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Englewood, Chatham, Auburn Gresham

100 Years Of Englewood Music Inspires New Concert That ‘Echoes’ Neighborhood

"Quantum Englewood" will premiere at Lindblom Math & Science Academy Saturday.

Bau Graves, executive director of Old Town School; Rashida Phillips, deputy director of Old Town Schools; and Ernest Dawkins, co-composer of "Quantum Englewood" have create a new musical wonder for Englewood residents.
Lee Edwards/ Block Club Chicago
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ENGLEWOOD — After months of composing, coordination and collaboration, Lindblom Math & Science Academy will host a concert dedicated to an original piece of music that highlights the music genres that have called Englewood home over the past century.

As part of its Music Moves Chicago program, Old Town School of Folk Music will present “Quantum Englewood: A Journey Through 100 Years of Side Musical History” at 8 p.m. Saturday in the school’s auditorium, 6130 S. Wolcott Ave. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Bau Graves, executive director of Old Town School of Folk Music, said the show aims to show the history of music in Englewood.

“If you look back at 100 years of musical history there’s always been different styles played right here and there’s still echoes of them in the community, so we wanted to take a look at that,” Graves said. 

“Quantum Englewood” will feature hip-hop, jazz, spoken word, gospel, African drumming, dance and electronic genres which all have roots in different parts of Englewood, said musician/composer Ernest Dawkins, an Englewood resident who composed the original piece of music with fellow musician/composer Rahul Sharma.  

Hundreds will participate in the performance, including musicians with Live The Spirit Residency, FUNKADESI, Fernado Jones’ Blues Kids, Soul Children Gospel Choir, The Bucket Boys and the Lindblom Acapella Choir. Several other groups and some special guests are also scheduled to perform.

“The theme of the piece for me is setting a new paradigm in the community and building the community,” Dawkins said.

Creating dynamic music that is reflective and authentic to the community was central to the creation of “Quantum Englewood,” said Rashida Phillips, deputy director of the Old Town School of Folk Music.  

“We’re really focused on going into these pocket areas of communities that are under resourced like the South or West sides and really looking at the resources in the community, the wealth within the community, the talent, and the culture and being an authentic partner,” she said.

More than a year in the making, “Quantum Englewood” was brought to life when Old Town School of Folk Music received a  $50,000 grant from The Joyce Foundation

The Joyce Foundation grant aims to support artists of color in reaching new audiences and expanding existing audiences to ensure their work reaches a large audience, said Tracie Hall, director of the culture program at the foundation. 

Wayne Bevis, principal of Lindblom Math & Science Academy, said “Quantum Englewood” will help expose Englewood students to the arts in their own neighborhood. 

“It’s great because it’s local so our students don’t have to travel anywhere but they can experience it within the school environment,” Bevis said.

Graves said more performances of “Quantum Englewood” may be announced in the near future. 

Music Moves Chicago is an Old Town School of Folk Music program that provides a platform for local teachers to work with students in a variety of musical genres like hip-hop, poetry, African drums and more.