David Boykin Expanse | Austin Town Hall | Jazz | Chicago Reader
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David Boykin Expanse 

When: Sat., July 6, 11 a.m. 2013
When the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians formed in Chicago 48 years ago, founding members such as Muhal Richard Abrams and Jodie Christian envisioned an organization that not only helped jazz musicians present their music as they wished, but also fostered connections between those musicians and their communities. South-side reedist and drummer David Boykin, a prominent figure in the present-day AACM, pursues that vision with a missionary’s zeal. Though his music is rooted in jazz tradition (the virtuosity of Sonny Rollins, the spiritually inspired ecstasy of Pharoah Sanders), he incorporates gospel, hip-hop, and funk elements that keep it close to home, and he often plays in publicly accessible venues well outside the jazz circuit. His trio’s latest album (and his most recent CD), Live at Dorchester Projects, documents a series of open rehearsals and performances that he held a couple years ago in the space artist Theaster Gates rebuilt in the Grand Crossing neighborhood. This concert by one of Boykin’s larger bands, the Expanse, is part of the Chicago Cultural Center’s Juicebox series, held on Saturday mornings and geared to engage young children. Given the empathy and virtuosity that these musicians have honed over years of playing together, though—the Expanse now includes bassist Joshua Abrams, guitarist Alex Wing, and pianist James Baker—I suspect that parents will find plenty to dig as well. The Expanse also plays at Hungry Brain on Sun 7/7. —Bill Meyer



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