Music Review

CHICAGO — The 1969 Chicago Seven conspiracy trial and surrounding investigation spiraled into a circus-like event, exposing the dirty underbelly of law enforcement at the time, and shocking the entire nation.

Now, Chicago’s own Ernest Dawkins — composer, reedist and leader of the critically acclaimed New Horizons Ensemble — has written a new piece of music about this turbulent time, featuring a who’s who of Chicago’s creative jazz scene. A celebration of the CD release will take place Jan. 7 at HotHouse (, the Center for International Performance and Exhibition, 31 E. Balbo, at 8 p.m. Admission is $20 (21 and over).

Titled “Misconception of a Delusion and Shades of a Charade,” the piece commemorates the 35th anniversary of the infamous Chicago Seven conspiracy trial, providing a vivid musical account of the turbulent trial against eight antiwar activists, including Black Panther Party leader Bobby Seale, who was bound and gagged in a courtroom proceeding.

This all-star Chicago band includes: Greg Ward, Corey Wilkes, Norman Palm III, Kevin Neighbors, Aaron Gedsug, Khari B., Isiah Spencer, Hamid Drake, Harrison Bankhead, Josh Abrahms, Justin Dillard, and Ernest Dawkins, composer/director. The evening’s activities also include a performance by the Corey Wilkes-Greg Ward Exchange as well as a Tribute to John Coltrane, featuring Ari Brown, Ernest Dawkins, Kirk Brown, Harrison Bankhead, Isaiah Spencer. This will be the first event recorded for the newly formed Chicago Creative Arts Online, an organization that has plans to stream live video of Chicago’s jazz community over the web.