Trumpet player, composer and arranger Emily Kuhn is based in Chicago, where she is active as a bandleader, sidewoman, and educator. Her chamber jazz ensemble, Helios, which comprises nine players in its full configuration, plays original music influenced by jazz, classical music, and a variety of folk and popular music genres, arranged for a jazz rhythm section, horns, voice, and string quartet.
Helios features musicians active in many music scenes across Chicago, including Mercedes Inez Martinez (vocals), Max Bessesen (woodwinds), Lucia Thomas (violin), Erendira Izguerra (violin), Christine Fliginger (viola), Danny Hoppe (cello), Evan Levine (bass), and Gustavo CortiÃ±as (drums). With a string quartet in lieu of a single chordal instrument, the band plays original music and arrangements that are rooted in jazz and weave between sounds from folk, popular, and classical musical traditions. Heliosâ€™ unique instrumentation lends itself to an emphasis on highly melodic, groove-based songs with lush harmonies and room for improvisation, and the music is often inspired by the natural world. The band has appeared at venues including the Green Mill and Elastic Arts, and in 2018 they presented an educational concert series through the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks program.
In addition to leading Helios and freelancing as a sidewoman, Emily has played regularly with a wide variety of ensembles across the jazz and Latin scenes in Chicago, including Latin fusion band Son Monarcas, Kitt Lylesâ€™ Real Talk Collective, Sam Pilnickâ€™s Nonet, and Erik Skovâ€™s Liminality. She has taught in classrooms and out-of-school environments across the country through organizations such as the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Music Inc., and Stanford Jazz Workshop. She received a BM and BA in Jazz Trumpet Performance and Environmental Studies from Oberlin. At Oberlin and in her hometown of Charlottesville, VA, she studied with renowned trumpet players Eddie Henderson, Sean Jones, and John Dâ€™earth. She has given master classes and concerts at venues and schools across the country, and in the summers of 2016 and 2017 she taught and performed at Stanford Jazz Workshop through the Mentor Fellow program. Emily has also played the piano her whole life, and is a versatile composer and arranger.
Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.
The BBCLP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit...
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Gigging musicians! You have nothing to lose but your lack of a collective voice to achieve fair wages for your work!
The IMA can be a conduit for you, if you join in to make it work.
Read more here - Andy Gilbert's Feb 25 article about the IMA from KQED's site