• Tuesday March 26 | 9:00 pm

    Mazzarella/Stein/Reed/Mezzacappa & Clausen/Heinemann/Hunton

    First meeting of this improvising quartet! Bassist Lisa Mezzacappa makes a rare visit from the San Francisco Bay Area for an improvised set of music with Chicago creative music heroes, Nick Mazzarella (alto sax), Jason Stein (bass clarinet) and Mike Reed (drums). Expect high energy grooves, spacious soundscapes, lyrical flights and abstract musings.

Jason Stein, bass clarinet
Nick Mazzarella, alto saxophone
Mike Reed, drums
Lisa Mezzacappa (SF Bay Area), acoustic bass


plus opening the night:
Sarah Clausen, alto saxophone
Jacob Heinemann, bass
Emerson Hunton, drums


Saxophonist and composer Nick Mazzarella has been a consistent presence in Chicago’s music scene since the early 2000s where his continuous performance schedule has made an aesthetically unique contribution to the city’s rich culture of jazz and improvised music. His working bands—the Nick Mazzarella Trio, Meridian Trio, and the Nick Mazzarella Quintet—have served as the primary vehicles for his endeavors as a composer and bandleader, while as a collaborator or sideman he has performed and recorded with such artists as Tomeka Reid, Joshua Abrams, Hamid Drake, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Avreeayl Ra, Rob Mazurek, Geof Bradfield, and Makaya McCraven. Recordings of his original music have been released by Nessa Records, Clean Feed Records, International Anthem Recording Company, and Astral Spirits. http://www.nickmazzarella.com/


Jason Stein is among the mere handful of improvisers who play the bass clarinet exclusively. Stein leads the acclaimed trio Locksmith Isidore as well as his own quartet and he contributes to several of the leading bands on Chicago’s new-music scene, and has brought a vital voice to the freest of free-jazz jams. But he has also stated a fondness for playing tunes, providing a showcase for Stein’s extraordinary expertise on the bass clarinet, which ranges from powerful post-bop lines to ear-grabbing wails in the altissimo range. Stein moved to Chicago in 2005 and has since recorded for such labels as Leo, Delmark, Not Two, Atavistic, 482 Music, Clean Feed, Astral Spirits, and Northern Spy. https://www.jasonsteinmusic.com/


Mike Reed is a musician, composer, bandleader and arts presenter based in Chicago. Over the last two decades he has emerged as a dominant force within Chicago’s diverse artistic community, both through the music he makes and the live events he produces. In addition to leading or co-leading several working bands, all rooted deeply in jazz and improvised music, he’s founding director of the Pitchfork Music Festival, programming chair of the Chicago Jazz Festival, and the owner and director of performing arts venue Constellation. His long-running post-bop quartet People, Places & Things has collaborated with guest musicians like Ira Sullivan, Julian Priester, Art Hoyle, Craig Taborn, and Matthew Shipp over the years. He also plays in Artifacts, a collective trio with flutist Nicole Mitchell and cellist Tomeka Reid; with vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz’s trio Sun Rooms as well as the octet led by bassist Jason Roebke. https://mikereed-music.com


Lisa Mezzacappa is a Berkeley, California-based composer, bassist and bandleader. Called “one of the most imaginative figures on the Bay Area creative jazz scene” by the Mercury News and “a Bay Area treasure” by KQED, she has been an active part of California’s vibrant music community for more than 18 years. Mezzacappa’s activities as a composer and bandleader include ethereal chamber music, electro-acoustic works, avant-garde jazz, music for groups from duo to large ensemble, and collaborations with film, dance, and visual art. Her current projects include a suite for sextet inspired by Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics stories about the origins of the universe; the new duo B. Experimental Band which performs original compositions for improvisers bimonthly in Oakland, CA; and The Electronic Lover, an opera podcast created in collaboration with writer Beth Lisick. www.lisamezzacappa.com