November 10, 2006

STD (Stuff to Do)—November 10, 2006

Friday / November 10

Classical music ensembles usually don’t have to worry about losing members to injury, but the Emerson Quartet faced that very predicament after violist Lawrence Dutton went down with a torn rotator cuff. While Dutton rehabs from surgery, the group has added pianist Wu Han, allowing listeners to hear a different repertoire that features piano concerti and smaller chamber pieces. The eight-time Grammy Award–winning quartet will be performing works by Mozart and Brahms at Mandel Hall in what promises to be an elegantly-realized performance. (Mandel Hall, 8 p.m., $11 student, $30 general)

Schola Antiqua, an early music vocal ensemble, joins the ranks of U of C artists-in-residence with its first public performance. The group specializes in medieval chant and early polyphonic music and will be performing the complete Ave Regina Celorum Mass of Guillaume Du Fay. They should feel right at home amid the Rock’s neo-gothic grandeur. (Rockefeller Chapel, 8 p.m., free)

The Smart Museum Activities Committee presents its autumn show of works by U of C students and staff in conjunction with the on-going Smart Museum exhibit “Drawing as Process.” The exhibition will feature a diverse array of pieces that range from preparatory sketches to three-dimensional works. Food and drink will serve as accompaniment. (Smart Museum, 6 p.m., free)

Saturday / November 11

Sun Ra—the great bandleader, composer, pianist, and self-proclaimed extraterrestrial (a son of Saturn)—was one of the most enigmatic and influential figures in jazz history. The Hyde Park Arts Center is honoring his unique legacy with a weekend-long symposium, Traveling the Spaceways: Sun Ra, the Astro Black and Other Solar Myths, featuring panel discussions on Afro-futurism (10:30 a.m.) and the philosophical and spiritual dimensions of Sun Ra’s work (3:15 p.m.), as well as performances by Chicago avant-garde stalwarts Fred Lonberg-Holm (12:30 p.m.) and Ken Vandermark (12:30 p.m. Sunday). For a full schedule visit (Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 South Cornell Avenue, all day, free; events continue November 12)

The Decemberists, a Portland, Oregon-based indie rock outfit, have just made the jump to a major label and are primed to continue their ascent to stardom. They’ll be headlining at the Riviera Theatre in support of their most recent album, The Crane Wife. Doors open at 6 p.m. (Riviera Theatre, 4746 North Racine Avenue, 7:30 p.m., $22.50)

Sunday / November 12

HotHouse’s “Jazz en Clave” series closes with a day of not-to-be-missed performances. First, pianist Chuchito Valdez, the scion of one of Cuba’s greatest musical families, will give an all-ages lecture-demonstration on the history of Afro-Cuban jazz. Then drummer Dafnis Prieto will lead his remarkable Quintet into two sets of ebullient Afro-Cuban–inspired music. Since Prieto’s arrival in America, he has established himself as one of the finest and most exciting drummers on the scene. It’ll be a treat to catch him in rare Chicago appearance. (HotHouse, 31 East Balbo Drive; Valdez: 2 p.m., $5 student, $12 general; Prieto: 8 p.m., 10 p.m., 21+, $25)

The Renaissance Society presents the opening night of a solo exhibition of the photographer Ben Gest. Gest’s recent work focusing on informal, revealing portraits will remain on the fourth floor of Cobb until December 22. The opening reception will feature a talk with the artist. (Renaissance Society, Cobb 418, 4 p.m., free)

Bian Lian (The King of Masks), an award-winning Chinese film about a theatrical performer who buys a girl from human traffickers in western China during the 1920s, will be presented in a special screening of the film to herald the arrival of its director Wu Tianming. (Film Studies Center, Cobb 307, 7 p.m., free)

Monday / November 13

Director Wu Tianming, a leading member of the vanguard that turned Chinese cinema into an international sensation during the 1990s, will discuss his work and the role of Chinese film in world cinema. Translation will be provided. (Film Studies Center, Cobb 310, 9:30 a.m., free)

Tuesday / November 14

Mississippi-born novelist Steve Yarbough will read selections from his acclaimed fiction and discuss his work in an event hosted by the Committee on Creative Writing. Yarbough has recently won several awards and is beginning to garner an international following. (Rosenwald 405, 5 p.m., free)

Wednesday / November 15

Not much needs to be said to sell Chinatown, Roman Polanski’s 1974 tale of corruption, adultery, and water rights in Los Angeles. It’s the high point of Jack Nicholson’s career, has the most perfect script ever written, and is, quite simply, one of the best films in history. Seeing such brilliance on the big screen will be an incredible treat. (Max Palevsky Cinema, 7 p.m., free)

Thursday / November 16

Elastic, a Logan Square arts venue, hosts the “Outer Ear Festival,” an eccentric evening of performances that combines music and words. First, bassist Josh Abrams accompanies actress Cheryl Bruce as she performs Suzan-Lori Park’s performance monologue “Pickling.” Then, the incomparable German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and English poet Tom Raworth join forces to unify free jazz improvisation and avant-garde poetry. (Elastic, 2830 North Milwaukee Avenue, 10 p.m., $5 suggested donation)