Arts Centre Melbourne Presents Double Bill: Art Ensemble of Chicago 50th Anniversary + The Necks

Arts Centre Melbourne Presents Double Bill: Art Ensemble of Chicago 50th Anniversary + The Necks

Supersense is thrilled to announce a once in a lifetime line-up bringing together two legendary ensembles of contemporary music, jazz and improvisation: ground breaking pioneers of American free jazz the Art Ensemble of Chicago and transcendent, internationally revered Australian trio The Necks. In a never-to-be repeated double bill at Hamer Hall on Sunday 25 August, the closing concert will present an afternoon of sonic mastery of profound impact, virtuosity and secular spiritual expression.

The Art Ensemble of Chicago is one of history's most significant contemporary jazz groups and visionary social change makers. Evolving out of Chicago's iconic Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), founding members Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Lester Bowie, Malachi Favors and Famoudou Don Moye profoundly reshaped the vernacular and artistic explorations of jazz, improvisation and the Great Black Music of the 1960s.

In what is their 50th anniversary of existence, the Ensemble is famous for integrating musical styles that span the history of jazz and multi-instrumental group improvisations. Their distinctive and unique soundscape has always consisted of percussion, traditional hand and stick drums, whistles, horns, bells, vibes, marimba, gongs of all sizes and an array of homemade and found sound objects alongside saxophones, flutes, the trumpet, flugelhorn, double bass and drum set.

The group's legendary live performances blend music, theatre, poetry and dance to create a visual and auditory spectacle that has seen them remain one of the most influential groups of the 20th century. Featuring the final two original members of the Ensemble, Roscoe Mitchell and Famoudou Don Moye - with Moor Mother, Hugh Ragin, Tomeka Reid, Junius Paul, and Dudu Kouaté - the Art Ensemble of Chicago are always looking to reframe the next generation into the future.

Joining the Art Ensemble of Chicago is one of Australia's biggest musical exports known for being transcendent game-changers of improvised music, The Necks. With 20 albums to their name, as well as a full length live concert film, the ARIA award-winning band (Drive By, 2003 and Chemist, 2006) have managed to defy traditional forms of music; their sublime, durational compositions mesmerising through an insistent deep groove of repetition, with a trance-like focus.

Not entirely avant-garde, nor minimalist, ambient, or jazz, The Necks are one of the most influential bands to have come out of Australia featuring Chris Abrahams, Tony Buck and Lloyd Swanton working together in mesmerising alchemy. The coming together of these two icons of musical mastery will be a sonic experience never to be repeated as the Art Ensemble of Chicago celebrate a 50-year milestone alongside The Necks at Hamer Hall.

Supersense: Festival of the Ecstatic, created by Arts Centre Melbourne, with Australian New York-based performer and curator Sophia Brous, is a hypnotic collision of music, performance, dance and theatre from 23 - 25 August 2019. The third iteration of the intoxicating exploration of ecstatic performance is the most bold, distinctive and cross-disciplinary yet. Featuring icons of music, theatre, dance and performance ritual from five continents, Supersense is presented over three days in the underground labyrinth of Arts Centre Melbourne.

Art Ensemble of Chicago

Saxophones: Roscoe Mitchell
Drums, Congas & Percussion: Famoudou Don Moye
Spoken Word: Moor Mother
Trumpet, Flugelhorn & Piccolo Trumpet: Hugh Ragin
Cello: Tomeka Reid
Double Bass & Objects: Junius Paul
African Percussion: Dudu Kouaté

The Necks

Piano: Chris Abrahams
Drums: Tony Buck
Bass: Lloyd Swanton
Sound Engineer: Tim Whitten

Arts Centre Melbourne, in association with Curator Sophia Brous, presents
Double Bill: Art Ensemble of Chicago 50th Anniversary + The Necks
as part of Supersense: Festival of the Ecstatic | 23 - 25 August
Sunday 25 August | Hamer Hall | 4pm
Duration: approximately 3 hours (including 30-minute interval)
Bookings at

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