Chicago Jazz Festival 2014 Line Up

Terence Blanchard with Ravi Coltrane & Lionel Loue...

Aug 29 | 8:30 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
For those fans who recall trumpeter Terence Blanchard's 1980's stint as one of the young lions of the Jazz Messengers, it has been extra-gratifying watching him develop into a bandleading mentor and starmaker in his own right. Tonight, as on his striking 2013 album, Magnetic, he'll have three more emerging players in his midst: the rhythm section o... continue »

Dave Holland, Kevin Eubanks, Craig Taborn and Eric...

Aug 30 | 8:30 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Even the staunchest fans of Dave Holland may have wondered what the heck he and Kevin Eubanks, Craig Taborn and Eric Harland were doing on Prism. What was up with the screaming guitar solos, swirling keyboards and exploding drums? The answer, quite simply, was that these revered musicians were having great fun revealing a side of their talent that... continue »

Sun Ra Arkestra...

Aug 31 | 8:30 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
What can you say about Sun Ra, nee Herman Blount, a/k/a Le Sony'r Ra? One hundred years after he arrived on earth and 21 years after his physical embodiment passed from view, he is best known by many for his cosmic trappings: Ra as spiritual being, interplanetary traveler, honorary ancient Egyptian. More importantly, to jazz fans, he was a musical... continue »

Myra Melford's Snowy Egret...

Aug 29 | 7:10 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
When Myra Melford was taking piano lessons from Erwin Helfer as a teenager in the northern suburbs, could she ever have imagined they'd both be featured artists at the Chicago Jazz Festival? Maybe, maybe not. But if there's one thing Melford has never lacked, it's vision.... continue »

Tom Harrell's Colors of a Dream...

Aug 30 | 7:10 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
From his emergence in the bands of Horace Silver and Phil Woods through various groups of his own, trumpeter Tom Harrell has occupied a special place in jazz. A model of consistency, he's regarded not only as one of the strongest soloists at work – a player of surpassing lyrical intensity – but also one of the finest composers. And as revealed... continue »

Cécile McLorin Salvant...

Aug 31 | 7:10 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Every once in a while, a young jazz artist appears on the scene fully formed, with her own sound and sensibility, and takes audiences by storm. That's what 24-year-old Cécile McLorin Salvant has been doing. Along with last year's Chicago Jazz Festival sensation, Gregory Porter, she has brought crowd-pleasing exuberance and charisma back to jazz vo... continue »

Homage to Nelson Mandela: Ernest Dawkins’ Memory...

Aug 28 | 6:30pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
For the official opening-night show of the Chicago Jazz Festival – and the finale of this year's Made in Chicago concert series – local composer, saxophonist and AACM veteran Ernest Khabeer Dawkins has created a work in honor of the late South African president that promises to do many of the inspiring things Mandela said music could do.... continue »

Rufus Reid...

Aug 29 | 6:00 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
It's been four decades since Rufus Reid lived in Chicago, where he attended Northwestern University and got his career off to an imposing start accompanying legends at the Jazz Showcase. But his fans here still embrace the bassist nonpareil as one of their own, which makes his latest festival appearance extra special.... continue »

Gary Burton...

Aug 30 | 6:00 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Never mind that his birth certificate says he's 71. Never mind how many generations of musicians he has mentored as an educator, bandleader and role model. Vibraphonist Gary Burton is no less a creative force than he has ever been, and no less dazzling an improviser... continue »

Miguel Zenon Quartet...

Aug 31 | 6:00 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon has his feet in two stylistic worlds: modern jazz and the traditional sounds of his native Puerto Rico – not just boleros, ballads and other popular forms, but also rural styles dating back to the 1800's and the folkloric plena sound of the early 20th century. In combining present and past, traditional and modern, so... continue »

Screening of Sun Ra Films "A Joyful Noise" and "My...

Aug 25 | 6:00 pm
Claudia Cassidy
To help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sun Ra there will be screenings of the Sun Ra Films Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise and Mystery Mr. Ra. On Tuesday the 26th, there will be a discussion with Robert Mugge, the director of A Joyful Noise.... continue »

Screening of Sun Ra Films "A Joyful Noise" and "My...

Aug 26 | 6:00 pm
Claudia Cassidy
To help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sun Ra there will be screenings of the Sun Ra Films Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise and Mystery Mr. Ra. On Tuesday the 26th, there will be a discussion with Robert Mugge, the director of A Joyful Noise.... continue »

Sam Grossner...

