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(Published: March 24, 2015)

The year-long 50th anniversary celebration of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) heats up on the weekend of April 23-26 with master classes and concerts that promise to demonstrate just how the organization continues to transform the musical landscape. "Together: A Power Stronger Than Itself" is the theme for the 50th Anniversary celebration and concert that reunites 50 of the most cutting edge musicians in contemporary music, including Grammy nominees Steve and Iqua Colson, legendary drummer and jazz studies professor Thurman Barker and multi-instrumentalist and Shinshu Buddhist priest Shaku Joseph Jarman.

"We are a creative music organization rooted in the musical traditions of our people and we embrace all of the evolutions that we've had since the first notes on the planet," said AACM chairman Khari B. "One of our members, George Lewis, was one of the earliest innovators of electronic music in the 70s that EDM and electronica are doing now. All these things are a nod to AACM. We don't make divisions. We play music. We make art." Founded in 1965 as a creative response to the disappearance of sustainable musical outlets, AACM has grown into a movement of creative musical freedom and ingenuity that has touched every aspect of popular music, from rock and punk to hip hop. The weekend will showcase the association's global free form music, rooted in African tradition and marked by cutting edge presentation.

The centerpiece of the 50th Anniversary Celebration weekend is the reunion concert on Sunday, April 26 at University of Chicago's Mandel Hall, co-presented by the AACM and the Logan Center for the Arts. This groundbreaking concert will reunite 50 powerful musicians and artists in a spectacular celebration of 50 years of creative output. Among the performers are Nicole Mitchell, Thurman Barker, Joseph Jarman, Renee Baker, Iqua Colson, Steve Colson, Douglas R. Ewart, Mwata Bowden, Khari B, Taalib-Din Ziyad, Saalik Ziyad, Earl Chico Freeman, Maia Sonjia Hubert Harper, Leonard Jones, Edward Kidd Jordan, Rita Warford, Sar Abshalom Ben Shalomo, Rasul Siddik and more.

Concert goers are invited to stop by the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place before the concert and view the exhibit, "Free at First: The Audacious Journey of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians." The exhibit runs through September 6, 2015.

In addition to reserved seating at the concert, VIP ticket holders will attend a post-performance reception with the artists.

Following is the exciting weekend line-up for the AACM 50th Anniversary Festivities:


Thursday, April 23
Hanah Jon Taylor Artet at The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park
Hanah Jon Taylor, Yosef Ben Israel, Dushun Mosley

Friday, April 24 - 7:30 pm
The Colson Group at International House, 1414 E. 59th St
Adegoke Steve Colson, Iqua Colson, Ernest Dawkins, Rasul Sadik, Dushun Mosley

Saturday, April 25
Master Classes (Chicago State University) - Open to Musicians Only

Sunday, April 26
50th Anniversary Reunion Concert, Mandel Hall - Reynolds Club, 1131 E. 57th
7-9 PM General Admission $35, $15 Students/Seniors w/ID
VIP Reception/exhibition viewing/reunion Concert ($100 VIP ticket)

Sunday, April 26 - 1-3 PM FREE
Creative Music Summit with Nicole Mitchell and Renee Baker at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), 220 E. Chicago Ave
Nicole Mitchell and Renee Baker discuss their upcoming music premieres commissioned by MCA

EXHIBITION: Tuesday - Sunday Thru September 6, 2015
FREE AT FIRST: The Audacious Journey of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians
DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place
Hours: Tues - Sat. 10am - 5 pm; Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm - $10; $7 students/seniors FREE on Sundays

For more information, call (312) 952-9383 or visit www.aacmchicago.org. Tickets to the April 26 concert may be purchased at ticketsweb.uchicago.edu.

More Information: http://www.aacmchicago.org

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