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Media Release

Published: 10/19/2011

Contemporary Jazz. Featuring Ramón López (Spain) and Jim Baker (Chicago).

Ramón López and Jim Baker present their new contemporary jazz performance Azul: free improvisation music that draws heavily on melodic and rhythmic beats and fusion of Mediterranean music.

Azul will be presented just in two cities in the US, at the Umbrella Music Jazz Festival in Chicago, launched in the spring of 2006 and considered as one of the city’s most important promoter of touring artists from around the Globe, and Albuquerque. Azul is a show that captures the expressive movements and natural rhythm of Contemporary European Jazz within a formal frame.

Ramón Lopez was born on August 6th 1961 in Alicante, Spain. He is a drummer, percussionist and composer. He began as a self-taught drummer in the mid-1970s. Witnessing a Max Roach solo concert in 1980 was a turning point that fundamentally changed his understanding of music. His first recording as a leader, an album of solo drums, was released in 1997 on the British Leo label linked to free jazz music and improvisation. Among others, Lopez has also worked at concerts and festivals and in the recording studio with many musicians of the jazz avant-garde: Rashied Ali, Majid Bekkas, Anthony Coleman, Andrew Cyrille and Sophia Domancich. Ramon Lopez is an un-typical percussionist. He is currently one of the most respected European musicians in the area of contemporary jazz or improvised music. The French government named him "Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters" in 2008. In 2011, Ramón participated in the Chicago Jazz Festival.

Jim Baker has been playing in and around Chicago as a pianist, keyboardist, and synthesist for more than two decades, mostly in improvisational contexts. He initially studied piano with Thomas Scott, of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and studied composition with Morgan Powell and Herbert Brun at the University of Illinois at Urbana.

During the 1980's, Baker played frequently in groups led by saxophonist Harold Jones (a.k.a. Hal Raru), and also played in the Nicholas Tremulis band. After leaving the Tremulis group, Baker was an active participant in the then-nascent free improvisation scene. Nowadays, Baker performs regularly as house pianist at the weekly Sunday evening jam sessions at Fred Anderson's Velvet Lounge, in Chicago. His activities as a writer/composer have been ongoing during the past twenty years, and some of his compositions have been recorded by Steam and Broken Wire.

The concert will be held on November 5th at 7pm at the Outpost Performance Space, located at 210 Yale SE. Tickets are available at the Outpost Performance Space Box Office. They accept phone orders as well as in-person sales. Tickets are $10/ $5 (students and Outpost member discount).
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