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American Composers Forum announces compositions for concert celebrating 55th anniversary of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians

The American Composers Forum (ACF) is thrilled to announce the premieres of music commissioned through its two-year partnership with the Chicago-based, internationally-renowned Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Supporting the creation of music by The Honourable Elizabeth A. Baker, Adegoke Steve Colson and Rudresh Mahanthappa, this is the first time the AACM has collaborated with another organization to commission artists.

The concert of world premieres will be performed by the AACM’S iconic Great Black Music Ensemble (GBME) and celebrates the 55th anniversary of the AACM. It takes place at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts (915 E. 60th St.), the AACM’s long-time partner, on Saturday, October 30, at 7 p.m. Tickets are free with required reservations and are currently available at

The Honourable Elizabeth A. Baker will join the GBME in performing three works that are real-time process driven with electronic support: “the possibilities before,” “Strange Loops” and “bioFEEDBACK,” conducted by the AACM President Coco Elysses. Adegoke Steve Colson will conduct the GBME in the performance of his new work “Incandescence Chapters One – Six,” which draws upon his 50-year history as an AACM member with each chapter reflecting on a decade of the organization. AACM member and Founding Music Director and Conductor of The Chicago Modern Orchestra Project Renee Baker will conduct Rudresh Mahanthappa’s new work “Finding Our Voice,” a composition that conveys collective hope and understanding.

“At the start of this collaboration in 2019, we had the great honor of working with the AACM’s Great Black Music Ensemble in the Twin Cities to provide an opportunity for The Honourable Elizabeth A. Baker, Adegoke Steve Colson, and Rudresh Mahanthappa to get to know the musicians of the GBME, explore ideas together for their new works, have meals with one another, and to perform together at The Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. These experiences led to a deeper collaboration,” said Billy Lackey, ACF Vice President of Artist Services. “We look forward to experiencing these three new works at last, after this extended and challenging time in the world.”

“The AACM is extremely excited about this unique development to premiere the concert at the Logan Center, a longstanding partner. This creative experience’s impact on the composers and musicians is a great example of artistic nurturing spearheaded by ACF. The possibilities born from this convergence are deeply tied to the AACM’s mantra, which is ‘A Power Greater Than Itself.’ Our 55th-anniversary celebration represents a new chapter, new collaborations, and a renewed impetus amid a rapidly changing world, surviving and continuing our legacy in creating great Black music,” said Coco Elysses, the AACM President.

The Great Black Music Ensemble features some of Chicago’s most visionary artists of improvisation and creative music. Originally founded by Muhal Richard Abrams as the Experimental Band, GBME ranges in size from three to 50 musicians and carries on the legacy of the Black Arts Movement of Chicago’s South Side. GBME has been in residence at the Rebuild Foundation and has been performing at the Arts Bank every first Sunday for the last two years.

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