May 11th 2023

Gerrit Hatcher is a Chicago-based tenor saxophonist, improviser, and composer. Hatcher’s work typically engages with free jazz as a craft and set of practices that is as much repertory as it is experimental.

Gerrit is involved in a number of working groups and other projects, based in Chicago and elsewhere. These include a trio of Chicagoan collaborative trios: Hatcher/Maunu/Kirshner, with Peter Maunu and Julian Kirshner, Hatcher/Abrams/Damon with Joshua Abrams and Tyler Damon, and Hatcher/Giallorenzo/Kirshner with Paul Giallorenzo and Kirshner, as well as larger improvisating ensembles like The Brunt with Dave Rempis, Kent Kessler and Bill Harris. Hatcher has also presented compositions-based work with the Gerrit Hatcher Group, with Katie Ernst, Ben Lamar Gay, Keefe Jackson and Julian Kirshner, playing his own material and some other repertoire. Beyond the city limits, Gerrit has a duo with Belgian drummer Jakob Warmenbol, has recorded and performed as a trio with Los Angeles’s Patrick Shiroishi and Ojai’s Rob Magill, as well as in other collaborations with Magill, and is a member of the Temple of Enthusiasm with Marvin Tate, Lia Kohl, Erwan Keravec and Gaspar Claus, a transatlantic French-Chicagoan ensemble that came together via the network of The Bridge.

On Thursday May 11th, Gerrit celebrates the release of his fifth solo album, Solo Five, with a live solo set at Chicago’s Comfort Station. Solo Five is made up of seven pieces, all unedited, single-take tenor saxophone performances. Phrases are iterated into second nature gestures, screams decay and are rebuilt, and jazz vocabulary enters somewhere in the middle. Gerrit has pursued solo playing over the past seven years, periodically performing and producing albums. This ongoing project has kept its own pace alongside the many groups in which Hatcher is involved, and serves as a place to work on that whole web of collaborative influences, in addition to exploring the tradition and unique questions of solo saxophone performance. Solo Five will be released on May 12th on Kettle Hole Records on CD and digital. It was recorded on the 31st of May 2021 by Todd A. Carter at Bel_Air sound studio; Todd also mixed and mastered this album.a

Ishmael Ali is a dynamic cellist, guitarist, improviser, and composer based out of Chicago. His work centers on exploring sound through improvisation, experimentation, composition, and collaboration, focusing on a wide array of idiomatic approaches in an ever-changing, always-growing list of projects informed by diverse influences. Though varying drastically from group to group, a common thread in his work is the juxtaposition of seemingly disparate elements to create something new: both foreign and familiar. Ishmael is leader or co-leader of a plethora of working projects including the KAH trio, Hearsay, Je’raf, Akjai, Archipelago, and Oido. He has also performed or recorded with Avreeayl Ra, Josh Berman, Jim Baker, Fred Jackson, Ed Wilkerson, Angel Bat Dawid, Jason Stein, and many more. In addition to performing, Mr. Ali is a part of the Chicago record label Amalgam Music, and is a co-founder and audio engineer at Marmalade, a recording and rehearsal space in the West Loop. He continues to work as an organizer and promoter with varying degrees of regularity.

Norman Long is a local sound artist/designer/composer born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. He has exhibited and performed in galleries in Chicago, Ithaca, NY, London, and the San Francisco Bay Area. His current work focuses on sound art production within the larger context of landscape. His work revolves around the themes of memory, space, silence and the invisible. His goal as an artist/designer is to create spaces reflecting history, culture and diversity of community and ecology. He now lives in Chicago and continues to compose, design & perform. He has performed at Kavi Gupta Gallery, HungryMan Gallery, the OPP shop, Brown Rice and the Chicago Underground Library. He has composed a sound installation at the Lincoln Park Conservatory as part of the Experimental Sound Studio’s Florasonic Series. He is also a member of the World Listening Project and the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology.

Jakob Heinemann is a double bassist, composer, improviser and sound artist working between Chicago and Madison, WI. My interests are wide-ranging, but tend to center on close listening, environmental composition, and open collaborations with other artists. As a bass player, I frequently perform freely improvised music, and count myself as a member of the rich and varied community of creative musicians in Chicago. As a composer and sound artist, I utilize field recordings, spectral analysis, and traditional scoring to sonify my local community, seeking to document and understand a sense of place in a radically changing environment.

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