Ostrava, a smallish Czech city of some 300,000 people about 10 kilometers from the Polish border, hosts the biennial Ostrava Days, a small festival, itself, but with audiences usually numbering a couple hundred. Both city and fest think big. In recent years, Ostrava has seen a remarkable amount of development via commerce and construction, as well as a laudable push to renovate the industrial facilities if its mining past into theaters, galleries and other art spaces. For its part, Ostrava Days is oriented toward big music--the 2015 edition even featuring a night of works for three orchestras--all the while making room for smaller-scale compositions.
Steeped in the rituals of ancient Africa and early traditions rooted in New Orleans music, Chicago jazz musicians are remembering the efforts of South Side musicians 50 years ago. Celebrating five decades, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) reflects on a rich history.