Though honorary AACM member Sun Ra claimed to have been born on the planet Saturn, you don't have to be that far out to dig
the music of the Association for Advancement of Creative Musicians.
Formed in 1965 by jazz artists who wanted to do more than play conventional and
commercial music, the
Association for Advancement of
Creative Musicians spawned numerous innovators in its Chicago incubator.
Over a span of more than forty years, the association nurtured the artistic growth of not only singular
artists but whole groups – most notably the world-renowned
Art Ensemble of Chicago. The ensemble, like
many of its AACM coreligionists, brought to the jazz sound a mixture of rampant improvisation, unorthodox
instruments and theatrical antics.
Watch AACM member Malachi Thompson perform with his
Arts Across Illinois: CenterStage in 2001.
Watch AACM member and former president Ernest Dawkins and his
New Horizons Ensemble play on
Arts Across Illinois: CenterStage in 2002.
Watch AACM's Nicole Mitchell perform with the
Earth Ensemble at
Arts Across Illinois: CenterStage in 2003.
Find out where AACM members are
playing concerts near you.
Visit the PBS site dedicated to
jazz and watch Ken Burns' sprawling documentary on the subject.