Chicago’s top classical, jazz, and hip hop artists gather for a night of musical improvisation

By Keegan Morris |

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Accomplished Chicago saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell (Photo: Elvira Faltermeier)

Iconoclastic Chicago saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell is one of the artists performing in Red Bull Music Presents: Round Robin on Thursday (Photo: Elvira Faltermeier)

Thursday, August 30, some of Chicago’s most acclaimed musicians gather at Thalia Hall in Pilsen for a night of completely improvised music. The performance will feature sixteen artists from different musical traditions and is presented by Red Bull Music. Doors open at 8:30 pm.

The cast of performers, whose backgrounds range from classical to electronic music, all hail from Chicago, or at least have deep roots to Chicago. The night includes accomplished saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Katinka Kleijn, spoken word poet Kevin Coval, jazz and rock guitarist Jeff Parker, theremin player Lisa E. Harris, and Akenya, a singer and composer who frequently collaborates with Chicago rappers Noname, Saba, and Chance the Rapper. Performers will improvise round robin-style in pairs, blending different genres and exposing both deep commonalities and piquant contrasts across artistic traditions. Since the performances will be improvised by performance of different musical backgrounds, the music will be truly one-of-a-kind.