IT'S EASY TO REMEMBER...HARD TO FORGET 

Tribute to Ameen Muhammad by the AACM at the Hothouse. 

Wednesday, March 26th, 2003 at 8PM.


I did not arrive until 9:30 – but still saw a more than full 2.5 hours of AACM-ipated wonderment.
This included
-Mwata Bowden (bass clarinet), Tatsu Aoki (bass), William Perry (sax)
-Prince Saleem (flute), Tatsu Aoki (bass),
and Avreeayl Ra (drums),
-Ari Brown (sax), Art Turk Burton (percussion), Tatsu Aoki (bass),
Avreeayl Ra (drums),
-Ed Wilkerson (sax), Vincent Davis (drums), Josh Abrams (bass),“? Have to ask Ed who was on keys” (piano)

-Nichole Mitchell (flute), Avreeayl Ra (drums), Josh Abrams (bass) Art Turk Burton (percussion),
-Savoir Faire (violin) and East Side Project with
Alejandro Urzagaste (drums)?

-AACM Big Band and Friends – which was all of the above plus Corey Wilkes (trumpet), Kevin Nabors (sax), Isaiah Jackson (trombone) and a few other miscellaneous members who contributed to the final piece, but I did not get their names.

Time between groups was accented by the poetry and stories of G-Ra, Mama Edie, Sister Owen, Daweede and others.

There were movies with Ameen, playing in the exhibit room at the Hothouse – this included footage of his first act of the unfinished opera Roots N D Blues – hmmm maybe it is not an unfinished opera, only a just-started opera  - and one can get started at the AACM events.

 

BY THE WAY – If you are not hip to a wonderful recording of Ameen’s narration and concepts:
Run to the store and buy the Ernest Dawkins and Live The Spirit Band – “Eagles & The Castle”. 
In major D.  (that’s D for Dawk, no doubt)

The narration is ever more meaningful in today’s climate.  Birds of prey vs birds of pray.


Here are the program notes from 2003/03/26: 
Ameen Muhammad – Trumpeter Ameen Muhammad grew up in a family, which valued both Black traditions and Black Music.  His grandparents told him that Black people were Africans who were forcibly enslaved and taken overseas, emphasizing that his Black roots lay in Africa.  At home, he listened to the full gamut of musics, which comprise Great Black Music.  These initial exposures eventually inspired him to study at the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) School of Music, which has trained many of Chicago’s finest musicians.  Mr. Muhammad’s performances included appearances on albums, CDs and films, featuring noted ensembles such as Ernest Dawkin’s New Horizons Ensemble and Ed Wilkerson’s Shadow Vignettes.  Ameen Muhammad also founded his own ensemble, Ameen Muhammad and Chicago 3D.  Ameen has toured the USA, Europe, Africa and Japan performing in concerts, workshops and music festivals.

 

Mr. Muhammad was also an Afro-centric educator.  He developed and presented The Hip Trip:  African-American history through the forays of Great Black Music.  The Hip Trip has been presented to over 10,000 children and 3,000 parents through the greater Illinois area.

Thank you Ameen for helping us to learn to value each moment we have in this life and for sharing your greatness and warmth with us. 

You will always be in our hearts, Ameen….

Proceeds for that night’s event were to support Ameena Muhammad’s college fund.