van), playing a funky mix of Latin and jazz. His son is Roberto Carcasses the jazz pianist.
LARRY BLUMENFELD – HOST
Larry Blumenfeld writes regularly about jazz for The Wall Street Journal. His culture reporting has appeared in The New York Times, Daily Beast, Salon and Village Voice among other publications and websites. He is editor-at-large of Jazziz Magazine. A frequent lecturer and moderator at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, he hosts and curates the museum’s ongoing “Jazz and Social Justice” series. He travels to New Orleans and to Cuba whenever he can.