No homework necessary, just come and listen

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Shapiro, Avery, Gajewski
  • Shapiro, Avery, Gajewski
The Everypeople Workshop is prolific. Although the multimedia and performance collective was only founded in 2009, it's already released four self-produced albums; written and produced a ballet, Bronzeville Nutcracker; and put on a three-day festival in Woodstock, Illinois. Tomorrow, Everypeople will host its monthly Wednesday event at Village Records in Roscoe Village.

Everypeople is led by three Chicago-based musicians: Mikel Avery, Nicholas Gajewski, and Aaron Shapiro (who's just 19). "Nicholas, Aaron, and myself meet on a weekly basis. We cover everything from how poor we are to what we make artistically," says Avery, laughing. "We decide on different project ideas and possible directors for those projects." Currently, Everypeople has developed five ongoing groups: Everypeople Song, Nicholas Gajewski's Strings, Mikel Patrick Avery's Trio + Film, the Aaron Shapiro Big Band, and a quartet also led by Gajewski.

While the five projects are distinct, they all feature the same rotation of musicians—including Tortoise's Jeff Parker. When Avery, Gajewski, and Shapiro make an album, all five groups are represented. On their latest, Everypeople Workshop V. 4, which was released last month, each group has a track.

Much of Everypeople's work sounds like classic jazz standards, and some sounds like old-timey music. However, all of it has the timbre of 1960s recordings. Perhaps the overlapping sounds are a product of the collective. It's certainly been true of similar groups in the past: the six composers in the 1920s Parisian collective, Le Six, had a recognizable Impressionist aesthetic.

Tomorrow's event will premiere Gajewski's new compositions written for "Quartet." When asked what the audience should expect, Avery doesn't get specific. "Just come and listen. I don't like telling people what the music sounds like. Or telling them to do their homework. If they just come and listen, I'll be happy."

Wed 4/11, 8-9 PM, Village Records, 2010 W. Roscoe. Free admission

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