“[H]is music crystallizes the hard-hitting, hard-swinging spirit of Chicago jazz,” rhapsodizes the Chicago Tribune of the preeminent trumpeter Marquis Hill. Considering a city that fostered the legacies of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and Von Freeman, that may seem a heavy mantle to carry. Not so for Hill, who embodies such praise with style and sophistication. Hill’s big win in the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition marked his arrival on the world stage, which was followed by the release of The Way We Play – his Concord Records debut with his group, the Blacktet, and an homage to his hometown’s rich musical legacy.
Hill’s latest effort, Modern Flows Vol. 2, melds jazz with the sounds of another Chicago musical tradition: hip-hop. Featuring spoken word recited over subtle grooves and lithe melodies, the Blacktet weaves a lush acoustic-electric backdrop behind Hill’s masterful improvisations on trumpet. With Modern Flows, Hill demonstrates that he is both a natural ambassador of the Chicago jazz tradition and a keen student of the city’s diverse and ever-evolving musical landscape.
As a tribute to Chicago, its great jazz musicians, and the legacy they continue to inspire for generations, this performance is dedicated to the memory of Willie Pickens (1931-2017), featuring special guest pianist Bethany Pickens.
UChicago Presents would like to thank our partners: Chicago Jazz Magazine, Downbeat Magazine, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, the Jazz Institute of Chicago, and WDCB
Selections to be announced from the stage.