Chicago Jazz Festival 2015 Line Up

The Experimental Band in Celebration of the 50th A...

Sep 6 | 8:30 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
One of the most notable headliners of the 37th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival is a very special reunion of pianist and composer Muhal Richard Abrams’ Experimental Band, the band that is commonly thought of as one of the first, if not the first, A.A.C.M. ensembles.... continue »

A Tribute to Billy Strayhorn by The Chicago Jazz O...

Sep 4 | 8:30 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
The Chicago Jazz Orchestra under the direction of bassist Jeff Lindberg will feature guest arrangers interpreting Strayhorn's music including Chicagoan Edward Wilkerson, drummer-composer-arranger John Hollenbeck, composer/trumpeter Steven Bernstein, trombonist/arranger Tom Garling and pianist arranger Gordon Godwin.... continue »

Dee Dee Bridgewater...

Sep 5 | 8:30 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Bridgewater has seen jazz from all sides now – as a backup singer and pop stylist, as a cross-Atlantic star, as a as a Tony and Grammy winner and as host of the syndicated NPR program, JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater.... continue »

Butler, Bernstein and The Hot 9...

Sep 3 | 8:00 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and CJF, DCASE and JIC are proud to recognize this civil rights milestone and promote full inclusion of people with disabilities by partnering with ADA 25 Chicago to present New Orleanian pianist Henry Butler with slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein & The Hot 9.... continue »

Fred Hersch Trio...

Sep 4 | 7:10 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
For more than three decades, Fred Hersch has raised the bar on piano trios about as high as it can be raised. Though he has played in numerous other settings, in some cases on word-based projects with vocalists, he's at his best in a threesome, applying a cutting intelligence to the most lyrical songs and a subtle rhythmic spark to even tunes that... continue »

Mark Turner Quartet...

Sep 5 | 7:10 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Each generation has a handful of artists who are embraced as role models not only for the brilliance of their playing, but also the private devotion with which they follow their muse. For more than a decade, tenor saxophonist Mark Turner has been one of those artists.... continue »

Cyrille Aimée...

Sep 6 | 7:10 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
A child of the century, she is as likely to cover Michael Jackson as Cole Porter, or to segue from an original tune in French to "Night in Tunisia." And as perky as she can be (the title of her major label debut is It's a Good Day), she can toughen her sound in service of the blues, with which she is incandescently at ease.... continue »

Marquis Hill Blacktet...

Sep 3 | 6:30 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
When Marquis Hill won the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition, he only confirmed to the world what Chicagoans already knew: This kid is something special. But it isn't just his impeccable attack, with its combination of fleet, jabbing accents and soaring grace notes, that sets him apart.... continue »

The Claudia Quintet +1 w / Theo Bleckman and surpr...

Sep 5 | 6:00 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
As a drummer, John Hollenbeck has always avoided the obvious gutbucket solutions in favor of light textures and fresh voicings. That sensibility comes through in his composing and arranging as well, whether he's leading his big band or Claudia Quintet.... continue »

José James...

Sep 4 | 6:00 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Rising star vocalist José James (a Minneapolis native) who has been noted for melding R&B, singer-songwriter sensibilities with his core jazz training, will be performing songs from his latest record, Yesterday I Had the Blues, celebrating the 100th birthday of the iconic and tragic Billie Holiday... continue »

Jane Bunnett & Manqueque...

Sep 6 | 6:00 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
With her all-female sextet, Maqueque, whose self-titled debut recently won a Juno (the Canadian Grammy) for best group jazz album of the year, she's breaking new ground yet again. The name of the group means "the energy of a young girl's spirit," and with four of its members still in their early twenties, this is a band with energy to spare.... continue »

Douglas Ewart and Inventions...

Sep 5 | 5:00 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
As one of the AACM's distinguished elders, saxophonist and wood flute visionary Douglas Ewart has never stopped striving for healing in his music through spiritual, sensory, intellectual and philosophical expression. If that seems like a pretty steep agenda, his winds, voice and percussion ensemble, Inventions, makes the climb a natural one.... continue »

Chico Freeman : the Chicago Project, Featuring Geo...

Sep 4 | 5:00 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Performing music from their new Southport Records album, All in the Family, their all-star band will offer what Chico called a "panorama" of Chicago musical styles – one that will capture both the sounds the city is known for internationally (he has lived for two years in Switzerland) and some distant listener might not associate with the home of... continue »

Jeff Parker Trio...

