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Tuesdays on the Terrace: Mwata Bowdens One Foot In, One Foot Out

  • This event will now be held in the Edlis Neeson Theater due to inclement weather. A live video stream will also be available in the Commons.

Mwata Bowden

Photo: Lauren Deutsch

Summer Tuesdays come alive on the MCA’s Anne and John Kern Terrace Garden with free music highlighting artists from Chicago’s internationally renowned jazz community. Mwata Bowden brings his cross-generational ensemble One Foot In, One Foot Out to the Kern Terrace. The evening features three longtime AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) members: tenor saxophonist Ari Brown, bassist Harrison Bankhead, and drummer Avreeayl Ra. They are joined by trumpeter Leon Q and Bowden’s son, Khari B, who has fired up the spoken-word scene in Chicago with his jazz-based style.

About the artist

Mwata Bowden was born in Memphis but has his roots in Chicago's jazz history. After training under legendary band director Walter Dyett at DuSable High School, touring with the rhythm-and-blues band the Chi-lites, and developing a reputation as a riveting multi-instrumentalist, Bowden established a jazz scene at the University of Chicago where he is currently the Director of Jazz Ensembles. As a second-generation member and former Chair of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), he helped evolve the concept of collective improvisation through its signature band, the Great Black Music Ensemble. His more than 20-year partnership with Tatsu Aoki's Miyumi Project helped create an amalgam of American jazz with Japanese taiko, and as a member of Edward Wilkerson's Eight Bold Souls, Bowden has performed at jazz and blues festivals throughout Chicago and around the world. He is a long time educator who understands how learning and applying the skills of improvisation can provide life-long benefits for youth—from CPS elementary and high school students to the AACM School to the many Jazz X-Tet students and alumni at the University of Chicago, as well as workshops he has presented to students worldwide. In 2013, he received the Jazz Journalists Association's Jazz Hero award for his advocacy for and cultivation of a strong and vibrant jazz community in Chicago and in the world.