Aug 26th | 5:30 pm
Sam started playing piano at 7 years of age. As a teen, he helped a friend of his repair and rebuild player pianos, which quickly brought him to the world of stride piano and piano player Fats Waller among others. Today he both plays and restores pianos. Sam played piano at the original DejaVu Tavern on Lincoln Avenue for several years at the Sunda... continue »

John Wright...

Aug 27th | 5:30 pm
To this day the pianist, organist and bassist does not read or write music. Known commercially as “South Side Soul” he currently appears with his own quartet in clubs in the Chicago area. Selected recordings include South Side Soul-John Wright Trio, John Wright: Mr. Soul, John Wright: Makin’ Out and John Wright: The Last Amen. His studio cr... continue »

Matthew Shipp...

Aug 27 | 5:30 pm
At the beginning of his career Shipp was stylistically compared to some of his predecessors in the jazz piano pantheon but has since been recognized as a complete stylistic innovator on the piano – with AllMusic referring to his “unique and recognizable style”; and Larry Blumenfeld in Jazziz Magazine referring to Shipp as “stunning in origi... continue »

George Freeman / Mike Allemana Quartet...

Aug 29 | 5:00 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Guitar duos rarely have the edgy excitement that this one promises. Chicago legend George Freeman, a sui generis stylist if ever there was one on the instrument, is prized by young listeners who have had their heads spun by his soul-jazz experiments from the '70s, and fans who have never heard guitar lines of such keening, bop-charged expression.... continue »

Ari Brown Quintet...

Aug 30 | 5:00 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
In this tenor saxophone town, Ari Brown has long stood tall, and with the passing of revered tenor giants Von Freeman and Fred Anderson, he stands even taller. To be a true Chicago tenor, it's never enough to play "tough" – you also need to develop your own identity. That's what Brown has done over the years. A soloist who was strongly influenced... continue »

Bobby Broom Trio...

Aug 31 | 5:00 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
The jazz world has long known what a special talent guitarist Bobby Broom is. That's what having Sonny Rollins pluck you out of high school to play with him at Carnegie Hall will do for you. But his emergence as a leader in his adopted city of Chicago still has been one of the local jazz scene's brightest highlights. Broom has risen to the top of h... continue »

Sun Ra panelists discussion...

Aug 28 | 4:00 pm
Ganz Hall
Roosevelt University
430 S. Michigan Avenue, 7th floor
Chicago, IL 60605
Had Sun Ra lived – not that there isn't a great possibility he's still with us, floating in the cosmos – he would have turned 100 this year. In Chicago, where he first made his mark as a pianist, arranger, big band genius and keyboard inventor, that's special cause for celebration.... continue »

Russ Johnson Quartet...

Aug 29 | 3:30 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
A notable recent addition to the Chicago jazz scene, trumpeter Russ Johnson has fit right in with his ability to play a wide range of styles in a wide range of settings. During his years in New York, the Racine, Wis., native played with such heavies as Lee Konitz (he's a member of the altoist's New Nonet) and Bill Frisell and such emerging stars as... continue »

Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet...

Aug 29 | 3:30 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet's days of flying under the radar are at an end. Its 2013 album, Latin Jazz/Jazz Latin, earned the San Francisco-based group its second Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album. And Wallace, a trombonist who has a handful of Grammy nominations for other projects, is reaping more and more critical praise for hi... continue »

Corey Wilkes Quintet...

Aug 30 | 3:30 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
In the best sense of the word, Corey Wilkes has been an upstart since emerging on the Chicago scene in the early 2000's, fresh from honing his craft in New Orleans. A product of Rich South High School in suburban Richton Park and the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he has used his outsize natural gifts as a trumpeter to shift effortlessly from... continue »

Kurt Rosenwinkel...

Aug 30 | 3:30 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
Just as Michael Brecker was embraced as a guru of contemporary tenor saxophone by players of recent generations, 43-year-old Kurt Rosenwinkel has had his every solo pored over by aspiring guitarists. Taking leave from such towering role models as Wes Montgomery and George Benson, Rosenwinkel has coined a highly individual harmonic approach with his... continue »

Chicago Yestet...

Aug 31 | 3:30 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
With its seven, count 'em, seven horns, the Chicago Yestet has the firepower to raise more than a minor ruckus. And as suggested by the title of its 2008 debut album, Jazz is Politics?, which samples a speech by George W. Bush, the 13-member outfit isn't afraid to offer political commentary. But led by trombonist Joel Adams, whose groove-minded com... continue »

Tootie Heath Trio...

