Art Ensemble of Chicago
The Art Ensemble of Chicago has been at the forefront of “creative improvised music” for over 50 years. Emerging from the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) under the direction of Muhal Richard Abrams. By 1966 the group took the name of Art Ensemble, a name signifying that the band was moving beyond the genres of jazz, experimental music and performance art into a creative realm that was entirely their own. Art Ensemble of Chicago recorded for major labels (Atlantic, ECM, DIW), performed in all the world and became one of the most significant improvising groups in music history.
The Art Ensemble of Chicago is reknowned for it’s integration of musical styles that span the history of jazz and multi-instrumental group improvisations. Their musical universe is enhanced by the creative use of unique sounds and percussions-aka little instruments, traditional hand and stick drums, whistles, horns, bells, chimes, vibes, marimba, gongs of all sizes and an array of home made and found sound objects that serve each individual musician as an extension of their personality on their principal instruments of saxophones, flutes, trumpet and flugelhorn, double bass and drum set. Their live performances of original compositions written by all the members have also included elaborate costumes, face paint, props, theater, poetry, dance and more to create a visual, auditory and sensual spectacle.