I've got a whole city to hold down

May 09, 2005

AACM turns 40; Velvet on the move?

The past weekend was full of festivities marking the 40th anniversary of the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), including several concerts. Check out John Litweiler's Sun-Times overview of these giants of jazz and their group's anniversary, or see the AACM's page for general info.

In related news, the Velvet Lounge (the near-south side club owned and operated by AACM stalwart and tenor sax master Fred Anderson) is soon to close at its current location. Anderson has identified nearby space to relocate, but estimates he needs $100,000 to make the move and reopen. A pair of benefit shows (scheduled for the old club on May 22 and 27) are the first, modest efforts to begin to gather those funds. See the club's site for info on the fundraisers or to make a donation via PayPal.

(Note to local jazz writers, arts grantsmakers, city brass and wealthy philanthropists: This community institution needs your attention.)

Update: The Trib's Howard Reich on the AACM's Great Black Music Ensemble's Sunday night performance: "If there's a band that can match the sonic brilliance, tonal splendor and creative inspiration ... it has yet to be heard." Full mega-rave here.