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New Works Initiative

In Progress | Isaiah Collier

October 04, 20226:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Tickets are free, and walk-ups are always available. RSVP for pre-show reminders. 

Livestream available with captioning. 

Isaiah Collier, The Celestials Project. Photo: Janet M. Takayama, courtesy of the artist.

About the Event

Experimental jazz composer and saxophonist Isaiah Collier and a 12-piece ensemble, The Celestials Project, present a new musical composition. Building upon the ideas of composer Gunther Schuller, who in 1957 coined the term “third stream” music to refer to a genre that fused jazz and classical music, Collier seeks to create his own musical genre. Collier’s new “Fourth Steam” music goes further to incorporate musical traditions of the African diaspora. Working toward a fully produced, multi-disciplinary performance supported by the New Works Fresh Voices program of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, Collier experiments with effects pedals and other electronic elements as compositional tools and incorporate visual media to accompany the musical performance. 

In Progress is a series designed to give artists, thinkers, and curators a platform for developing new works with input from audiences, and to give patrons a glimpse into the creative process. This program is organized by Laura Paige Kyber, Curatorial Assistant. 

About the Artist

Isaiah Collier is an arranger, composer, and activist born and raised on the South Side of Chicago within a musical family. An alumnus of the Jazz Institute of Chicago and the Chicago High School for the Performing Arts, Collier has worked and played with Chicago legends, in addition to national and international artists. Collier is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). He has had many mentors, including Antonio Hart, Joan Collaso, Ari Brown, and others. He has played throughout the United States in venues such as Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Jazz Showcase, the US Embassy in Paraguay, the Chicago Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Englewood Jazz Festival, Sons d’Hiver, and at International Jazz Day at the White House in 2016. In addition, Collier is also a former fellow of the Brubeck Institute in Stockton, CA.


In Progress is supported by the New Works Initiative, which puts the creative process at the heart of the MCA’s relationship with Chicago by supporting the development of new performances and creative projects.

Lead support for the New Works Initiative is provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman.