Chicago Visionaries: Let’s Play the Music of the AACM

Thursdays 6:30 - 8 pm 1/12 - 3/16 (10 weeks) Performance Date: 3/23

Chicago Visionaries: Let’s Play the Music of the AACM
Age Adult
Event Type Class
Department Ensembles
Day Thu
Instructor Lisa Mezzacappa
Status inperson event

This ensemble, led by bassist and composer Lisa Mezzacappa, will focus on performing, arranging and improvising on music by members of Chicago’s visionary and influential Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians – the AACM. Founded as a grassroots Black Arts movement in the 1960s, the AACM has inspired generations of jazz composers and improvisers and boasts alumni such as Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton, Nicole Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Tomeka Reid, and Wadada Leo Smith. The music by these artists traverses a wide range of sounds and approaches, from blues feeling to abstract explorations to raucous collectivity and playful group interplay.

Thursdays 6:30 – 8 pm

1/12 – 3/16 (10 weeks)

Performance Date: 3/23

Lisa Mezzacappa (in-person) $420


Ensembles take place IN-PERSON at the California Jazz Conservatory. 


All ensembles require a placement audition. For audition guidelines and to application instructions, please visit the Ensemble page here.


 About Lisa Mezzacappa


Berkeley, CA-based composer, bassist, and producer Lisa Mezzacappa has been an active part of California’s vibrant music community for nearly 20 years. Her activities as a composer and ensemble leader include ethereal chamber music, electro-acoustic works, adventurous jazz, non-traditional opera, music for groups from duo to large ensemble, and collaborations with film, dance, and visual art. Recent projects include Cosmicomics, a suite for electro-acoustic jazz sextet based on Italo’s Calvino’s stories about the origins of the cosmos; Organelle, a chamber work for improvisers grounded in scientific processes; Glorious Ravage, an evening-length song cycle for large ensemble and films drawn from the writings of Victorian lady adventurers; and Touch Bass, a collaboration with choreographer Risa Jaroslow. She also co-leads the community improvisation ensemble, the duo B. Experimental Band, with drummer Jason Levis, and is collaborating with writer Beth Lisick on the serial audio opera The Electronic