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Tue, Mar 28


Stony Island Arts Bank

Immanuel Wilkins in conversation with Camille Bacon

Immanuel Wilkins joins Camille Bacon for a conversation on the notion of musical composition and performance as a channel for the divine.

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Immanuel Wilkins in conversation with Camille Bacon
Immanuel Wilkins in conversation with Camille Bacon

Time & Location

Mar 28, 2023, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S Stony Is Ave, Chicago, IL 60649, USA

About the event

Ahead of his performance at Constellation, Chicago, alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins is joined by Camille Bacon for a conversation orbiting around the notion of musical composition and performance as a channel for the divine, specifically as it relates to his latest studio album, 'The 7th Hand.' The album derives its title from a question steeped in Biblical symbolism: If the number 6 represents the extent of human possibility, Wilkins wondered what it would mean — how it would sound — to invoke divine intervention and allow that seventh element to possess his quartet. With this in mind, Wilkins and Bacon will discuss music as a redemptive and relevational medium, the importance of divine discipline, and how daily moments of worship take form in their respective creative pursuits.


About Immanuel Wilkins

Alto saxophonist and composer Immanuel Wilkins   burst on to the music scene in  2020 with the release of his Blue Note recording debut, Omega,  featuring his longstanding quartet of  Micah Thomas, Daryl Johns and Kweku Sumbry.   Although just  22  at the time its release,   his  quartet  had already  been together for several years  and their cohesiveness   is   reflected in  both the    maturity of Wilkins’  sound and the   sophistication  and depth of his compositions.   Accolades  and   press soon  followed, including   “Omega”   being named the best new  jazz release  of 2020 by the New York Times, the best  debut Jazz album    by NPR   and being nominated for an NAACP Image  Award.  The year ended on high note, with Wilkins winning the prestigious  Letter One Rising Stars Prize.

Being a bandleader with a  working group  has allowed Wilkins  to grow both as a composer and as an  arranger — and has led to  him receiving a number of commissions/grants   including,   The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, The Jazz Gallery Artist Residency Commission Program (A collaboration with Sidra Bell Dance NY, 2020), The Kimmel Center Artist in Residence for 2020 ( a collaboration with photographer Rog Walker and videographer David Dempewolf)  and  a South Arts Creativity  Residency  Grant ( with fellow saxophonist and mentor, Odean Pope) .  Wilkins  interest and passion  for  sharing and preserving  jazz  music has led  him to continue to give back and to   do clinics and masterclasses at    various educational institutions including:  Yale,  the Consevatorium van Amsterdam, Basel Jazz Schule and  Oberlin to name just a handful.

In 2022,   Wilkins released  his sophomore album on Blue Note, “The 7th Hand”.  Like his first release,   The 7th Hand  topped  numerous  end of year lists including Jazzwise, NPR, The New York Times, The Financial Times and Jazz Times. 2022   also opened up   touring opportunities for Wilkins’ Quartet.     They have  had the opportunity  to tour    throughout  the US, Canada  and Europe including notable  performances at the    Montreal Jazz Festival,  The Monterey Jazz Festival,  Umbria, the Northsea, Pori Jazz,   Newport and the DC Jazz Festival.   In addition  to  touring as a  leader  Wilkins,   continues to  record and share the bandstand  with both his peers and his longtime mentors   including:   Jason Moran, Kenny Barron,  Wynton Marsalis, Bob Dylan, Solange, Joel Ross,  Gerald Clayton and Lalah Hathaway among many others.

About Camille Bacon

Camille Bacon is a Chicago-based writer who is building a “sweet black writing life” as inspired by the words of poet Nikky Finney and the infinite wisdom of the Black feminist tradition more broadly. Through a practice that involves rigorous research and oration in addition to writing, she examines the material function of aesthetics and poetics. More specifically, she is interested in illuminating how aesthetics and poetics can catalyze a collective reorientation towards relation, connection and intimacy and away from apathy and amnesia. Her work has appeared in Frieze, Cultured Magazine, Studio Magazine, Momus and Burnaway, among other outlets. She currently manages McArthur Binion’s studio in Chicago, IL and formerly held positions at GRAY Gallery, Chicago, IL, and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY.

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