Drummer Charles Heath has left his imprint on the Chicago jazz scene in multiple ways. He has led his own bands and accompanied such local lights as Von Freeman, Ken Chaney and Malachi Thompson. He has presented shows in a wide variety of city neighborhoods. And as a teacher,he has contributed to the cause of music education, in local schools and as director of the Heath School
From the very opening tune of her striking debut album, Call it Magic, Chicagoan Typhanie Monique lets you know she's not another run-of-the-mill jazz vocalist. With moody strings rising and falling behind her and pianist Ben Lewis providing a beating pulse, she remakes Coldplay's "Magic" into a stunning meditation on love and loss.
Drummer and composer Gustavo Cortiñas has had the great good fortune to be exposed to three extraordinary music cultures. He was born and raised in Mexico City, attended college in New Orleans and moved to Chicago to acquire his Master's in jazz studies at Northwestern University. Blending the styles and traditions of those three scenes, Cortiñas has created a distinctive mains
With his new quintet, New Tomorrow, named after his strong 2016 album, veteran reed player and flutist Shawn Maxwell downscales from his Alliance tentet to cutting effect. The music, all of it composed by the Joliet native, ranges from soul-jazz to "the sound of sheer anarchy," as New City reviewer Robert Rodi put it.
But even as they draw from the jazz and pop past, Stein and company, including protean drummer Chad Taylor, are anchored in the present, leaving their mark with solos that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and spacey textures you may want to bring with you to your next massage. As promised, this is a band for both hearts and minds.
Not your typical brass ensemble (is there such a thing at this late date?), Chicago's Lowdown Brass Band may be the only such unit to feature an MC, South Sider Anthony "Billa Camp" Evora, AND cover Ozzie Osbourne ("Death Blow," anyone?). Evora brings a tough Chi Town sensibility to the hip-hop, rock and skate culture influences of his native New York.
Mary Halvorson is leading a charmed double life. One of the most strikingly original jazz guitarists in years, she regularly gets to perform in small settings that highlight her game-changing skills. And as an increasingly impressive composer and arranger, she gets to showcase that side of her talent in larger groups – including the septet responsible for Bending Bridges, one
There is no more stalwart champion of traditional New Orleans jazz than clarinetist Dr. Michael White. Over three decades as an educator, curator, historian, international emissary and producer as well as musician, he has devotedly carried forward the music of the Crescent City – with a special interest in shedding light on his legendary role model, clarinetist George Lewis.
In terms of momentousness, the 40th anniversary of this unique three-man collective may not rank up there with the centennial celebrations of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. But with an acclaimed recent album, The Long Road, and major performances like tonight's, trombonist Ray Anderson, bassist Mark Helias and drummer Gerry Hemingway are here to remind us
There may be no more sheerly enjoyable band in jazz than drummer Allison Miller's spirited all-star ensemble Boom Tic Boom, featuring pianist Myra Melford, violinist Jenny Scheinman, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, cornetist Kirk Knuffke and bassist Todd Coolman. All leaders in their own right, but all devoted to the 3 Musketeer's code of all for one and one for all, they play off ea
So sweet is Ella Fitzgerald's legacy, so joyously swinging her sound, you don't actually need to hear it to think happy thoughts. All you need to do is say her name. But when five stylish singers get together for a centennial celebration of the First Lady of Song, as will happen tonight, well, take care not to strain your smiling muscle.
Jay Pritzker Pavillion
Preston Bradley Hall
Von Freeman Pavilion
Jazz and Heritage Stage
Roof Top Jazz: Young Jazz Lions (Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace)