Wadada Leo Smith / Roscoe Mitchell / Henry Threadgill Fifty Years of AACM de Chicago


The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) is a militant and experimental music organisation founded in Chicago in 1965 by four musicians,  pianist Muhal Richard Abrams.pianist Jodie Christian, cornet player Kelan Phil Cohran and drummer Steve McCall, looking for new ways to create and improvise. The AACM has left a considerable mark on music in the 20th century: it gave rise to “Creative Music” with exceptional musicians likes Anthony Braxton. It is also where Chicago’s Art Ensemble first met. One member of the group, trumpeter Lester Bowie, became one of the first jazz musicians to head to Lagos, Nigeria, in order to delve into the origins of African-American music. The AACM brought jazz, improvisation and composition closer together with Henry Threadgill and Anthony Braxton both as drivers behind the movement. It also gave birth to the expression “Great Black Music” – a term used only for the best music in the field

The activism and experimentation with music and sound were closely tied to political movements and civil liberties groups of the time such as the Black Panthers, and Nation of Islam.

The Théâtre de la Ville, the Théâtre du Châtelet and The Festival d’Automne à Paris have joined forces to bring to you a celebration of fifty years of creativity that has spread out from Chicago to New York and even to Paris where many musicians lived in the late 1960’s.
Three groups will take to the stage at the Théâtre du Châtelet: trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet; the duo formed by saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell (founder of Art Ensemble of Chicago) and drummer Mike Reed, corner-stone of AACM’s new generation; and lastly, Henry Threadgill, composer and musical director for Double-Up – an ensemble he created to rethink the way music is written, to rethink “spontaneous composition”.