Announcing the 2025 Ear Taxi Festival!

Chicago, IL (November 16, 2023) – New Music Chicago proudly announces plans to host the next Ear Taxi Festival for Chicago in Fall 2025. Last presented in 2021, the Ear Taxi Festival is a city-wide, multi-day celebration of new and experimental musical traditions that will feature artists in dozens of hours of programming, the vast majority featuring recently created works by Chicago composers, improvisers, and sound artists. The 2021 festival successfully reached estimated audiences of over 10,000 through in-person and live-streamed performances, workshops, and receptions. The Ear Taxi Festival 2025 leadership team was nominated by the New Music Chicago Board of Directors and includes Tim Corpus as Executive Director, LaRob K. Rafael as Artistic Director, and Amy Wurtz as Curatorial Director.

The 2025 Festival furthers New Music Chicago’s mission of giving significant support for local composers writing new works. Additionally, this festival aims to connect Chicago’s communities through the collaboration of instrumental and vocal music.

First presented in 2016, the Ear Taxi Festival was created and spearheaded by Augusta Read Thomas, who remains among the most highly respected and sought after composers and arts advocates of our time. The festival was a joy-ride through Chicago’s new music scene co-curated by Thomas, Stephen Burns, and a curatorial committee of Chicago’s leading artists and intellectuals. To date, the Ear Taxi Festivals have presented nearly 1,000 artists since 2016.

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“I was grateful to work on Ear Taxi Festival in 2021 as Director of Community Engagement. Now stepping into an Artistic role with the festival, I’m excited to support collaborations throughout Chicago with a focus on the complex instrument that is the human voice.”

LaRob K. Rafael, Artistic Director, ETF 2025