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WDCB and Jazz Night in America present Mike Reed's Flesh & Bone

July 19th, 2017
This concert will be recorded and later broadcast on NPR's Jazz Night in America on WDCB, and across the country! A post-concert reception will feature music from George Freeman/Mike Allemana Quartet.
Mike Reed's Flesh & Bone begins at 8:30pm.
George Freeman/Mike Allemana Quartet follows.
Venue: Constellation - 3111 N. Western Avenue Chicago, IL 60618
Jazz Night in America
Jazz Night in America is produced and distributed by NPR. The weekly radio show is hosted by Grammy-winning jazz musician Christian McBride, and airs locally every Monday night at 7pm on 90.9fm WDCB! Each week’s broadcast presents some of the best live jazz performances from around the country, as well as the stories behind these performances. This Constellation performance will be recorded by Jazz Night in America to be aired on public radio jazz stations across the country (including WDCB) on a future date.
Mike Reed's Flesh & BoneMike Reed's Flesh & Bone
Greg Ward - alto sax
Ben Lamar Gay - cornet
Tim Haldeman - tenor sax
Jason Stein - bass clarinet
Marvin Tate - vocals
Mike Reed - drums
Jason Roebke - bass

Flesh & Bone represents the culmination of a journey drummer, composer, and bandleader Mike Reed never wanted to embark on, but delivered into the midst of a racially charged rally and subsequent riot in Prerov. Czech Republic he found himself with no choice. While on tour in tour with his quartet People, Places and Things in April of 2009 a conductor instructed the band that a scheduling change required them to change trains in order to make it to their final destination, Krakow. The group soon realized the conductor was less interested in helping them out than in dropping them into a very frightening situation. Skinheads surrounded the train station and the rally exploded into a street battle with attack dogs, tear gas, riot police and the band: two white and two black American musicians. Thanks to protection provided by local authorities, the musicians finally escaped harm and left for Poland. The ordeal occupied eight harrowing hours and illustrated a new iteration of racism rippling through Eastern Europe. It took years for Reed to fully process the experience, which haunted him.

Finally, seven years after the original encounter in Prerov an aural inspiration is being released. The program of music skirts any direct and obvious narrative references to the Czech experience, but rather looks at larger questions that the experience raised. Since Reed conceived of the project a series of populist movements such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US president has added a frightening resonance to the effort. “The fact that ideas of nationalism and scapegoating have been resurgent on such a large scale is terrifying,” says Reed. “The sensationalism of my story now doesn’t seem all that. The religious intolerance and the increased incidents affecting people of color at the hands of the authorities has, of course, defined new moments of inequality in America and all around the world, but I think that a lot of young people of color and white liberals felt the deep pains of otherness in the truths that the election uncovered. The boogie man that your parents warned you about does exist.”
George Freeman/Mike Allemana QuartetGeorge Freeman/Mike Allemana Quartet
George Freeman - guitar
Mike Allemana - guitar
Pete Benson - organ
Mike Schlick - drums

George Freeman has been performing professionally in Chicago since the 1940s, when he recorded with Joe Morris and Tom Archia, among others, and supported visiting musicians such as Lester Young and Charlie Parker. Since these auspicious early years, Freeman has gone on to play guitar with Ben Webster, Illinois Jacquet, Sonny Stitt, and many other local greats and internationally recognized musicians.

Mike Allemana has been an active member of the Chicago jazz community since the late 1990s performing, touring and recording with Von Freeman, Charles Earland, and Lin Halliday, among others. In 2011 the Jazz Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center commissioned Allemana to arrange Von Freeman’s music for the Made in Chicago series at Millennium Park.

For this quartet, Freeman and Allemana will be joined by organist Pete Benson and drummer Mike Schlick.