On Friday the Chicago City Arts Gallery opens a new group exhibition called “The Music Show.” I’m only familiar with two of the artists: local photographer Lauren Deutsch, also executive director of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, who's long been chronicling jazz performances in the city, snapping some of the most beautiful shots of musicians I’ve ever seen. And trumpeter Bill Dixon, one of the most original individuals jazz has ever produced, who's also an accomplished visual artist. Also in the show are Ann Ponce, James Conley, and Beatriz Ledesma. There’s an opening reception on Friday from 4:30-8:30 and pianist Fred Simon will give a solo performance at 7 PM. But the real highlight of the exhibit might arrive when the show closes on July 11. Dixon will give his first ever performance in the city, joined by reedist Ken Vandermark, bassist Josh Abrams, and percussionist Michael Zerang. Ticket information hasn’t been announced yet, but this will be a special event. Even better, Dixon has also been confirmed for this year’s Chicago Jazz Festival, where he’ll perform with Rob Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra.
In other news, Thrill Jockey has signed the great New York band Fiery Furnaces (brother and sister Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger, who are Oak Park natives). They’ve previously issued records on Rough Trade and Fat Possum. Their first album for the label, Widow City, is scheduled to be released on October 9.