March 25 at 7 p.m.
City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph Street, Chicago.
Four-time Grammy Award winner Eighth Blackbird, which aims to move music forward with innovative chamber music performance, comes home to Chicago in 2019 with a series of concerts showcasing the ensemble members together and in smaller configurations, performing new works from its international touring program at a variety of venues and neighborhoods. Eighth Blackbird’s musicians are Nathalie Joachim, flutes; Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets; Yvonne Lam, violin and viola; Nick Photinos, cello; Matthew Duvall, percussion; and Lisa Kaplan, piano.
Eighth Blackbird’s first major appearance is ice ’n’ SPICE, an eclectic acoustic concert that features the sextet performing together. The concert, which takes its title from a work on the program written by LA-based composer and Blackbird Creative Lab alumna Nina Shekhar, also includes Electric Aroma by Lab alumnus Viet Cuong and Eroding by Iceland-born Lab alumna Fjóla Evans, three of 12 new works commissioned by Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting for the Blackbird Creative Lab in 2017 and 2018. The Clarity of Cold Air by Jon Holland, Lobster Tales and Turtle Soup by Holly Harrison (which won Eighth Blackbird the Performance of the Year award at Australia’s Art Music Awards in 2017), and Stay On It by Julius Eastman round out the evening.
On May 17 and 18, Eighth Blackbird joins the lineup of Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series with DISSOLVE, an evening featuring the six ensemble members performing in smaller subsets showcasing their playful, intimate, and spirited versatility. The program includes works by Chicago Symphony Orchestra Mead Composer-in-Residence Missy Mazzoli, Blackbird Creative Lab alumna Gemma Peacocke, Puerto Rican-born Angélica Negrón, 2018–19 Rome Prize winner Jessie Marino, and more. Ensemble members will join audience members in Front Bar for conversation after the performance.
“We have a deep commitment to bringing new, groundbreaking work to audiences in our hometown,” said ensemble member Nathalie Joachim. “Eighth Blackbird aims to change the circumstances in which concerts occur by removing barriers for new listeners to experience some extraordinary 21st century work and some very special collaborators we’re bringing to the city. The wider the ensemble’s international reach, the greater the opportunity, and obligation, for Eighth Blackbird to bring it all home.”
All tickets are available on the City Winery website.
More information is available on the Eighth Blackbird website.
Photos by Saverio Truglia.