Ear Taxi Festival announces program and venue details

Tue Jul 20, 2021 at 10:34 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

The Ear Taxi Festival released details of its sophomore installment on Tuesday. The event was originally scheduled for fall of 2020 but delayed due to Covid-19.

Chicago’s contemporary new music festival, inaugurated by composer Augusta Read Thomas in 2016, will be helmed this time by flutist Jennie Oh Brown (executive and artistic director) and conductor Michael Lewanski (curatorial director). The festival will encompass over a hundred events with 600 artists participating September 15-October 4 at venues across Chicago.

This year’s festival will be even more hyperlocal than five years ago. The theme is “HEAR CHICAGO,” which, the release states, is “a call to engage with the vast multiplicity of styles and traditions that constitutes Chicago’s expansive musical identity, focusing on musicians of color as a significant part of the city’s complex history.”

“Chicago is home to a lot of different musical traditions that occupy non-commercial spaces and operate in interstitial aesthetics,” said Lewanski in a released statement.

“So many musicians are making work whose originary [sic] style is something else: classical music, jazz, and performance art all come to mind, though that’s not to exclude others. And for any number of reasons, these musicians have moved in other directions; they might make improvised music, creative music, contemporary classical music, electronic music. 

“It’s also important to acknowledge that the institutional and financial support for these musics vary widely. We are celebrating, commissioning, and hoping to draw attention to as many variations of these musics as we can manage.”

This year’s lineup will be divided into two sections: the Mainstage Series from September 30-October 4 and a prefatory Spotlight Series September 15-29 of self-presented events by musicians.

The Mainstage series will present 21 premieres and 177 works over five days. It will open September 30 at the Kehrein Center for the Arts in Austin. Performing will be Picosa, pianist Clare Longendyke, the Fonema Consort, Lisa Giethre-McGinn, the Quince Ensemble, Blue Violet Duo, DePaul Concert Orchestra, and the KAI String Quartet.

The ensuing four days of Mainstage events will take place at  the DePaul Art Museum, DePaul University in Lincoln Park, the Logan Center in Hyde Park, and Constellation, and close at Kehrein October 4.

For more information and a complete festival schedule, go to eartaxifestival.com.

Posted in News

Leave a Comment