Mankwe Ndosi is a multimedia artist for our time, seamlessly blending her work as storyteller, dancer, actor, performance artist with a wide range of musical styles: jazz, hip-hop, soul, doo-wop and more. Splitting her time between Chicago and Minneapolis, Ndosi is deeply invested in education, history, and African-American culture. She’s performed and recorded with the likes of Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid, Atmosphere, Douglas Ewart, and Brother Ali, among others. But today Ndosi presents her excellent Chicago-oriented quartet Corylus, where improvisation and storytelling merge seamlessly and soulfully.
As she’s written of the group, “Corylus works from membranes of story, sensation, environment, and movement to root and fuel the music.” She’s joined by the master Chicago reedist Edward Wilkerson Jr. (who also plays some oud in this project), bassist Darius Savage, and Detroit percussionist JoVia Armstrong, who recently played at the inaugural Chicago String Jazz Summit with her dynamic group Musique Noire.