Aug 31 | 3:30 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
Isn't it funny how we think we know an artist after decades of enjoying his playing only to hear him one day in an altogether different way? Albert "Tootie" Heath is one of jazz's legendary drummers. He is the driving force behind the Heath Brothers band and was a sideman for such greats as Art Farmer, Clifford Jordan and Yusef Lateef.... continue »

Juli Wood Trio & “Chicago Calling” with added...

Aug 28 | 3:15-4:30pm
Claudia Cassidy
"What is this thing called Jazz?" Ask any 5 people and you'll get 5 different answers. Is one of them right and the others wrong? Not according the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Seeing jazz as a mosaic whose whole is substantially greater than its parts, "What is this thing called Jazz?" sets out to fill in the mosaic...... continue »

Clark Sommers (Ba)SH...

Aug 29 | 2:20 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
You might reasonably expect a band named (Ba)SH to make a bunch of unadulterated noise. And with the great drummer Dana Hall's bomb-dropping capabilities, they certainly are capable of that. But if any quality defines bassist Clark Sommers' trio, featuring consummate saxophonist Geof Bradfield, it's their exploratory sensibility.... continue »

John Wojciechowski Quartet...

Aug 30 | 2:20 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
One of the things that makes the Chicago jazz scene so strong and renewable is its ability to draw talented artists from all over the map. In recent years, more and more players have moved here to be part of a scene that offers the opportunity to team up with like-minded musicians, perform on a regular basis and define one's own sound and style. Th... continue »

Dennis Luxion - Michael Raynor Quartet...

Aug 31 | 2:20 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
Critic Neil Tesser once described Dennis Luxion, a pianist who brings a composer's presence to his playing, as "a scary-smart musician." Drummer Michael Raynor has drawn raves for his dynamic work with such artists as Kurt Elling, Ryan Cohan and Von Freeman, about whom few have waxed more eloquently or wittily than him. Together, Luxion and Raynor... continue »

Judy Roberts / Greg Fishman Duo...

Aug 28 | 2:00 pm
Preston Bradley Hall
Singer-pianist Judy Roberts ruled over so many jazz rooms in Chicago for so many years, her fans still feel her vibe here years after she moved to Phoenix. Her visits here reinforce the feeling that she never left.... continue »

Paul Marinaro Quartet...

Aug 29 | 2:00 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
A straight-ahead jazz vocalist whose recent, acclaimed, self-produced debut album, Without a Song, includes such classics as “That Old Black Magic,” “Devil May Care” and “For All We Know,” Paul Marinaro sings with the easy authority of someone who grew up with these songs – which he did.... continue »

Chicago Underground Duo...

Aug 30 | 2:00 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
The longest-lasting and most experimental of the Chicago Underground groups, going back to the Chicago Underground Orchestra of the mid-'90s, the Chicago Underground Duo – Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor – has been a compelling work in progress. Embracing ever-bolder laptop and engineering effects, the CUD funnels a deep stream of influences, begin... continue »

Sun Rooms...

Aug 31 | 2:00 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
It's no exaggeration to say that Sun Rooms is one of the most strikingly original vibraphone groups jazz has ever known. That's largely because Jason Adasiewicz is such an extraordinary force on the vibes. Attacking the keys with the hardest hits this side of Sonny Liston, he produces overtones and blooming after-tones that mesmerize you even as th... continue »

David Boykin Expanse...

Aug 28 | 1:45 pm
Claudia Cassidy
As the name of his longstanding band suggests, saxophonist David Boykin thrives on wide-open spaces – and wide-open conceptual possibilities. While indebted to the intervallic leaps and floating time sense of Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians role models including Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell, he has never been shy abou... continue »

Erwin Helfer / John Brumbach Duo...

Aug 28 | 1:30 pm
Randolph Cafe
Chicago has gifted the world with any number of great pianists in the blues and boogie woogie tradition: Jimmy Yancey, Meade Lux Lewis, Albert Ammons, Art Hodes, Sunnyland Slim, Pinetop Perkins. None has been more loved than the remarkable Erwin Helfer, who at 78 is the last living link to Jimmy (and Mama) Yancey.... continue »

Joshua Abrams Quartet...

