Tuesdays on the Terrace: Mwata Bowden, One Foot In, One Foot Out

  • Anne & John Kern Terrace Garden
    Outer east side of the MCA, accessible via the back gate and the Commons
    220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611


Tuesdays are always FREE for Illinois residents.

Featured image

Mwata Bowden
Photo: Lauren Deutsch


Mwata Bowden brings his cross-generational ensemble One Foot In, One Foot Out to the Kern Terrace. The evening features three longtime AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) members: tenor saxophonist Ari Brown, bassist Harrison Bankhead, and drummer Avreeayl Ra. They are joined by trumpeter Leon Q and Bowden’s son, Khari B, who has fired up the spoken-word scene in Chicago with his jazz-based style.

In case of rain, the event takes place inside the MCA's Kovler Atrium.


About the Artist

Mwata Bowden was born in Memphis but has his roots in Chicago's jazz history. After training under legendary band director Walter Dyett at DuSable High School, touring with the rhythm-and-blues band the Chi-lites, and developing a reputation as a riveting multi-instrumentalist, Bowden established a jazz scene at the University of Chicago where he is currently the Director of Jazz Ensembles.

As a second generation member and former Chair of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), he helped evolve the concept of collective improvisation through its signature band, the Great Black Music Ensemble. His more than 20-year partnership with Tatsu Aoki's Miyumi Project helped create an amalgam of American jazz with Japanese Taiko, and as a member of Edward Wilkerson’s Eight Bold Souls, Bowden has performed at jazz and blues festivals throughout Chicago and around the world.

He is a long time educator who understands how learning and applying the skills of improvisation can provide life-long benefits for youth—from CPS elementary and high school students to the AACM School to the many Jazz X-Tet students and alumni at the University of Chicago as well as workshops he has presented to students worldwide. In 2013, he received the Jazz Journalists Association's Jazz Hero award for his advocacy for and cultivation of a strong and vibrant jazz community in Chicago and in the world.


Due to construction, dining options for Tuesdays on the Terrace is limited. Tables on the upper terrace are available on a first-come basis and there will be no table service. Open seating is still available on our lower terrace and lawn. Sorry, outside food and beverages are not allowed.

BBQ brisket sandwich with pickled carrot salad | $10
Kale & grain salad, sunflower seeds & lemon dressing | $8
Salami & cheese box, marinated vegetables & French bread | $8
Spicy cajun sausage sandwich with red cabbage slaw | $8
Roasted summer squash salad, feta cheese & olives, in a buckwheat & herb dressing | $8
Single Origin chocolate chip cookie | $3

Kids Menu 

SunButter & jelly sandwich | $4
Fruit cups | $3

(subject to change)