Sep 6 | 5:00 pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
If ever there were a "self-made" star, it's Jeff Parker. Operating in a hype-free, soft-spoken zone, without indulging in commercial album concepts or seeming to care much about career advancement, he has risen to the top ranks of guitarists.... continue »

Ryan Cohan Quartet featuring Joe Locke...

Sep 5 | 3:30 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
Today, Cohan will write another page in his journal of special Chicago performances when he teams up with acclaimed vibraphone veteran Joe Locke. They'll be working on a smaller scale than they did on Locke's orchestral recording, Wish Upon a Star, for which Cohan wrote arrangements.... continue »

Jason Roebke Octet...

Sep 5 | 3:30 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
Red, the debut album by the Jason Roebke Octet, was not only one of the best releases of 2014, it was also one of the surest indications that Chicago's improvisational scene, far from running out of gas after an extraordinary outpouring of music, was still firing on all cylinders.... continue »

Robert Irving III Generations...

Sep 6 | 3:30 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
As a former collaborator of Miles Davis, pianist Robert Irving III – a/k/a Baabe – could have pursued a career outside of Chicago. But following in the footsteps of devoted homeboys like Von Freeman and Fred Anderson, he has remained in the Windy City, taking care of family, pursuing his own ambitious projects (not least Sketches of Brazil, his... continue »

Steve & Iqua Colson : 40 Years in the Moment featu...

Sep 6 | 3:30 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
Though Steve and Iqua Colson moved from Chicago to his home state of New Jersey in 1982, they have permanent keys to the Windy City thanks to their enduring contributions they made here, in and out of the AACM – Steve as a pianist, composer and bandleader and Iqua (a product of Kenwood High School), as a singer, arts administrator and trailblazer... continue »

Craig Taborn Trio...

Sep 4 | 3:30 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
We are, for sure, experiencing a golden age of the piano trio. What makes this outpouring of great threesomes so special, aside from their prodigious talent, is how unique they are: Good luck finding common ground among such elite groups as Jason Moran's Bandwagon, the Bad Plus, the trios led by Brad Mehldau and Vijay Iyer – and, perhaps especial... continue »

Bobby Lewis Sextet...

Sep 4 | 3:30 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
We know that "trumpeter's trumpeter" is a cliché, but we won't let that stop us from laying that term on this impeccable talent either. For several decades now, Lewis has never been bothered by tags and labels himself, playing what is close to his heart.... continue »

"What Is This Thing Called Jazz?" From Mainstream...

Sep 3 | 3:15 pm
Claudia Cassidy
In an annual educational/informational feature of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, the wondrous vocalist Dee Alexander, with pianist / vocalist Ann Ward, will present "From Mainstream to AACM and Beyond." Alexander will talk about her involvement with the AACM and its influences on her and perform.... continue »

Neusa Sauer...

Sep 4 | 2:30 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
Best known for her work with Som Brasil, one of the most popular Latin bands to make a name for itself in the Windy City, she continues to cast a lilting spell as only the finest practitioners of the music can.... continue »

Ryan Shultz Quartet...

Sep 6 | 2:20 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
Can his recent album, Hair Dryers, really be Ryan Shultz' first as a leader? He has been such an important part of the Chicago scene for so long, leading his own groups and teaming up with such stalwart players as Damon Short and Bob Dogan, you would think he would have gotten a serious chunk of his own spotlight by now.... continue »

Brian Gephart Sextet...

Sep 5 | 2:20
Von Freeman Pavilion
The Chicago jazz scene wouldn't be what it is without mainstays like saxophonist Brian Gephart, a terrific, if unheralded player who can be counted on for a consistently high level of artistry.... continue »

Juan Pastor's Chinchano...

Sep 5 | 2:00 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
Trained by Afro-Peruvian percussion master Eusebio Sirio "Pititi" and schooled at the National Conservatory in Lima, Juan Pastor brings his own expansive perspective to jazz – the music he moved to Chicago to be able to play.... continue »

Bill McFarland Chicago Horns...

Sep 6 | 2:00 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
Like the Memphis Horns and the Muscle Shoals horns in the South, Bill McFarland and the Chicago Horns have been the first-call brass section in Chicago. Formed a quarter century ago, they have performed and recorded with such soul greats as Otis Clay, blues greats including Son Seals and Lonnie Brooks and jazz greats including Malachi Thompson.... continue »

James Davis' Beveled...

Sep 3 | 2:00 pm
Preston Bradley Hall
Lush and darkly luminous, the music of Beveled puts mood before movement, making maximal use of minimal settings while applying a sculpted sensibility to chamber jazz.... continue »

Art Hoyle Sextet : Clark Terry Tribute...

