Tag Archives: Dorchester Projects

David Boykin Trio: Live at Dorchester Projects Album Release/Listening Party.

dorchester project listening party poster white

Saturday February 16th at 8pm, join local Chicago Jazz combo The David Boykin Trio (Boykin on sax, Alex Wing on bass, and James Woodley on drums) at the new Washington Park Arts Incubator. They will be playing work from the new album “Live at the Dorchester Projects”.  I (also known as DJ Ayana Contreras) will also be spinning.

Dusty Groove says about the new record:

One of the greatest albums so far from mighty Chicago reedman David Boykin – and easily a set that lives up to the rich legacy of avant jazz in the Windy City! There’s a depth to the record that comes through right from the very first note – a sense of history and feeling that shows just how much Boykin’s developed as a player over the past decade or so – a tenorist with a done that’s right up there with Archie Shepp or David Murray at their creative best – really stretching out on some wonderful solos that never fail to dim in imagination or new ideas.

The event is a part of the “Off the Record Series”, through the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and Elastic Arts. The year-long series highlights new works by local musicians released on vinyl.

Below, my interview with David about the new record, and about the scene in Chicago today. This originally aired on my radio program, Reclaimed Soul. Reclaimed Soul airs on 89.5fm in Chicago, and streams on vocalo.org everywhere Thursday Nights at 8pm CST. Jive on!


the particulars:

David Boykin Trio: Live at Dorchester Projects Listening/Album Release Party

Friday February 16th, 8pm – 11pm

Washington Park Arts Incubator

301 East Garfield Blvd., Chicago



Waxing Poetic at Dorchester Projects.

Above, a bit of video from my Artistic Residency last year with Theaster Gates’ Dorchester Projects, in which I wax poetic about Chicago’s own Mercury Records, Jerry Butler, and the Impressions.

I love sharing the stories behind the music I love with the general public; and was reminded of that as I embark on Hosting and Producing “Reclaimed Soul” (a weekly radio show on Vocalo.org) which premieres tomorrow night at 8pm CST. The show, of course, will feature stories as well as music. For more about Reclaimed Soul, click here.

Dorchester Projects: presenting a home movie film festival for the south side.

(above, taken by me during Dorchester Projects’ Summer Daycamp, 2011)

The last installment of The Dorchester Projects’ Outdoor Home Movie Film Festival is this Thursday, August 11th at 9pm and will feature Live Musical Accompaniment… Sounds like a fantastic way to spend the last little chump change of summer. Organizers request you RSVP to dorchester.projects@gmail.com.


Dance Dorchester!

dance locally to vintage sounds culled from Dorchester Projects’ Dr. Wax Collection heavily leaning on music that ‘jus grew’ out of our community: this friday, june 24th, 7pm til 10pm.

bring your favorite summertime dish to share with friends

100% wax spun by dj ayana

from The Dr. Wax Collection

Dorchester Projects June 2011

Visit us at Theaster Gates’ Dorchester Projects (recently featured in the Chicago Reader) this Friday Night (June 3rd from 7p-9p), as well as on Sunday, June 12th, from 3p-5p.  Come with a story about how music has impacted your life….

About the Dorchester Projects:

Dorchester Projects seeks to explore the ways in which thoughtful spaces committed to art, public education, design, and advocacy can contribute to the cultural and economic redevelopment of a neighborhood.

“[Gates] says: I was always making art that was asking questions about the city, and why the city functioned the way it did. How does cultural and economic disparity happen? How can we fight it? I was trying to present these questions in the form of little abandoned ceramic houses and drawings or performances that spoke to the issue. And I just got tired of pointing a finger at it and wanted to actually do something about it, challenge it in a real way.”Chicago Reader, June 2, 2011

click here for more on Theaster and the Projects

Darkjive’s May 2011 Dance Card

Calendar of Events that Darkjive’s Ayana Contreras will be featured at. All are free and open to the public.

Brown Sugar Marketplace @ Brown Sugar Bakery

Friday May 6th, 5-8pm

328 East 75th Street, Chicago

Featuring deep old school cuts by Ayana Contreras, The Marketplace has handmade jewelry, leatherwares, clothes, and more.  Come for the caramel cake… stay for the soul.

Dance Party @ the Dorchester Projects

Sunday May 8th, 5:00pm-8:00pm  UPDATE: Sunday May 15th, 3-6pm

6918 South Dorchester, Chicago

Enjoy Music spun by DJ Ayana Contreras as a prelude to a series of talks about the history of Chicago Soul.

Groove Conspiracy, 2nd Thursdays @ Morseland

1218 West Morse, Chicago

DJ Ayana and Simeon Viltz (of the Primeridian) spin old school gold, gritty gems, and silvery stepper madness. Their weapon of choice: vinyl

Dorchester Sessions I @ Dorchester Projects

Sunday, May 29th (location and time above)

Exploring Quintessential Gospel, Soul, Blues, Jazz, Rock,
and Pop sounds that were born in Chicago, and the people who created them.

Essentially, the live version of Darkjive.  Come for the talk, stay to get down.

Theaster Gates’ Dorchester Projects

What do you get when you mix a maverick artist with strong community ties and an Urban Planner? For one thing, Theaster Gates. For another, the Dorchester Projects, pictured above. Theaster has been purchasing properties in the Woodlawn/Grand Crossing neighborhood for a few years now, and has quietly acquired the stock of the former Dr. Wax record store as well as the now defunct Prairie Avenue Bookstore (both businesses were revered in their respective collector communities). He created a home for glass lantern slides that depict the canon of Western Fine Art. Using reclaimed materials, he is turning his properties into cultural community hubs, featuring curators and programming that reflects the collections and the community.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll be curating the record collection in May and June of 2011, culminating in a series of talks on Chicago Music History (details to follow) and a couple of good, old-fashioned dance parties starring local-born music.

Read the New York Times article about what’s poppin on the South Side with the Dorchester Projects.