Pianist Javier Red was in his mid-40s and had been a working musician for years, both in his native Mexico and in the United States, when he arrived at a musical crossroads.
It happened at a workshop in 2015 with saxophonist and composer Steve Coleman at the University of Chicago. “I told Steve that I’ve got two options. I can deny everything that I saw there and keep my music flowing in a comfortable way, or I can accept that what Steve was saying is a completely new and different conception of music,” he remembered. “I said, ‘Man, what I’m losing? Nothing!’ And I decided to go that way.”
He’s still going that way on a musical and life journey that will bring Red and his Chicago quartet Imagery Converter to BOP STOP Thursday for a New Ghosts concert that will have meaning well beyond music.