Nice to Meet You – Mikel Patrick Avery

Jeff Albert performing in Mikel Patrick Avery’s Nice to Meet You. Photo by Dennis McDounough

From September 16 – 19, 2021, I had the pleasure of participating in the Instigation Festival in Chicago. Steve Marquette organizes this long weekend of musical collaboration, and it is always fun and artistically rewarding but this year it felt particular restorative for me. It was the first time I had performed daily for four days in what seems like years, and they were all musically rewarding endeavors.

One of the highlights of the trip was a new piece that the festival commissioned from Mikel Patrick Avery called Nice to Meet You. It is Mikel’s musical exploration of the idea of restarting so many of the relationships that have been paused by the pandemic. We performed the piece at Constellation (which was not the original plan but sometimes things work out for the better) so there is a lovely archive of the excellently produced stream.

This video also contains the second set by Charles Rumback, James Singleton, Jim Baker, and Ed Wilkerson.