Aug 14th 2021

Join us for a homecoming fundraising event featuring Roscoe Mitchell, Junius Paul, Ben LaMar Gay, and Natural Information Society.


You’re invited to a homecoming concert in ESS’s Chicago garden! Join us in-person, or stream with us wherever you are. The afternoon includes:

An exclusive screening of new work by Roscoe Mitchell.

Live interview with Roscoe Mitchell, led by Junius Paul and Ben LaMar Gay.

Live, in-person performances by Natural Information SocietyJunius Paul, and Ben LaMar Gay.

An opportunity to bid on a new, single edition recording by Jim O’Rourke.


Saturday, August 14, 4-7pm CT

We are excited to invite a limited number of guests to enjoy the concert in-person in the ESS garden at 5925 N. Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL. Get your tickets here while they last!

We will also be streaming the event live for everyone who can’t make it in person. The stream will be accessible for free, but we sure do appreciate a donation (it’s a fundraiser afterall!). Make sure to tune in, because this content will not be available later.


ESS is a non-profit arts organization based out of Chicago and working with partners and artists who are exploring the sonic arts all over the world. Your tickets and donations go right back into an artist-centric ecosystem of creativity and community-building.

For example:

A $25 donation pays for nearly a week of electricity at the studio. Directly exciting? No. Deeply impactful? Yes. You try recording groundbreaking work with no electricity. Actually impossible.

A $25 donation also pays for 1 hour of one-on-one work with an artist or curator. Working with the artists and curators in advance of a show is arguably almost as important as the presentation itself. Over the past year ESS has presented nearly 1,500 artists and we have worked with a huge number of them individually to realize their vision. After learning to stream on The Quarantine Concerts, many of them have gone on to start their own streaming series.

A $70 ticket funds a guaranteed artist fee for one set of a streaming performance. Your support allows us to uphold a deeply held institutional belief in paying artists guaranteed fees for the work they do, even as we are programming high volumes of shows—in 2021 ESS is still presenting live performance 5 nights a week. The result is not only a live performance, but also an archived record that lives on in the Creative Audio Archive, on YouTube, and wherever the artist chooses to use it.

If we sell out this event with $70 tickets, that funds the entire fall 2021 Option Series. Curated by Ken Vandermark, Tim Daisy, and Andrew Clinkman, the weekly Option Series has become a vital ongoing record of contemporary improvised music across genres. We started streaming this series in 2016 with the idea of establishing lines of conversation around improvisation across international music communities. Today, not only does the series reach international audiences on six continents, but we have also branched out to an Option Podcast, which features interviews from throughout the past six years.

A $150 ticket funds a Recording Studio Scholarship for a 2 hour session. In an effort to expand access to ESS’s resources and facilities, we will begin offering Recording Studio Scholarships this fall.

Seven tickets at $150 funds a new international artist exchange. This year ESS is excited to partner with the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in a new international artist exchange residency between Chicago artist Maria Gaspar and Spanish artist Juanjo Palacios. Facilitating opportunities for artists from different cultures and parts of the world to connect and share their work has always been a core component of ESS’s programs, and during the pandemic, the need for this type of interaction became especially compelling.

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