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Live Jazz at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Embodies ‘The Freedom Principle' Exhibit

by Louise Burton   Aug 3, 2015 12:16 PM EDT

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In conjunction with the exhibit The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is presenting an impressive lineup of jazz performances, premieres and multimedia events.

The Freedom Principle is a large-scale group exhibition that links the avant-garde jazz and experimental music of the late 1960s--particularly within the African-American arts scene on the South Side of Chicago--and its continuing influence on contemporary art and culture today.

The exhibition also features works by artists belonging to the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a collective of Chicago musicians who expanded the boundaries of jazz.

MCA Curator Naomi Beckwith said: "This year marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of the AACM. So part of the reason that we are doing this exhibition right now at the MCA, is because its moment is here for really what was a touchstone of cultural activity on the South Side of Chicago. And so what we wanted to do to celebrate that was create an exhibition that, of course, started with the AACM... but also talk about the context in which all of this happened."

So it is perhaps appropriate that the MCA should transform itself into a jazz presenting venue for the duration of the exhibit, which runs until November 22. Outdoor jazz on the terrace in a festival-like atmosphere, more formal concerts in the Edlis Neeson Theater, and smaller-scale performances in the lobby combine to create a hybrid jazz and art festival that invites patrons to explore the connections between music and visual art.

Tuesdays on the Terrace

Every Tuesday evening in the summer, the MCA turns into a mini jazz festival with free outdoor performances on the terrace, complete with buffet and outdoor grill. The Ari Brown Quintet (August 4), Douglas R. Ewart (August 11) and the Jason Stein Quartet (August 18) are just a few of the artists scheduled to perform. A complete lineup is available here.

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