CHICAGO, IL- The city of Chicago has borne a lot of amazing jazz artists. From Benny Godman to Herbie Hancock, some of the greatest American jazz artists of all time come from The Windy City.  Chicago’s jazz legacy is rich, and with the city educating the next generation of musicians while encouraging cross-cultural dialogue, it’s a city that prime to spawn and mold the current and future of jazz.

They are some big shoes to fill, but there are many looking to see if they can fit into them. One collective to keep an eye on is Cordoba. They are a jazz fusion sextet founded by Cam Cunningham, Brianna Tong, and Zach Upton-Davis, and, using jazz as their foundation, pull from hip-hop, soul and rock to help create their vibrant sound.

They released a handful of EPs since 2017, and their music has been described as music for “radical change”. While Chicago is overflowing with creative minds, Cordoba recognizes and shines a light on the city’s foundational inequity when it comes to housing, education, and health care, and they take great effort to make sure those topics are clearly marked in their music.

Today, Cordoba released their newest single, “Factory”.  It is a song about the anxiety spawned from the constant drive toward productivity and the way capitalist ideas seep into our bodies and minds. It’s a song that warns of the reality that the mechanical is taking over the organic (“I am a factory of formless faces/ Conveyor belt that’s eating itself/ I am producing only perfect layers/ Hiding how it felt to trust my mind”); a situation where creativity and life are stifled because of our need to relentlessly produce for the sake of commerce (“I am the trembling that means production, Squeezing all light out from my eyes, It takes every piece of me, To stop your machine, To stop your machine”).

The video, which was created during quarantine, uses 20 clips from various peers (a lot of whom are in other bands like Jeraf, Blacker Face, Gilt Drip, Jovan Landry, Mermaid N.V., DXTR Spits, Nexus J., A.ADISA, Sex No Babies, Cloudtone) to chronicle work in the age of COVID-19 in Chicago. They are simple clips of each participant showing their interpretation of the word “work”.

Cordoba is currently working on their first full-length record, and hopefully, they’ll be able to navigate the craziness of the times to imbue Chicago, and the nation, with more strong messaging couched in lush arrangements. We could all use a bit more of that these days.

Follow Cordoba on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Cordoba. Press shot.
Cordoba. Press shot.