Art Ensemble of Chicago - Live at Le Guess Who? 2018

In the mid-1960s, Art Ensemble of Chicago sprung from the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Moving far beyond jazz, avant-garde and performance art, the ensemble has created a realm that is entirely original.

On the opening night of Le Guess Who? 2018, and on the eve of the Art Ensemble of Chicago’s 50th Anniversary, we celebrated their legacy and welcomed the collective back in style, after a 25-year absence in The Netherlands.

You can now relive their glorious performance (curated by Moor Mother) and experience why the group have been celebrated as one of the most remarkable free jazz movements to arise from Chicago’s already rich jazz heritage.

"One of the first acts opening the festival was always going to be one of the best: The Art Ensemble of Chicago. They open with Roscoe Mitchell playing sopranino sax uninterruptedly for over ten minutes in an astounding feat of circular breathing, yet its most thrilling moment comes when cellist Tomeka Reid performs a pizzicato solo as restrained as it is feverish." - WIRE

Roscoe Mitchell - alto sax, soprano sax, sopranino sax, flute and percussion
Famoudou Don Moye - drums, congas, bongos and percussion
Hugh Ragin - trumpet, flugelhorn and piccolo trumpet
Jaribu Shahid - double bass
Silvia Bolognesi - bass
Tomeka Reid - cello
Dudu Kouate – african percussion

While listening, read our in-depth feature ‘Tracing the Roots: Art Ensemble of Chicago’s Great Black Music, Ancient To The Future’, where we trace the roots of the group and its individual performers, their voyages across the world, and their establishment of some truly inspiring cooperative ethics.

Recorded on Thursday, 8 November, at TivoliVredenburg's Grote Zaal. Listen + watch more Le Guess Who? recordings via our archive

Recorded and mixed by Marc Broer. 
Photography by Jelmer de Haas and Ben Houdijk.

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