Monday, March 1, 2021
Streaming from YouTube
Legendary Chicago based writer, critic, space operator, thinker on improvised music, John Corbett of the Corbett Vs. Dempsey Gallery talks with host Sam Hillmer.
A writer, curator, and producer, John Corbett is co-owner of the Chicago art gallery Corbett vs. Dempsey, which has produced a plethora of books and audio recordings of new and historical jazz, experimental music, and free improvisation. Corbett is author of Pick up the Pieces: Excursions in Seventies Music (2019), Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium (2017), A Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation (2016), Microgroove: Forays into Other Music(2015), and Extended Play: Sounding Off from John Cage to Dr. Funkenstein (1994) and co-editor (with Anthony Elms and Terri Kapsalis) of Pathways to Unknown Worlds: Sun Ra, El Saturn and Chicago’s Afro-Futurist Underground, 1954-68 (2007). As an essayist and reviewer, Corbett has written for numerous academic and commercial publications, including DownBeat, The Wire, The Chicago Reader, The Chicago Tribune, NKA, Bomb, LitHub, and Lapham’s Quarterly. Corbett has written extensively on the musicians Sun Ra and Peter Brötzmann, as well as artists Jim Lutes, Charline Von Heyl, Christopher Wool, Albert Oehlen, and Sadie Benning, among many others. The Unheard Music Series, Corbett’s label, existed from 1999-2006, prior to Corbett vs. Dempsey’s record label. Invited to be guest artistic director of JazzFest Berlin, Corbett also co-produced the Empty Bottle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music and has organized many musical events and festivals, at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York, the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, and the Menil Collection, Houston. Among Corbett’s museum curatorial efforts is the upcoming exhibition Private Eye: The Imagist Impulse in Chicago Art, co-curated with Jim Dempsey, opening in May, 2021, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Corbett taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1988 to 2014.