Monday, August 26

5:30 PM

Jim Baker

PianoForte

On Monday PianoForte presents a solo performance by Jim Baker, a maestro of  creative improvised music.

6:00 PM

Dexter @ 90

Claudia Cassidy

Film Screening of ‘Round Midnight and discussion with Maxine Gordon

 

Tuesday, August 27

5:30 PM

Justin Dillard

PianoForte

On Tuesday evening PianoForte hosts the versatile hard bop pianist Justin Dillard, whose playing has been heavily influenced by the musical styling of the great jazz pianist McCoy Tyner.

Wednesday, August 28

5:30 PM

Erwin Helfer

PianoForte

The PianoForte Sessions will conclude with boogie and blues pianist Erwin Helfer, who recently debuted his solo album, Erwin Helfer Way.

Thursday, August 29

12:00-1:00 PM

Corylus

Randolph Cafe

As singer and leader Mankwe Ndosi has written of her group, “Corylus works from membranes of story, sensation, environment, and movement to root and fuel the music.” Improvisation and storytelling merge seamlessly and soulfully. She’s joined by the master Chicago reedist Edward Wilkerson Jr. (who also plays some oud in this project), bassist Darius Savage, and Detroit percussionist JoVia Armstrong, who recently played at the inaugural Chicago String Jazz Summit with her dynamic group Musique Noire.

12:15-1:15 PM

Larry Gray Trio

Claudia Cassidy

Chicagoan Larry Gray has been holding groups together for decades, serving as the city’s first-call bassist for visiting heavies—he’s practically a fixture at the Jazz Showcase, playing with a virtual roll call of jazz greats—and quietly leading his own elegant projects with an impressive mixture of muscle and grace.

12:30 PM and 3:15 PM

Paul Wertico "The Rhythm Method"

Garland Room

The Education Committee of the Jazz Institute of Chicago (JIC) Presents: “What is this thing called “JAZZ?” Developed to offer an insider’s view of the intricacies of jazz performance. This inaugural series begins with a presentation by Committee Member, Grammy Award-Winning Percussionist, Paul Wertico.

12:30-1:30 PM

Hinda Hoffman Trio

Preston Bradley Hall

Hinda Hoffman is a student of jazz standards, respecting and understanding melody and rhythm, suggesting a modern day Rosemary Clooney. She doesn’t toy around too much with words and lines: she sings the American songbook with precision, a sharp sense of time, and deep affection, like a first language.

1:30-2:30 PM

Fat Babies

Randolph Cafe

Bassist Beau Sample assembled this group in 2010 to play a spirited take on the brisk traditional jazz of the 20s and 30s—its repertoire includes the music of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, and Bix Beiderbecke among others—but few expected that the band would catch on with an audience born some six decades after the music’s heyday ended. The band’s weekly engagements at Honky Tonk BBQ in Pilsen and the illustrious Green Mill in Uptown have become two of Chicago’s hottest engagements; every week the dance floors in each spot are put to good use.

1:45-2:45 PM

Harrison Bankhead Sextet

Claudia Cassidy

Bassist Harrison Bankhead has been a keystone of the Chicago jazz community for more than three decades, a deeply soulful and adventurous musician who’s anchored groups led by Edward Wilkerson, Malachi Thompson, Fred Anderson, and Ernest Dawkins among many others. Despite his ubiquity in area clubs and concert halls as well as on recordings the Waukegan native had never released an album under his own leadership until 2010.

2:00-3:00 PM

Randy Weston

Preston Bradley Hall

One of the last remaining links to the bebop era, pianist Randy Weston is a true giant of the jazz world—and not just because he stands 6’8” tall. His fiercely rhythmic music, driven by his propulsive left hand figures, is always special, and as rare as his Chicago appearances have been in recent years, solo concerts are even less common.

5:00-6:00 PM

Hamid Drake’s Chicago Trio with Ernest Dawkins and Harrison Bankhead

Ganz Hall

This combo presents Chicago jazz both muscular and freewheeling, with a degree of intuition and rapport that requires years of hard work, yet despite the shared histories of Drake, Bankhead, and Dawkins, the trio convenes rarely.