Aug 29 | 1:10 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
A prolific bassist on the Chicago scene, Joshua Abrams has played in and recorded with any number of important bands over the past 15 years including Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble, Mike Reed's Loose Assembly and Dave Rempis' Aphelion trio. Abrams also has made his mark as a leader. The New York Times praised his 2010 album, Natural Informa... continue »

John Campbell Trio featuring Kelly Sill and Joel S...

Aug 30 | 1:10 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
During the late 1970's and early 1980's, no Chicago piano trio was more popular or formidable than that of pianist John Campbell, a Bloomington, Il., native whose chemistry with University of Illinois alums Kelly Sill (bass) and Joel Spencer (drums) was unsurpassed. As the house rhythm section at the Jazz Showcase, they backed a Who's Who of jazz g... continue »

Tammy McCann Quintet...

Aug 31 | 1:10 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
Not too many singers have performed the lead role in Cavalleria Rusticana, toured as a Rae-lette with Ray Charles and sung with and been mentored by Von Freeman. But for Chicago jazz (and gospel and classical) singer Tammy McCann, those experiences have proven to be mere stepping stones in a career that has people buzzing about her in New York as w... continue »

Paulinho Garcia Quinet...

Aug 28 | 12:30 pm
Preston Bradley Hall
Brazil has no better emissary in the Windy City than singer-guitarist Paulinho Garcia. For more than 30 years, this native of Belo Horizonte, located in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, has waved the flag of his homeland here through sensitive, richly melodic performances of its music.... continue »

Howard Alden / Andy Brown Quartet...

Aug 29 | 12:30 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
The neo-swing movement of the '80s has come and gone, but one of its key players, guitarist Howard Alden, continues to promote the timeless attributes of pre-modern jazz while exploring some of the unsung artists who left their mark on it.... continue »

Laurenzi / Ernst / Green...

Aug 30 | 12:30 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
The young collective of tenor saxophonist and "aspiring beatmaker" Dustin Laurenzi, bassist and singer Katie Ernst and drummer Andrew Green offer an entrancing sound that's somewhere between hip-hop and lounge music. Influenced by the spare experimentation of clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre's trios and modern classical music's minimalist school, Laurenzi... continue »

Tomeka Reid Quartet...

Aug 31 | 12:30 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
Just as her AACM sister and frequent collaborator Nicole Mitchell has transformed the flute as an improvising musician with her earthy power, Tomeka Reid has brought new vitality and breadth to the cello with her uncommon blend of ethereal spirit and fierce emotion.... continue »

Keefe Jackson's Likely So...

Aug 28 | 12:15 pm
Claudia Cassidy
For more than 20 years, Chicago's improvising musicians have conducted a wonderful exchange program with their European counterparts, resulting in many memorable collaborations. So it goes with saxophonist Keefe Jackson's Likely So, an unusual all-reed ensemble that features fellow local boys, a Polish stalwart and a Swiss trio.... continue »

Chris Foreman Solo...

Aug 28 | 12:00 pm
Randolph Cafe
Through all the trends, revampings and revolutions jazz has gone through since the great Jimmy Smith made the Hammond B-3 organ an essential component of hard bop and blues, the crowd-pleasing appeal of the instrument has remained the same. Whether commandeered by a Smith acolyte like Joey DeFrancesco or an innovator like Greg Lewis with his Organ... continue »

Xavier Breaker's Coalition...

Aug 29 | 12:00 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
Born and raised in South Carolina, Xavier Breaker brings to the bandstand both a limber, excitable style as a drummer and strong writing skills developed at Northern Illinois University's jazz studies program. In a short time, he and the members of his Coalition have established themselves as rising players in Chicago's "next generation" of jazz pl... continue »

Clif Wallace Quintet...

Aug 30 | 12:00 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
A native of Fort Wayne, drummer Clif Wallace has played in all kinds of bands since his undergraduate days at North Carolina Central University and in Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead program. He made his early mark on record playing on Carolina bassist John Brown's Top 40 hit, "Merry Christmas, Baby;" Chicago Quartet (2010), by Polish saxophonist Marcin... continue »

Neal Alger's Blue Note Quartet...

Aug 31 | 12:00 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
Not to put anyone in mind of doing anything the Surgeon General wouldn't, but there are times when Neal Alger's guitar playing is so coolly expressive, and his wafting chords so subtle in their impact, you may think of cigarette smoke curling through space. As anyone who has seen his power rock trio, Needles in the Red, knows, that tells only part... continue »

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