CHICAGOANS OF THE YEAR 2001
From the Chicago Tribune
December 30, 2001
Sixteen inspirational individuals
Artists explain and interpret our world, and we've needed their insights more than ever this year. The artists and arts administrators that our critics profile below are the cream of Chicago's crop, and for them, 2001 was a significant year. We look forward to benefiting from their creativity for years to come.
Tatsu Aoki Jazz musician
What inspires him: "The number of great artists who live in Chicago. I have everything in this city -- swing and bebop masters like John Watson and Sonny Seals, masters of free jazz like Fred Anderson, younger people like Jeff Parker and Hamid Drake. There's nothing like this in other cities."
It was a gamble, but East thrillingly meets West in Miyumi Project
Chicago Tribune Jazz notes
By Howard Reich, Tribune critic
May 9, 2008
More than 30 years ago, bassist-bandleader Tatsu Aoki took an artistic gamble: He began combining facets of ancient Japanese music with freewheeling jazz improvisation.
Though rudimentary, those first cross-genre efforts of his, in his native Japan, eventually blossomed into the Miyumi Project, now widely recognized as a groundbreaking merger of music from East and West.
Because Aoki moved to Chicago in the late 1970s and quickly set about developing his Asian-American experiment, the Miyumi Project has become a symbol of Chicago-style jazz innovation. Its rough-and-tumble sound, embracing everything from funk backbeats to blues vocals to avant-garde improv, has attracted audiences across the city and around the globe. [more]
Tatsu Aoki's Miyumi Project at Steppenwolf Theatre
By Howard Reich | Tribune critic
May 12, 2008
Few musicians have fused American jazz and Japanese folklore as dramatically as Chicago bassist/bandleader Tatsu Aoki.
Through his long-running Miyumi Project, Aoki has dared to pair avant-garde instrumentalists with thunderous Japanese taiko drummers, in effect linking two musical traditions otherwise separated by centuries and oceans. The partnership may seem unlikely, but at its best it can be exciting to behold.
The debut of the Miyumi Project on Steppenwolf Theatre's eclectic Traffic series over the weekend attracted a large house, perhaps because listeners anticipated fireworks. [more]
Trio WAZ: Wilkerson, Aoki, Zerang
2009/10/03 @ The Velvet Lounge, Chicago, Illinois