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Dovetail Series: Spektral + Mikel Patrick Avery

  • Stony Island Arts Bank 6760 South Stony Island Avenue Chicago, IL, 60649 United States (map)

We propel our new Dovetail Series into the 2017/18 season with a stimulating exploration of environmental sound alongside multi-faceted artist Mikel Patrick Avery. For this collaboratively devised experience, all five musicians will work together to uncover the unique resonating frequency to which the Stony Island Arts Bank is naturally tuned – all enclosed spaces feature one – and then create an improvisation around this sonic nucleus. While all live performance is inherently one-of-a-kind, in this case, the resulting music is inextricably linked to the specific performance space.

For our solo set, we go high-contrast with selections from Chicago Symphony Orchestra Mead Composer-in-Residence Samuel Adams, and the astonishing first quartet of Johannes Brahms. Presented with the Arts Bank’s lush acoustic very much in mind, Adams’s Quartet Movement channels snippets of Schubert, slipping into and out of silence by way of white noise and sine tones piped through snare drums. The experience is transfixing, and a compelling foil to the dark and stormy night that is Brahms’s String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, excerpted for this portion of the evening.

A musician highly regarded for his imaginative compositions and use of unconventional instruments, Rebuild Foundation artist-in-residence Mikel Patrick Avery will perform a solo set utilizing a variety of vibrating drums, children's toys, and electronics creating layers of sound while displaying images from his recent photo book SPARE.

The DOVETAIL SERIES is a musical dialogue between Chicago’s north and south sides, a collision and collusion of cultures in partnership with Theaster Gates’s Rebuild Foundation. Created as an artistic exchange, the series features Spektral and Rebuild-affiliated artists trading solo sets before daring to leap into unknown territory–devising a collaborative final set that combines the exceptional elements of both traditions.


Interdisciplinary artist Mikel Patrick Avery has been active within the Chicago area for the past 12 years. Established as a jazz drummer, he is commonly recognized for his orchestral and melodic style of drumming that often involves the use of unconventional "non-musical" objects.

As well as being a performing musician, Mikel is a dedicated composer, photographer, producer and educator. In recent years, Mikel has become an integral voice in varying ensembles including; Rob Mazurek's Moon Cycles, Joshua Abrams' Natural Information Society, The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and Theaster Gates' Black Monks of Mississippi as well as leading several of his own projects including; 1/2 Size Piano Trio, Rats+Star, and Mikel Patrick Avery PLAY. Mikel has had the privilege to perform at some of the world’s greatest outlets including at Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Documenta 13 (in Kassel Germany), Kepler Studio (Berlin), Guelph Jazz Festival, White Cube (London), MCA Chicago and a performance for President Barack Obama.

*The Dovetail Series is made possible with the generous support of the Paul M. Angell Foundation*

All DOVETAIL concerts are FREE and open to the public


Earlier Event: November 6
Carolina Performing Arts