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Jazz Institute of Chicago Celebrates International Jazz Day with Conjunto

Global influences on jazz will be demonstrated and discussed in celebration of International Jazz Day during a free, family-friend program produced by the Jazz Institute of Chicago at the Claudia Cassidy Theater in the Chicago Cultural Center, 68 E. Washington St., on Saturday, April 28, starting at 2 pm and featuring key members of Chicago's Latin music community.

"The Role of Classical Music in the Evolution of Afro-Cuban Music" is the theme to be taken up by violinist James Sanders' Conjunto, with Tamara Glassburg playing the second violin, Joe Rendon playing congas, Jaime Claudio playing timbales, Jose Porcavo on bass and pianist Kevin O'Connell. The ensemble will focus on how Western European music of the 18th and 19th century influenced Cuban popular styles including the danzón, contradanza, bolero and guaracha. Conjunto will play standards of those styles, and premiere new arrangements by pianist O'Connell of the last movement of Antonio Vivaldi's Violin Concerto in A Minor (1711) and Alexander Scriabin's Etude #12 (1894).

"We intend to honor the diversity of jazz, and its ability to forge new connections," says Adriana Prieto, the Jazz Institute's Program and Event Support Manager and the driving force behind the JIC's second annual International Jazz Day presentation. Sanders’ Conjunto will perform two sets, at 2 pm and 3 pm.

International Jazz Day (#jazzday) was designated as April 30 in 2011 by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and is promoted by Chicago-born pianist-composer Herbie Hancock, Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. IJD is marked by a Global Concert, this year being held in St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as activities world-wide. The Jazz Institute of Chicago holds its event on April 28 to enable attendance by students and people with weekday responsibilities.

In addition to James Sanders Conjunto, South Side Jazz Coalition founder Margaret Murphy-Webb will appear at the IJD event to receive her 2018 Chicago Jazz Hero Award from the Jazz Journalists Association. That Award, presented by the non-profit JJA since 2001 to "activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz" has previously been bestowed on Chicago producer-performers Bradley Parker-Sparrow and Joanie Pallatto; bassist and Asian-American Improv organizer Tatsu Aoki; several leaders of the Jazz Institute and Geraldine de Haas, late producer of the South Shore Cultural Center Jazzfest, among others.

For further information on the Jazz Institute of Chicago's International Jazz Day celebration, contact Adriana Prieto,, (312) 427-1676.

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