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OPTION: Gerrit Hatcher and Anton Hatwich

  • Experimental Sound Studio 5925 North Ravenswood Avenue Chicago, IL, 60660 United States (map)
Gerrit Hatcher and Anton Hatwich
from 8.00

April 2nd, 2019

Doors At 7. Music At 7:30pm

Saxophonist Gerrit Hatcher and Bassist Anton Hatwich perform solo and duo on the Option stage

photo by Julia Dratel

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Gerrit Hatcher is a Chicago-based tenor saxophonist, improviser, and composer. Born in Boston and raised in Normal, Illinois, Hatcher grew up studying trombone, and switched to tenor saxophone at 20 while attending the University of Illinois. Hatcher graduated from UIUC in 2013 and received a Masters in Arts and Politics at Sciences Po the following year. He moved to Chicago in 2015, and, inspired by Chicago’s rich improvising music scene, soon began to make music with Chicago musicians, forging new improvising collaborations, and leading ensembles of his own.

Hatcher’s own work typically engages with free jazz both as a set of experimental practices, and as an idiom with a history unto itself. He also participates across the diverse spectrum of experimental and improvised music being made in Chicago today. Gerrit has many active projects including his duo with Anton Hatwich, as well as a duo with Julian Kirshner, a solo saxophone practice, the improvising trio Devouring the Guilt with Eli Namay and Bill Harris, a trio with Mars Williams and Lia Kohl, and his organ quartet Refunction.


Bassist, composer, and improviser Anton Hatwich has lived in Chicago since 2003. He was born and raised in Rockford, IL, growing up in a musical family. Anton moved to Iowa City, IA in 1995 and lived there until 2002, earning a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Iowa. After graduation Hatwich taught for two years as Visiting Artist in Music at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA. At the UI he studied bass with Dr. Diana Gannett, jazz and improvisation with John Rapson, and also gained valuable experience playing with the school's renown Center for New Music, under the direction of David Gompper. Outside of class, Anton was active in the local music scene. Of particular lasting importance was his work with clarinettist, saxophonist, and composer Robert Paredes, with whom Anton took first steps in the world of free improvisation.

In late 2002 Hatwich started spending large amounts of time amongst Chicago's improvised music community, hanging out all night with his new friends at concerts and bars, and crashing on his brother's couch. One thing led to another, and by spring of 2003 he was playing so much in Chicago that it made sense to move there. Since that time he has played in endlessly varied groups of (mostly) improvising musicians, with some combinations sticking around longer than others. A partial list of his collaborators includes Frank Rosaly, Keefe Jackson, Aram Shelton, Nick Mazzarella, Russ Johnson, Tim Daisy, Jason Stein, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Josh Berman, and Paul Giallorenzo. With the bands that lasted, Anton has recorded a number of critically acclaimed albums and toured nationally and internationally. He has appeared at a handful of the major jazz festivals, including the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Ring Ring Festival in Belgrade, the Umbrella Festival, and the Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon Festival in Austria.

In addition to his performance work, Anton maintains a small private teaching studio.

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