Composer, cornetist, visual artist, musical director and a central figure in Chicago’s avante-garde scene since the 1990s, Rob Mazurek gained huge notoriety with Chicago Underground, a group that metamorphosed from a duo to an orchestra. In Brazil, where he lived for several years, he trialled a similar project called São Paulo Underground, creating the seminal Exploding Star Orchestra when he returned to Chicago. Within this project launched in 2005, Mazurek created a vehicle that could encompass the disparate styles and ideologies of the wide range of free forms of expression and has explored the most avant-garde currents in the scene, incorporating musicians from post-rock, AACM and free improvisation. The only category it might fit is All-Stars – each and every one of the artists involved is a legend of avant-garde jazz, although some belong to the North-American territories of creative music while others have been known to favor the European heights of improvisation. Working with volatile energy and dedication, Rob Mazurek shines a light, bringing out the very best in the musicians he has patiently, precisely selected. Together they evoke Béla Bartok and Gil Evans, Morton Feldman and Bill Dixon, Sun Ra and The Art Ensemble of Chicago. The universe is a very big place. Rob Mazurek is doing his part to fill it with glorious sound.
13 October National Opera and Ballet, 20:00 NOB, 20:00