Please join us Friday, June 1st for the first annual Elastic Arts Benefit! 2018 marks the 20th year since a group of adventurous performers began to coalesce into the collective that would soon lead to Elastic Arts. We hope you can join us to celebrate, and to help us strengthen our organization for the next 20 years.
The night will consist of a series of performances representing Elastic’s varied and adventurous programming followed by an afterparty with DJ John Simmons. Our new arts curator, Kim Alpert, has organized a photo retrospective celebrating 20 years of Elastic that will be on display.
Jeff Parker, Joshua Abrams & Avreeayl Ra
Guitarist Jeff Parker effortlessly moves between jazz and experimental rock and is known for his work in Tortoise as well as numerous jazz combos. He joins one of Chicago’s most creative and respected bassists, Joshua Abrams in a trio with our Elastic Achievement Award honoree, drummer Avreeayl Ra.
The Elastic Achievement Award will be given to Avreeayl Ra, an artist who embodies the qualities that the organization stands for – artistic excellence, innovation, the defiance of boundaries, contributions to the broader creative community – and whose achievements represent the best of what we hope to make possible through our efforts. The Elastic Achievement Award is a way to recognize an artist whose work and energy have inspired us, and to celebrate them together as a community.
Ra, born in Chicago, is a renowned musician always in demand. Avreeayl’s father, Arthur “Swinglee” O’Neil, was a tenor saxophonist who was mentor to many young Chicago musicians, including John Gilmore, later the mainstay of Sun Ra’s Arkestra. Avreeayl is a long-term member of the Chicago AACM, his relationship with the seminal music organization having begun with early studies with AACM co-founder Kelan Philip Cohran. Avreeayl has performed and /or recorded with Fred Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Fontella Bass, Lester Bowie, Ari Brown, Oscar Brown, Jr., Henry Butler, Henry Byrd (”Professor Longhair”), Hamid Drake, Malachi Favors, Donald Raphael Garrett, Charles Gayle, Henry Grimes, Billy Harper, Joseph Jarman, Edward “Kidd” Jordan, Nicole Mitchell, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Malachi Thompson, and many more.
A triple threat in his own right, ELevation A.K.A. DJ Uncle EL simultaneously wears the hats of DJ, MC and beatmaker. His journey as an artist began sometime around 1995. At this time EL began dabbling in production and recording lyrics with long time friends Scientific and Verbal. They later formed the group, “Manifest Destiny,” in 1997. The group later disbanded around 2000, as each member went on to persue solo aspirations. Moving forward, EL began to focus more on his DJ and production talents. He developed a style which he describes as “golden era breaks meets futuristic glitch.” His beats combine intricately chopped samples with live instrumentation to provide the music with more of an organic feel.
Spectralina is the audio-visual performance project of Dan Bitney and Selina Trepp; collaborators, lovers and magicians.
Robogrrl is the mech-persona of Carolyn Carney, a performing artist in Chicago, IL. Carolyn originally created this character in 2015 for street performances on Michigan Ave. In the past year, she has focused on bringing RoboGrrl to the internet, through a series of videos filmed in collaboration with Chicago Movement Series. RoboGrrl’s movements are inspired by hip hop and butoh; conceptually, her origins lie in the 1995 movie Ghost in the Shell. Find her on Instagram @chimovement !!!!
Molly Roth and Sam Scranton’s “Confetti Exercise” performed by Kristan Saloky and Rachel Copel
Confetti Exercise is an escapist ritual by Molly Roth Scranton, performed by Rachel Copel and Kristan Saloky, all 2017 WE Series artists. In Confetti Exercise and dozens more Escapist Exercises, Scranton advances a belief that escapism is not a mere indulgence but an essential tool for survival in contemporary culture.
DJ John Simmons is a dynamic people mover with more than twenty years experience on the turntables. With Chicago-style house music as a forte, John’s sound is heavily informed by jazz, soul, disco, boogie, & modern electronics. Having cut his chops in the Midwest’s late ’90s underground/rave scene, John has become one of Chicago’s hardest-working djs, having held residencies at a countless number of nightclubs, restaurants & lounges. John has played alongside many of the best in the house/dance/electronic music industry, including heavyweights like Frankie Knuckles, Juan Atkins, Lil’ Louis, Cajmere/Green Velvet, Derrick Carter, Paul Johnson, Moodymann, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Kaytranada, and many more. John currently is a member of two of Chicago’s top dj groups, Style Matters & the Vocalo DJ Collective. Through his influences, experience, and always open mind, John Simmons is a purveyor of music that stays true to the soulful sounds of the past while constantly pushing things forward.