The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic returns to the Kehrein Center for the Arts this Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets will again be just $1.
The Philharmonic will be performing “Havana Blue,” an ensemble created by co-founder Orbert Davis that highlights the similarities between African and Cuban cultures. It is inspired by a decade-long relationship between the Philharmonic and Cuban music students. Four Cuban alumni will be performing at the show.
“When I work with them, it blows my mind because there is such a high level of virtuosity. It’s absolutely stunning,” Davis said.
Their first performance in June drew over 300 attendees. Once again, there will be an intermission discussion between Davis, Vee Stokes and Reesheda Graham-Washington.
Students from Austin’s Circle Rock Charter School will be performing with the Philharmonic’s Jazz Academy in the lobby before the show.
The Circle Rock Charter School students participate in the Sistema Ravinia program, which has a strong connection to the Kehrein Center. The students practice every day after school there, said Isaac Sinnett, senior associate director of Ravinia’s education programs.
“These programs are designed to go into spaces that don’t have resources or access and help provide that bridge,” Sinnett said.
The program led to the hiring of a full-time music teacher at Circle Rock Charter School.
The Sistema Ravinia program is also available at Austin’s George Rogers Clark Elementary School.
Having students from different backgrounds collaborate together is an intentional action, said Elena Petrovich, Chicago Philharmonic communications coordinator.
“So many of those themes and experiences along the lines of Cuba: the idea of reciprocity and relationships and art transcending prejudice in connection with people that literally don’t speak the same language but are able to through art,” Petrovich said.
Davis said the presentation of “Havana Blue” in Austin is meant to be symbolic – and bring communities together.
“We have to put aside what we think we know about ourselves and give ourselves the chance to grow, the chance to change, and then let that happen in the moment,” Davis said. “That’s really what jazz is all about.”
This show is the second of three the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic will have at the Kehrein Center. The third will be held in February during Black History Month.
“People should bring their dancing shoes,” Davis said.