Thursday, August 1st – 7:30-9:30 pm
Emily Kuhn’s Helios Quintet
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 Cortiñas (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. Helios’ 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 Lyles’ Real Talk Collective, Sam Pilnick’s Nonet, and Erik Skov’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 D’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.
"It is in doubt and not in faith that the salvation of the world is to be found. Faith is a delusion and a snare: a pitfall, a prison. It intimidates the intellect. With fear of eternal damnation religion crushes intellectual activity; with hero worship it destroys individuality; with hopes for the beyond it prevents the growth of ideals for the present. It makes of us a race of intellectual cowards; it changes but little if any our daily conduct toward each other. But doubt sets us free."
-- Job Harriman, 1902
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...
[Read More ]