Tuesday, September 10, 2019

A preview in the Chicago Reader for this month’s New Works Residency at The Whistler.

Photograph: Mikel Patrick Avery

Photograph: Mikel Patrick Avery

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Here’s a recent interview I did with Dave Roth at Esthetic Lens. You can read about some of my experiences at the Atlantic Center for the Arts working with Nicole Mitchell, and hear about some new projects coming up next month!

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Friday, March 28th, 2019

I am thrilled to announce thatI have been accepted as a visiting artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Thanks to a generous grant from the Luminarts Cultural Foundation, I will be studying composition with master composer/improvisor/teacher Nicole Mitchell for three weeks.

As the former president of the Chicago organization AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), Nicole Mitchell has been an incredible influence on the progression of pan-genre creative composition and improvisation for decades. I am very excited for this opportunity, and upon returning to Chicago I will debut a selection of new works during a month-long performance residency at The Whistler in Logan Square.

Sunday, March 9th, 2019

Last night at Elastic Arts Foundation, Black Diamond celebrated the release of our latest recording, “Chant” (Shifting Paradigm Records). In a truly collaborative event, visual artist Marine Tempels (who has done the album artwork for both Black Diamond records) opened her new exhibit “Lost Cause Effect Found” accompanied by a botanic installation by Bweza Itaagi of Embimera Vines. It was a wonderful event, and I felt very supported by the Chicago creative community. For more information on “Chant,” please visit:

Monday October 1st, 2018

Performing Mike Reed’s “The City was Yellow: The Chicago Suite” was a truly incredible experience. The Logan Arts Center is a beautiful performance space, and the crowd was attentive and invested throughout the entire show. To read more about the concert and other highlights from the 2018 Hyde Park Jazz Festival, check out Howard Reich’s review in the Chicago Tribune.

Thursday September 20th, 2018

I feel honored to be joining my mentor Mike Reed for the unveiling of a new suite of music at the 2018 Hyde Park Jazz Festival. “The City Was Yellow: The Chicago Suite” presents works written between 1980 and 2010 by seminal Chicago composers. Drummer/arranger Mike Reed is monumental figure of Chicago’s creative music community, owner/operator of Constellation and The Hungry Brain, and active AACM member. For more information on Mike Reed, please visit his website.

For the full schedule and line-up of the 2018 Hyde Park Jazz Festival, visit their website.

Sunday July 1st, 2018

I am thrilled to announce that I will be performing at both of the major jazz festivals in Chicago this year. Black Diamond will make our Chicago Jazz Festival debut on the Von Freeman stage on Saturday, September 1st at 11:30AM. On Sunday, September 2nd at 4:15PM, I  will be playing in Matt Ulery's Loom Large on the Pritzker Pavilion stage. 

I will also be performing with drummer/composer and personal mentor Mike Reed for his newest venture, "The City Was Yellow: The Chicago Suite." This project features the music of prominent Chicago composers during a particularly fruitful period between 1980 and 2010.

Sunday, May 13th, 2018

Over the course of the first weekend of July, I will be recording the debut record with the Diamond/Gillan duo. More details to come!


Sunday, January 7th, 2018

For the next four months, I will be playing host and Deejay for Nick Mazzarella's Anagram Series on Monday Nights at Elastic Arts Foundation. This series explores new jazz and improvised music, featuring two different Chicago ensembles each week. For more information on the visual, musical, and movement arts being curated at Elastic, please visit their website:


Thursday, November 16th, 2017.

After receiving a special projects grant from The Luminarts Foundation, I'm happy to announce that Black Diamond will be touring the Pacific Northwest in March 2018. More details to come. 

Friday, August 11th, 2017.

Today is the official release of Black Diamond's debut recoding, Mandala (Shifting Paradigm Records). We will be joined by Rachele Eve tonight at Constellation for the release show. 

photo: Jeremy Catledge

photo: Jeremy Catledge

Thursday, March 9th, 2017.

I am happy to announce that I have been awarded a Fellowship through the Luminarts Cultural Foundation in Chicago. After a preliminary audition round of over one hundred applicants, I was selected to play alongside seven other musicians for a panel of judges, including the great Willie Pickens. Luminarts does a phenomenal job of supporting Chicago artists of all concentrations, and I am very excited to be able to mobilize my larger projects with their support.


As of February 2017, I am now teaching lessons at the Flatts and Sharpe music stores in Chicago! If you're interested in studying saxophone, flute, clarinet, piano, improvisation, or music theory (all at very affordable rates), please contact 773.774.1740 (Norwood Park), or 773.465.5233 (Rogers Park).

Wednesday, Feb 15th, 2017

The record is mixed! We will be sending it off to be mastered this month, and will be releasing some exciting previews soon, with the help of our beloved artist/designer Marine Tempels, and film maker Sydney O'Haire.

(L-R) Nick Broste (engineer), Neil Hemphill (dr), myself, Matt Ulery (bass), and Artie Black at the end of our two days of tracking at Minbal Studios in Chicago. (December 13 - 14, 2016)

Following the tradition of the last three holiday seasons, Chicago trumpeter Quentin Coaxum put together a spirited recreation of Vince Guaraldi's compositions. The performance took place at the beautiful Fulton Street Collective loft space, and was reviewed by Downbeat Magazine's Izzy Yellen. See full article on the Downbeat Magazine website.


Over the next ten days (10.5-10.15), I will be participating in a six-part workshop with Chicago saxophonist Steve Coleman. Coleman is a MacArthur fellow (amongst many other grant-supported foundations), and one of the most serious devotees to music I have ever met. His concept is original, deep, and has been in development since the late 1980's. I urge musicians and non-musicians alike to explore his website for information on his life, knowledge, and his Chicago performance schedule.

Visit Steve's website here.