In 2009 while on tour, Mike Reed's jazz quartet was caught in the middle of a neo-Nazi rally in the Czech Republic. This harrowing experience is the core of a new project, Flesh & Bone, that will premiere on November 20, 2015, at the Art Institute of Chicago. During the development, Reed will examine the background of the incident and engage in conversations with peers about  art, race, politics, and the challenges of being pushed into a place of discomfort.

Flesh & Bone #10: Archibald Motley and Conversation with Amy Mooney 

Archibald Motley, Street Scene

In the early 90’s my brother turned me onto the work of painter Archibald Motley. This past year, a large collection of Motley’s work was a central exhibition celebrating the Chicagoan’s work.
I can say that if there was a guiding light, or hero in my process it has become Motley. Much of his portrait work centered on the vast array of brown and black skin tones. Also emphasized in his art are the city scenes of black life in Chicago’s mostly black Bronzeville neighborhood. I…Read more

Flesh & Bone #7: The most segregated hour in America 

This clip from James Baldwin hits close to home since the topics of religion and labor unions have been in my discussions last week while traveling with Wadada Leo Smith (these are just thoughts, not a stance):   You can see the struggle of equal Union rights and participation in the long fought issues over the integration of the musicians union, especially in Chicago. In an interview with trombonist Julian Priester… Read more

Flesh & Bone #6: A Reflection from Greg Ward (Part 3) 

Here is the third and final part of Greg Ward’s essay. Click here to re-read part two.

Before beginning to write this paper, I was surprised about what I thought about when I thought of the term “race.” Most of the ideas that came to mind had only to do with physical appearance and where a person’s family may have originated. As I began to research this topic, I saw that, based on physical appearance, one could argue that people from different “races” actually have a lot of common physical features. Why do… Read more

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