Bill Frisell - "Bill Frisell, Beautiful Dreamer" - Petra Haden

Friday, December 9, 2022 - 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Bill Frisell

Bill Frisell and Petra Haden will perform a set that pays tribute to the Great American Songbook. Stay tuned after the concert for a conversation with Frisell about his extraordinary career, moderated by his biographer Philip Watson

Presented in partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival

Register HERE

About the book: Over a period of forty-five years, Bill Frisell has established himself as one of the most innovative and influential musicians at work today. Growing up playing clarinet in orchestras and marching bands, Frisell has progressed through a remarkable range of musical personas - from devotee of jazz master Jim Hall to 'house guitarist' of estimable German label ECM, from edgy New York downtown experimentalist to plaintive country and bluegrass picker. He has been a pioneering bandleader and collaborator, a prolific composer and arranger and a celebrated Grammy Award winner. A quietly revolutionary guitar hero who has synthesised many disparate musical elements into one compellingly singular sound, Frisell connects to a diverse range of artists and admirers, including Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Lucinda Williams, Gus Van Sant, Marianne Faithfull and Justin Vernon, many of whom feature in this book.


About the author: Philip Watson is an experienced journalist who has mostly made his living as a feature writer. He has covered a broad range of subjects – from 9/11 to the Poker Million tournament, Miles Davis to (a film version of) James Joyce’s Ulysses, British soldiers injured in Afghanistan to the Peace One Day campaign – for numerous UK and Irish newspapers and magazines, including GQ, where he was formerly deputy editor, and Esquire, where he was editor-at-large. Philip has also written extensively about music, jazz in particular; musicians he has interviewed include Elvis Costello, Gil Scott-Heron, McCoy Tyner, Ali Farka Touré, Wynton Marsalis, and Maria Schneider. His first book, Bill Frisell, Beautiful Dreamer, a biography of the groundbreaking and Grammy Award-winning guitarist, was published by Faber in the spring of 2022. Composer, saxophonist, and experimentalist John Zorn described it as “a beautiful and long overdue portrait of one of America’s true living cultural treasures”.

About Bill Frisell: Bill Frisell’s career as a guitarist and composer has spanned more than 40 years and has made a lasting impression on the music industry. His last recording is Valentine, on Blue Note, a trio album with Thomas Morgan (bass) and Rudy Royston (drums) that has been hailed as “a masterpiece” by Downbeat.  Frisell was recognized as one of America’s 21 most vital and productive performing artists, and was named the inaugural Doris Duke Artist in 2012. He is also a recipient of grants from United States Artists and Meet the Composer. From 2013 – 2015, Frisell was the Resident Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center for their Roots of Americana series, and in 2016, he was a beneficiary of the first FreshGrass Composition commission to preserve and support innovative grassroots music. Upon San Francisco Jazz opening their doors in 2013, he served as one of their Resident Artistic Directors. Frisell’s life and musical journey is chronicled in Philip Watson’s book Beautiful Dreamer – The Guitarist Who Changed The Sound of American Music featuring unprecedented access, and interviews with his close family, friends, and collaborators.


Event Location: 
Venue Six10
610 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605