Obert Davis
Chicago’s Music + Movement Festival celebrates the wealth of dance companies that are thriving in this city. But even for listeners who wouldn’t know a pirouette from a silhouette, this event at the Auditorium Theatre features a wonderful opportunity to check out exciting new projects from Chicago’s diverse groups of musicians.

The festival includes the April 13 premiere of Havana Blue, a collaboration between trumpeter Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s Chamber Ensemble and River North Dance Chicago. For more than 20 years, Davis has been crucial as a performer, composer and educator. In the mid-1990s he performed a version of Miles Davis and Gil Evans’ Sketches Of Spain, and this engaging interpretation runs through the music he’s prepared for this take on Cuban music.
From the video clips online, it’s clear that his trumpet links Cuban son to its Iberian roots in flamenco, along with its African-derived rhythms. At the same time, a large string section not only interprets Cuba’s own lengthy classical tradition, but its precise timing matches the dancers’ moves. 
Other globally minded collaborative performances will run throughout the festival, including a May 15 meeting of Giordano Dance Chicago and Luna Negra Dance Theater, which celebrates Latin American choreography. Mexican folk musicians will also perform with the Mexican Dance Ensemble on April 7.
For more information go to auditoriumtheatre.org
By Aaron Cohen, ChicagoMusic.org World Music Editor
Image: Orber Davis, courtesy of flickr 
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