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Tuesdays on the Terrace | Heliacal Rising of Sothis, featuring Sharon Udoh and Yaw Agyeman

July 16, 20245:30 pm - 8:00 pm

This event is free, but capacity is limited. Reserve a Fast Pass for expedited entry.

Portraits of five people; two on top, three on the bottom.

Clockwise from top left: Yah Agyeman. Photo: Alec Thorsen; Fred Jackson, Jr. Photo: Vyes Dorison; Naydja Bruton. Photo: Ricardo Adame; Sharon Udoh. Photo: Kate Sweeney; Adam Zanolini. Photo: Ricardo Adame.

About the Event

Summer Tuesdays come alive on the MCA terrace with free concerts highlighting artists from Chicago’s internationally renowned music community. Enjoy live music while relaxing on the lawn with your own picnic, or savor snacks and drinks available for purchase. Then head inside to catch the MCA’s summer exhibitions—we’re open late on Tuesdays and free for Illinois residents.

For this Tuesdays on the Terrace, Heliacal Rising of Sothis performs some selections written by Sharon Udoh. The evening also features Yaw Agyeman, a Chicago-born and bred interdisciplinary performing musician, sound designer, cultural researcher, improvisor, and actor known most recently for his own work as a Mellon Fellow and as a vocalist in the band The Black Monks, led by internationally known artist Theaster Gates.

About the Artists

Adam Zanolini’s Heliacal Rising of Sothis is a project dedicated to the work and teaching of Kelan Phil Cohran, one of the cofounders of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) as well as the founder of the Affro Arts Theatre. Cohran’s seminal group, the Artistic Heritage Ensemble, generated numerous recordings and launched many careers. He was a prolific composer, bandleader, and father of all the members of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. His exploration of culture, history, astronomy, music, herbalism, mathematics, and language were highly influential among the community of musicians that rose during the Black Arts Movement and subsequent artistic schools in Chicago. However, Cohran’s importance as a musician, organizer, teacher, and scholar has still not yet been fully appreciated.

Heliacal Rising of Sothis performs works Zanolini composed while studying with Bro. Phil, or with inspiration from his teaching with the goal of spreading this knowledge and continuing his investigations. The ensemble, formed in 2022, is comprised of three current AACM members—Zanolini, Ben Lamar Gay (cornet), and Fred Jackson, Jr. (sax)—along with Sharon Udoh (piano) and Naydja Bruton (drums), two participants in Elastic Arts’ Dark Matter Residency program for emerging artists of color. Heliacal Rising of Sothis has performed locally at Elastic Arts, Transition East, the Promontory, Old Town School of Folk Music, Rebuild Foundation’s Kenwood Gardens, and Oakland Museum and Garden as part of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival’s Artist Corps program. The ensemble has also recently toured South Africa, performing at several venues in Prince Albert, Capetown, Johannesburg, and the State Theatre in Pretoria, while also working with young people in local community programs and several universities in those cities.


Tuesdays on the Terrace is presented by NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago.

Tuesdays on the Terrace is made possible in part by a generous gift from Luminarts Cultural Foundation.

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