Sep 4 | 2:00 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
"There's nobody like Clark." That's what Art Hoyle said about his friend and fellow trumpeter Clark Terry before Terry's passing at 94 earlier this year, and it's difficult to conceive of any time when that won't be true. The man called Mumbles was as mighty a spirit as he was a musician, which is saying a mouthful.... continue »

Lucy Smith...

Sep 3 | 1:45 pm
Claudia Cassidy
Like her early hero Nina Simone and contemporary artists like Lizz Wright and Gregory Porter, South Side native Lucy Smith sits comfortably in the place where jazz, folk and soul converge. And like those singers, she has the range and personality to explore those styles, and more, in convincing fashion.... continue »

Mike Schlick Trio...

Sep 5 | 1:10 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
In addition to being a great town for tough tenors, Chicago has long been a great city for organ combos. Mike Schlick, one of the busiest drummers in town – he's a regular presence at Buddy Guy's Legends – has been part of some of the most impressive such groups of recent vintage.... continue »

Elaine Dame...

Sep 6 | 1:10 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
She's way too young to be a grand dame, but in terms of style and sophistication, Elaine Dame is very much a singer worth attending to. In an era in which it has become harder and harder for female jazz singers to stand out from the pack, she does so effortlessly, with the kind of easygoing confidence that allows the songs to draw attention to them... continue »

Jeremy Cunningham Quartet...

Sep 4 | 1:10 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
With his terrific foursome, Jeremy Cunningham takes his place among such visionary young drummers as Tyshawn Sorey, Ches Smith and Chicago's Makaya McCraven (see Saturday's lineup) who are bringing an intriguing new dimension to jazz as band leaders.... continue »

Makaya McCraven Quartet...

Sep 5 | 12:30 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
Having cut his teeth in the stellar Chicago jazz trio of guitarist Bobby Broom, McCraven has embraced all manner of ethnic influences, traditional jazz styles, hip-hop and funk beats. And if becoming one of the most exciting drummers to emerge in Chicago in years wasn't enough, he also has become quite a sound visionary.... continue »

Bob Dogan Quintet...

Sep 6 | 12:30 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
Pianist Bob Dogan may have studied with Boston legend Jaki Byard, but he is Chicago through and through. If you didn't know he grew up on the South Side, near 63rd and Cottage Grove, you'll soon be apprised of that by his fluent, bop-schooled style – influenced, as it would have had to have been, by Ahmad Jamal, whom Dogan heard perform at the P... continue »

Ben Waltzer...

Sep 3 | 12:30 pm
Preston Bradley Hall
Pianist Ben Waltzer is too deep into modern currents to be called a throwback on piano. But with his resounding sound and unabashed streak of romanticism, he does recall a time when men and women at the mighty 88s weren't shy about radiating their love of the instrument, as opposed to hiding it under oblique harmonies and sophisticated changes.... continue »

Spin Quartet...

Sep 4 | 12:30 pm
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion
Trumpeter Chad McCullouch, who hails from Seattle, has brought a forceful "outsider's game" to Chicago since moving here to join the music faculty at DePaul, playing with a distinctive muscularity and wiry quality.... continue »

Andrew Trim's Hanami Quartet...

Sep 3 | 12:15 pm
Claudia Cassidy
Originally formed to raise funds for victims of the 2011 tsunami in Japan, guitarist Andrew Trim's band has grown into one of the more intriguing in the city with its unusual blended sound and playful melodic approach.... continue »

Trio Waz...

Sep 5 | 12:00 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
Ad hoc groups are at the heart of Chicago's improvisational scene: They give musicians opportunities to work out their sounds and visions away from more formal settings. That's what tenor great Edward Wilkerson, bassist Tatsu Aoki and percussionist Michael Zerang – all leaders in their own right – had in mind when they first teamed up... continue »

Rajiv Halim Quintet...

Sep 4 | 12:00 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
Demonstrating both a Cannonball-esque agility and a Coltrane-ish intensity, he brings his own coloristic concept to bands including Robert Irving III's New Generations (see Sunday's lineup) and his own smartly layered quintet, including trumpeter Victor Garcia, guitarist Scott Hesse, bassist Junius Paul and drummer Michael Piolet.... continue »

Jordan Baskin Trio...

Sep 6 | 12:00 pm
Von Freeman Pavilion
Jordan Baskin is a pianist with a big postbop appetite and the chops to gobble up the music of his heroes in lively and convincing fashion. With his ability to reside in the mainstream without sacrificing his own individual voice, he has a way of recalling the classic bop-fed Chicago sound popularized decades ago by such nightclub regulars as Eddie... continue »

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