Jazz Sisters | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Jazz Sisters 

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JAZZ SISTERS

Here at the end of the century we've reached the tertiary level of feminist awareness in jazz. First the place of women in jazz (mostly singers) was established and then the standing of women instrumentalists; now comes a program designed to remind us of the women behind those women--the women who write the songs. Sponsored by the midwest branch of American Women Composers, the concert actually has a dual purpose: it simultaneously celebrates Black History Month (February) and Women's History Month (March) by concentrating on women jazz composers. This focus gets a little fuzzy--half the composers represented on the program are not in fact black, and most of the musicians onstage are not in fact women. (They include such artists as pianists Steve Million and Bradley Parker-Sparrow, trombonist Audrey Morrison, trumpeter Micah Frazier--who leads one of the ensembles--and vocalists Joanie Pallatto and Bobbi Wilsyn, who lead the other two.) But as a means of exposing the compositions of lesser-known women artists--such as pianist Valerie Capers, vocalist Marilyn Harris, and trombonist Melba Liston--the idea has plenty of merit. The program also includes a world premiere of a piece by Chicago composer Regina Harris Baiocci, performed by the entire assemblage. Saturday, 2 PM, auditorium, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State; 743-9991. NEIL TESSER

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/B.P. Sparrow.

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