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Tomeka Reid has quickly become a fixture in the Chicago jazz community since moving to Windy City, DC area, in 2000. With improvisation and mind-blowing melodies at the heart of her identity as an artist. She has mastered her craft as a cellist and composer, winning over members of the public, her jazz peers and Chicago’s jazz institutions along the way.

Chicago has since become the heart of its essence. In addition to recognition and awards from the Foundation of the Arts and 3Arts, Reid, a current voting member of the Chicago Chapter of the Recording Academy, received his doctorate in music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017. In 2013, she founded the Chicago Jazz String Summit, a three-day international festival that welcomes string musicians to present their work in a historic jazz metropolis.

Reid’s dynamic mind and composition skills continued to shine on Tomeka Reid Quartet, his self-titled debut album from 2015 as a conductor. The album merges old jazz traditions with new styles, resulting in a totally fresh sound for listeners from all walks of life. In 2019, his quartet released their second album, Old new, critically acclaimed. The acclaimed cellist has also contributed and collaborated with Mike Reed’s Assembly, Anthony Braxton and the AACM Great Black Music Ensemble.

Throughout his original music and collaborations, Reid demonstrates how cello soundscapes can add an extra layer of beauty and complexity to any ensemble or composition.

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The adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have left many jazz musicians, who are financially dependent on live performances, out of work for more than a year as legendary jazz clubs around the world, including Chicago, remain closed.

To honor the resilience of Chicago’s live music scene, Tomeka Reid highlights some of her favorite jazz venues in the city.

“Constellation is run by Mike Reed, and it’s in the old Viaduct space on Western. The venue also shares space with Links Hall. I really appreciate this venue because it’s a real listening room for the jazz, improvised and contemporary music. It’s also awesome that it was started by a longtime member of the Chicago music community who wanted to make sure that this kind of music had a platform to be presented and heard. . The venue also offers other styles of music, but the general emphasis is on jazz, improvisation and contemporary music. “

“Hungry Brain is a cousin of the Constellation space. Here in pre-COVID times, you could expect to hear and see a variety of programs most nights of the week, with Sunday being the night of jazz. and improvised music that had gone on loud for 20 years. “

“Elastic is another great space that has a really wide range of music and community programming. The space really stands up for local independent artists (visual and sound).”

For 60 years, the Chicago Chapter of the Recording Academy recognized and celebrated the creative accomplishments of our members across the Midwest, fought for their collective rights and supported them when needed. We are proud of our heritage and excited to continue to look to the future. Here are the next 60.

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