Tatsu Aoki's Miyumi Pjoeject Big Band | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Tatsu Aoki's Miyumi Pjoeject Big Band


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It's been five years since local polymath bassist and composer Tatsu Aoki premiered his large-scale composition Rooted: Origins of Now at several Chicago concerts, which were followed up by a Southport Records CD of the same title--enough time for Aoki to revisit the work's themes of cultural inheritance, alienation, and synthesis. The title of his new piece, Re:Rooted, suggests a change in direction, and Aoki has explained that the work more consciously explores the influence of the Bay Area's Asian-American jazz movement, where he's increased his involvement during this decade. Aoki workshopped the piece at a May concert in Margate Park, and it reflects his own growth and that of the younger musicians in his Miyumi Project Big Band, the group he assembled to play the original. Much of that band remains intact, including reedist Mwata Bowden, vocalist Yoko Noge, and a trio of taiko drummers; for this official premiere, Asian-American jazz pioneers Jon Jang (piano) and Frances Wong (saxes) augment the ensemble. The first Rooted felt somewhat unfocused over 60 minutes; expect a composition that's more taut, if no less sweeping, this time out. Thu 7/27, 6:30 PM, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 100 N. Michigan, 312-742-1168. Free. All ages.

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