Rob Mazurek was born in Naperville, Illinois in 1966, and played trumpet and cornet in high school. After high school he attended the Bloom School of Jazz in Chicago, and began playing gigs with local jazz musicians. In 1996, Mazurek founded a workshop at Chicago jazz club The Green Mill called Chicago Underground for the performance of avant-garde, improvisatory jazz. By 1998, a new ensemble had formed around this idea, featuring guitarist Jeff Parker, drummer Chad Taylor, bassist Noel Kupersmith, and trombonist Sara Smith. As the Chicago Underground Orchestra, this ensemble released several albums on Chicago’s Delmark Records. Mazurek and Taylor continued to form groups under the Chicago Underground umbrella, performing as the Chicago Underground Duo, Chicago Underground Trio and Chicago Underground Quartet
Chad Taylor (b. 1973) is a composer, educator, percussionist and scholar who is a co-founder of the Chicago Underground ensembles. Originally from Tempe, AZ, Chad grew up in Chicago where he started performing professionally at the age of 16. Chad has performed with Fred Anderson, Derek Bailey, Cooper-Moore, Pharoah Sanders, Marc Ribot, Peter Brotzmann, Malachi Favors and many others. Chad leads his own band Circle down which debut recording was given a 5 star review by All music: “What is remarkable is that there is no wasted motion, no histrionics or grandstanding, as pure emotion is translated to superlative music making on this most highly recommended recording, one for the ages.” Allmusic.com Chad has a BFA from the New School in Jazz Performance and a MFA in Jazz Research and History from Rutgers University.