WBEZ | made in chicago festival http://www.wbez.org/tags/made-chicago-festival Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago jazz is music to Polish ears http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-11/chicago-jazz-music-polish-ears-103908 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Made-in-Chicago-2012-poznan-concerts-culture-events-entertainment-Festivals_51561.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="(Courtesy Made in Chicago)" /></div><p>Last week, as many of you tucked into your annual helping of turkey &lsquo;n sides, I, along with some residents of Poznan, Poland, was digging into very different fare: Chicago jazz.</p><p>For the past seven years, this small, picturesque city in western Poland has hosted&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.inyourpocket.com/poland/poznan/concerts-culture-events-entertainment/Festivals/Made-in-Chicago-2012_108591v">Made in Chicago</a>,&nbsp;</em>a four-day festival exclusively dedicated&nbsp;to our city&#39;s avant garde and traditional jazz scene. The gathering&nbsp;is the work of Wojciech&nbsp;Juszczak, of the arts organization <a href="http://www.estrada.poznan.pl/">Estrada Poznanska</a>, in collaboration with Lauren Deutsch of the Jazz Institute of Chicago.</p><p>This year&rsquo;s program included a number of Chicago&rsquo;s younger improvising stars, including <a href="http://tomekareid.com/">cellist Tomeka Reid</a>, saxophonist Dave Rempis (who, along with bass player Joshua Abrams, form the ARR Trio) and <a href="http://jasonadasiewicz.com/">vibraphonist Jason Adaciewiz</a> (who brought his Sun Rooms trio and played with Mike Reed and others in <a href="http://www.cuneiformrecords.com/bandshtml/livingbylanterns.html">Living by Lanterns</a>). They were joined by stalwarts of Chicago&rsquo;s scene, including <a href="http://kenchaney.webs.com/">Ken Chaney</a>, who recently reprised his &#39;70s jazz-soul outfit The Awakening.</p><p>Juszczak discovered the &quot;Chicago sound&quot; when Poland was still behind the Iron Curtain. He said it was &ldquo;incredibly expensive&rdquo; to get jazz records from the United States, but &ldquo;somebody somehow got one LP and we exchanged the music on tape.&rdquo; For some Polish music lovers, jazz, especially free jazz, represented freedom.&nbsp;</p><p>Despite the logistical and political obstacles Juszczak faced, Deutsch said her collaborator now knows the history of Chicago&rsquo;s jazz scene far better than many locals, including the smallest details &mdash; like where Von Freeman went to high school.</p><p>Juszczak&nbsp;said he was drawn to Chicago&rsquo;s jazz scene in particular because of the way its music is &ldquo;rooted in community,&rdquo; in which experimental and more mainstream musicians don&rsquo;t exist apart from one another, but exchange ideas and play together in one scene. He contrasted our city&rsquo;s scene with that of New York&rsquo;s, which he finds more &quot;snobby.&quot; &nbsp;</p><p>In New York, it&#39;s &quot;more about money and careers,&quot; Juszczak said.&nbsp;</p><p>Though a European music festival dedicated to the players of one jazz community may seem unorthodox, even narrow-minded, Juszczak said the creativity and depth of Chicago&rsquo;s musicians keeps it fresh. And, audiences seem to welcome the experience. Thousands of people come every year, from within Poland and other parts of Europe. Perhaps that&rsquo;s because the festival offers the opportunity for annual discovery akin to Juszczak&rsquo;s original forays into Chicago jazz. Every year he and Deutsch try to present &ldquo;non-obvious&rdquo; jazz stars and new ensembles, so that the audiences, right alongside the festival&rsquo;s programmers, experience new groups and new music for the first time. One highlight for Juszczak was the 2006 premiere of <a href="http://nicolemitchell.com/">flutist Nicole Mitchell</a>&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em>Harambee Suite.&nbsp;</em>Deutstch added that the festival has helped launch the careers of some of Chicago&#39;s musicians, by allowing them to play in front of a discerning&nbsp;international crowd.</p><p>The festival ran Thursday through Sunday, and this year included opportunities for Polish and Chicago musicians to workshop techniques and ideas together. Don&#39;t tell, but a few New York musicians (all long-time Chicago&nbsp;collaborators) snuck into the mix, too. The concerts culminated with&nbsp;<em>Blowin&rsquo; in from Chicago,</em>&nbsp;an all-star &ldquo;re-imagining&rdquo; of the famous 1957 Blue Note recording with the then very young Chicago tenor saxophonists John Gilmore and Clifford Jordan (Edward Wilkerson Jr. and Ari Brown did the honors in Poznan).</p><p>But no rest for the European arts presenter: Juszczak is already off to presenting his next event, a festival of baroque music. In fact, when I asked him to name a favourite musician, he opted for J. S. Bach over and above his beloved Chicago jazz cats!</p><p>To find out more about this year&rsquo;s festival, tune into&nbsp;<em>Worldview&nbsp;</em>at noon on Monday; I&rsquo;ll be joining Jerome live to re-cap the event.</p></p> Mon, 26 Nov 2012 10:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-11/chicago-jazz-music-polish-ears-103908