Chicago Jazz String Summit

39 3Arts supporters
$5,797 raised of $5,000 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on March 05, 2016
    • 116% contributed

The 2016 Chicago Jazz String Summit (CJSS) is a weekend festival of performances that will highlight the achievements of local, national, and international string players who make bold statements in jazz, improvised, and new music today. There are few music festivals anywhere else that focus purely on string players, particularly those in the jazz and improvised music traditions. As a cellist myself, I have always wanted to create a stronger community among string performers and to be part of inspiring one another’s musical explorations. With this campaign, I am raising funds to organize this one-of-a-kind event that will gather and celebrate string players who are pushing the boundaries, stretching traditions, and increasing possibilities, particularly on the viola, cello, and violin. Each visiting music ensemble at the CJSS will be led by a string player who is a composer as well as a performer. My goal with the CJSS is to bring recognition to these talented artists, to foster a network and community among the musicians, and to inspire other string players to explore improvisation as another vehicle of artistic expression in their music. By contributing to this campaign, you will have an important role in making the CJSS happen and in creating a supportive platform in Chicago for some of the best performances of string jazz and improvised music in the world.

About This Project

The genesis of this project goes back to 2010. I was playing a session at my home with a fellow improvising violinist, James Sanders, and discussing how there were several summits for trumpets and brass musicians in Chicago, but nothing like that for string players like us. While stringed instruments have been a part of the earliest ensembles in the jazz arena, often they have been overshadowed by horn players. Nonetheless, string performers have still forged their way into this creative music realm, with the violin having made the greatest headway until recent years with more experimentations on cello and other instruments.

It wasn’t until three years later that I would have the means to actually put a summit like this on. As an artist in residence at the University of Chicago’s Arts Incubator and with support from the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, WDCB, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, a few donors, and James, I was able to present the first CJSS, which was a two day event held in spring 2013. Although small in scale, it was well attended and very fulfilling to present here in Chicago. It was my intention to try to make this a regular tradition, but as my own musical career had me traveling more outside of Chicago, this became increasingly difficult. However, I have decided to make this project a priority in my work and my continuing commitment to the musical community here in Chicago.

I am planning for this next iteration of the CJSS to take place on May 6, 7 and 8 in 2016 at Constellation and the Hungry Brain. The anticipated lineup includes a variety of string players demonstrating a wide range of styles, including Okkyung Lee, James Sanders, Jason Hwang and the Tanya Kalmanovitch/Mat Maneri duo, and Zach Brock. Funds raised through this 3AP campaign are needed to cover artist fees for these outstanding performers to be part of this festival. 

Historically, the city of Chicago has been key to the development of some of the most recognized string layers in jazz, such as Stuff Smith, Eddie South, Johnny Frigo, and Leroy Jenkins. I would love for Chicago to be the city for showcasing this history in a visible and formal way. Thank for you for helping to make the second CJSS a reality!

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    Personal thank you, your name listed at the CJSS as a donor, and a shout-out on social media. ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Above, plus an autographed copy of the Tomeka Reid Quartet CD, and one ticket to any night of your choosing of the CJSS at Constellation. ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $75
    Above, plus two tickets to any night of your choosing of the CJSS at Constellation. ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $150
    Above, plus two tickets to both nights of your choosing of the CJSS at Constellation. ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $350
    Above, plus complimentary reserved seats to all 3 nights of the CJSS, recognition as a Sponsor in the CJSS printed program and website, and a chance to meet and greet our artists! ($0.00 is tax deductible.)

Tomeka Reid

Southwest Airlines Awardee

Recently described as “a new jazz power source” by the New York Times, cellist and composer Tomeka Reid has emerged as one of the most original, versatile, and curious musicians in Chicago’s bustling jazz and improvised music community. Her …

View Tomeka Reid's profile
  • Update 1: YAAAAAAY!!! We reached our goal in only 15 days! I am so grateful to everyone who contributed to this campaign thus far. Thank you for supporting these amazing artists and for supporting live music in Chicago!! Please stay tuned as there will be a stretch campaign initiated on Monday. Have a great weekend. I appreciate you!
    Posted on February 05, 2016


    Update 2: You're invited to the Chicago Jazz String Summit!
    Posted on April 21, 2016


    Thank you to all who helped make this project happen! Here are more details about the 2016 Chicago Jazz String Summit (CJSS), taking place May 6-8.

    Chicago Jazz String Summit Facebook event page

    Chicago Jazz String Summit

    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • tanya reid

    • Dan Hanrahan


    • Browne Goodwin

    • Keith Martin

    • Kevin Reilly

    • Rob Miller

    • Robert D Bielecki Foundation

    • Mr. C

    • Adelheid Mers

    • Julia Antonatos

    • Jason Guthartz

    • Saïs Kamalidiin

    • Roberto Lange

    • Robert Woodley

    • Nicole Rademacher

    • Hal Rammel

    • Lawrence Dunn

    • Taylor Ho Bynum

    • Brian k ellison

    • Lisa Norton

    • James Sanders

    • Norman Teague

    • Steven Saltzman

    • Peter Sporn

    • Juliana Armbrust

    • Ann Lam

    • Jason Adasiewicz

    • Sara Slawnik

    • Richard LaRue

    • David Brown

    • Shannon Stratton

    • Marika Hughes

    • Folayemi Wilson

    • Nicole Mitchell

    • John Bishop

    • Fabrizio Perissinotto

    • Consuelo Kendall

    • Nzingha Kendall

make it work


3AP Presenting Partner:

  Joyce Logo

 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council