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Finding aid prepared by MM, 2008
© 2008 University of Chicago Library
The Jazz Institute of Chicago Jamil Figi Papers were processed and preserved as part of the "Uncovering New Chicago Archives Project," funded with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Jazz Institute of Chicago. Figi, Jamil. Papers
1.5 linear feet (1 box)
Special Collections Research Center
Jamil Figi, American jazz critic. The Jazz Institute of Chicago Jamil Figi Papers contain Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) newsletters, concert and event fliers and programs, photographs, and ephemera. These papers document Figi's work with the AACM and his advocacy and promotion of jazz performers.
The collection is open for research.
When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Jazz Institute of Chicago. Figi, Jamil. Papers, [Box#, Folder#], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago
Jamil Figi, an American jazz critic, was born May 22, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois. While growing up in Monroe, Wisconsin Figi frequently heard live jazz in Madison, Wisconsin and Chicago. Soon after high school graduation, Figi settled in Chicago and on his first night in the new city heard Lester Young play live in a nightclub. For the rest of his life, Figi remained an avid fan of Young's playing.
An influential jazz writer, Figi's work first appeared in small magazines in the early 1960's, particularly in the literary magazine December. During this time, Figi also began writing the Chicago modern jazz column for Coda magazine and liner notes for record companies, mostly notably Chicago's Delmark label. Liner notes written by Figi include: Sun Ra, Sun Song; John Young Trio, The John Young Trio; Roscoe Mitchell, Sound; Joseph Jarman, Song For; and Bud Powell, Bouncing with Bud.
Figi also wrote for John and Leni Sinclair's Change, a publication devoted to the new jazz of the 1960's as well as the popular weekly Chicago Reader. In 1969, Figi wrote his first Downbeat article about Booby Blue Bland and later interviewed jazz great, Cecil Taylor. During the 1980's, Figi became one of Downbeat's staff record reviewers. Figi was highly involved with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Figi was also a board member of the Jazz Institute of Chicago and a programming committee member for the Chicago Jazz Festival.
Figi died in Chicago on May 30, 1999.
The Jazz Institute of Chicago Jamil Figi Papers contain Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians newsletters. The concert folders contain fliers, posters and programs promoting various concert series. The musician folders contain photographs, programs, concert and event fliers, and programs. These papers document Figi's work with the AACM and his advocacy and promotion of jazz performers.
The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:
Chicago Jazz Archive
Jazz Institute of Chicago. Records
Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians
Jazz -- Illinois -- Chicago
University of Chicago. Chicago Jazz Archive
Jazz Institute of Chicago
Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians Newsletters, 1973-1975
Concerts, Child City, 1972-1974
Concerts, Hyde Park Art Center, 1968-1969
Concerts, Lincoln Center, 1966-1967
Concerts, N.A.M.E. Gallery, 1974
Concerts, Parkway Community House, 1968-1970
Concerts, St. John Grand Lodge, 1996
Concerts, University of Chicago, 1959-1972
Musician, Abrams, Muhal Richard, circa 1967
Musician, Anderson, Fred, circa 1982
Musician, Cohran, Philip, 1966-1967
Musician, Favors, Malachi, undated
Musician, Jarman, Joseph, undated
Musician, Mitchell, Roscoe, undated
Musician, New Horizons Ensemble, 1984-1986
Musician, Wilkerson, Ed, 1986
Non-AACM Performers, 1967-1968
Sutherland Lounge, undated