6:30 PM

Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz--Jack DeJohnette: Special Legends Edition Chicago featuring Muhal Richard Abrams, Larry Gray, Roscoe Mitchell, and Henry Threadgill

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Chicago native, drummer, composer and recent NEA Jazz Master Jack DeJohnette is duly famous for some remarkably fruitful associations over the years—working under the leadership of legends like reedist Charles Lloyd (who headlines the Pritzker Pavilion on Friday), trumpeter Miles Davis, and, most enduringly, pianist Keith Jarrett. He’s also released more than thirty albums as a leader during his vaunted career,  but few players of DeJohnette’s caliber have remained so committed to an ensemble-oriented aesthetic.

Friday, August 31

2:00-3:00 PM

Mike Smith Group

Jazz and Heritage Pavilion

The sound of Chicago native and alto saxophonist Mike Smith has changed over his weekly engagement at Andy’s—which began a staggering 31 years ago, on Thursdays. Back then he was a devoted acolyte of the soulful Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, but over the years he’s shed bald influences and developed his own hard-swinging sound marked by fast gliding phrases, a gorgeously shimmering tone, and a deep melodic generosity—qualities that in part led him to be lead alto saxophonist in the orchestra behind both Frank Sinatra and Frank Sinatra Jr.

2:20-3:15 PM

Christopher McBride Quartet

Von Freeman Pavilion

Superb Chicago alto saxophonist Christopher McBride has been slowly but steadily turning heads with his ubiquitous work as an invaluable sideman since the mid-aughts. But the time has come for him to take a bow as a bandleader, and his 2012 debut album Quatuor de Force certainly establishes his ability to front a group and write his own soulful, melodically indelible tunes.

3:30-4:25 PM

Ben Paterson Organ Quartet

Von Freeman Pavilion

Philadelphia native Ben Paterson moved to Chicago in 2004 and a year later he’d enrolled in the city’s greatest academy of higher jazz learning: Von Freeman’s band. Until the saxophonist’s death in 2012 Paterson played piano with the master at venues like Jazz Showcase, the Green Mill, Symphony Center, and occasionally at his weekly jam session at the New Apartment Lounge. He’s made a pair of luxuriant trio albums where his fluency in bluesy bebop couldn’t be more clear or profound. Vonski taught him well.

3:30-4:30 PM

Hamid Drake with Michael Zerang, Eigen Aoki and Tsukasa Taiko drummers directed by Tatsu Aoki

Jazz and Heritage Pavilion

Artist-in-residence Hamid Drake and fellow Chicago percussionist Michael Zerang have a long history together, whether playing in the original lineup of the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet to their long-running duo which has played a series of pre-dawn Winter Solstice concerts December for the last 22 years. Their collaboration with Eigen Aoki and the Tsukasa Taiko youth unit only began last year with a thunderous, evocative concert at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Aoki, the son of Chicago bassist and filmmaker Tatsu Aoki (who directs the group) has emerged as a muscular virtuoso of the traditional taiko drum from Japan.

4:40-5:40 PM

Hyde Park Jazz Society Presents: Miguel de la Cerna Quartet

Von Freeman Pavilion

This combo was thoughtfully assembled by the jazz fans behind the venerable Hyde Park Jazz Society and is led by the stylistically flexible, deeply melodic composer and pianist Miguel de la Cerna—a former music director the great Oscar Brown Jr. and a crucial sideman with singer Dee Alexander—who’s as equally fluent in 12-tone music as he in Latin Jazz styles. The lineup is rounded out by veteran saxophonist Ari Brown, bassist and frequent collaborator Harrison Bankhead, and drummer Avreeayl Ra.

5:00-6:00 PM

“A Tribute to Ken Chaney”

Jazz and Heritage Pavilion

Last December Chicago lost one of its greatest and most beloved jazz artists in pianist Ken Chaney. Naturally, his music will live on and this evening another of his band mates from the Awakening, trombonist and arranger T.S. