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Bassist Tatsu Aoki gathers an amazing band together for another night of electric sounds, this time with special guest Coco Elysses on percussion.
Tatsu Aoki: bass
Charles Rumback: drums
Rami Atassi: guitar
Tiger Tanaka: guitar
Coco Elysses: percussion
Tatsu Aoki, is a leading advocate for the Asian American community, as well as a prolific composer and performer of traditional and experimental music forms, a filmmaker, and an educator. Born in 1958 into the Toyoakimoto artisan family, Aoki was part of his family’s performance crew from the age of four. By the early 1970s, Aoki was active in Tokyo’s underground arts movement with experimental arts and music. In 1977, Aoki left Tokyo and is now one of the most in-demand performers of bass, shamisen, and taiko, contributing more than ninety recording projects and touring internationally during the last 35 years.
Predominately noted in the 90’s for being the longest associated bassist for the late Chicago legend Fred Anderson. In summer of 2016, his Miyumi Project ensemble was chosen as the official musical presenters for the unveiling of Yoko Ono’s first permanent installation in North America, “SKYLANDING”, in Chicago’s own Jackson Park; which also resulted in the group recording the album “SKYLANDING”, produced by Yoko Ono. Last year (2017), the group contributed their unique vibe to the soundtrack of the Japanese American Incarceration film documentary: “And Then They Came for Us”, and released the corresponding album. In May of 2018, Aoki was honored as the first recipient of the “George Award”, for his years of support, recording, and performance with renowned American Jazz and soul guitarist George Freeman. Last year (2019) Aoki was part of Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble, performing on the world tour of her “Mandorla Awakening II” project; and was also awarded the 2019 Community Service award from the Asian American Coalition of Chicago for his continued leadership and contribution to the community.
He recently was awarded the 2020 Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in the Ethnic and Folk Arts, and the 2020 United States Artist Fellowship for his work as a traditional music artist, composer, and educator.
Rami Atassi is a musician, improviser, and guitarist based in Chicago. His work is a combination of the technical and emotional, a balance of intellectual curiosity and visceral drive. Through guitar and electronics he finds an outlet for his endless fascination with harmony, texture, space, and feeling. Over the last decade he has recorded, played, and toured with a diverse group of musicians, including: The Caleb Willitz Band, Tatsu Aoki, Ed Wilkerson, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Mike Staron, Ryan Suzuka & Blow Wind Blow, Jeff Breakey, Rob Reid, Bassel & the Supernaturals.
Drummer, composer, bandleader, and all around creative musician, Charles Rumback performs in many varied and disparate musical settings from deep inside the jazz tradition to the periphery of its outer rings with his trio consisting of Chicago veteran pianist Jim Baker and bassist John Tate. The Chicago Reader took note of the trio’s improvisatory rapport stating “the crosstalk is sublime and the refined melodic impulses gently gorgeous.” (Peter Margasak)
Rumback’s compositions are always deep with melody and wide in harmony, leaving lots of acreage for his “deep rapport and intuitive connection” with bassist John Tate, and for pianist Jim Baker “who solos on Rumback’s tender themes with endless invention and harmonic splendor.” (Chicago Reader). In the hands, hearts, and minds of his simpatico bandmates, Rumback’s tunes are not simply obliterated by freedom, but rather set loose to roam and be rendered into what, at first, may seem indiscernible from the written melody, but, like a graffiti writer’s tag, rough-hewn and wild, you just have to look, listen, and pay attention to see the scribe’s stylized signature.
Special Guest Coco Elysses:
is a musician, actress, voice-over artist, screenwriter, and poet from Robbins, Illinois. Elysses recently completed her MFA in creative writing from National University. Her voice-over work includes spots for BET, BlackVoices.com, McDonald’s, Nike, IN-N-OUT Burger, Saints Row videogame, and EverQuest II. Her theater work includes a Black Theatre Alliance Award–nominated performance in The Old Settler at Organic Theatreand the Black Theatre Alliance Award–winning and Jeff Award–nominated production of Shakin the Mess Outta Misery at the Chicago Theatre Company. Elysses is a member of the Association for the Advancement for Creative Musicians, the Screen Actors Guild, and the American Film Market. Her poetry is featured in 99 New Poems: A Contemporary Anthology.
Tune in at: twitch.tv/elasticartschicago