Drummer Jeremy Cunningham releases a dense but delicate jazz record to honor his late brother | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

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Drummer Jeremy Cunningham releases a dense but delicate jazz record to honor his late brother

Plus: The Black, Brown, and Indigenous Crew rocks the Vaginal Davis exhibit at the Art Institute, and Chicago songwriter Wyatt Waddell plays Behind the Scene at Schubas.

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Jeremy Cunningham - PHOTO BY JACOB HAND
  • Photo by Jacob Hand
  • Jeremy Cunningham

Since moving here from Cincinnati in 2009, drummer Jeremy Cunningham has anchored several local ensembles, including orchestral jazz squad Resavoir and a crack quartet with guitarist Jeff Parker, bassist Paul Bryan, and saxophonist Josh Johnson—which is also the core group on most of his solo album The Weather Up There, due Friday, February 28, via Northern Spy. The album celebrates his brother Andrew, killed in a home invasion robbery in 2008; in a short documentary about the project, Cunningham says, "It's helpful to reconnect with the whole of a person's life, and not just the worst thing." The Weather Up There creates a nuanced portrait of Andrew as it drifts between soulful, loping grooves and recordings of family members discussing the effects of gun violence. On Saturday, February 22, Cunningham's quartet plays a release show at Constellation; also on the bill are poet Mykele Deville and a duo of Resavoir members Akenya Seymour and Will Miller.

  • The mini documentary that accompanies Jeremy Cunningham's new album

The video art of genderqueer punk performer and artist Vaginal Davis is showing at the Art Institute of Chicago until April, and the local Black, Brown, and Indigenous Crew are throwing a BIPOC punk show at the Art Institute's Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room that testifies to Davis's legacy in another, equally powerful way! On Friday, February 21, Blacker Face, the Breathing Light, Mermaid N.V., the Uhuruverse, and YGSLRHSTFUT will tear the roof off; admission is free, but you must preregister via the Art Institute's website.

Gossip Wolf first heard local singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and Intonation Music Workshop instructor Wyatt Waddell last year. He'd posted a few songs on Bandcamp and Soundcloud, and his debut single, 2018's "Cyber Eyes," uses a knockout combo of languid guitar riffs, flamboyant bass, funky keys, and relaxed soul vocals. On Thursday, February 20, he plays a free show upstairs at Schubas as part of the monthly Behind the Scene series.  v

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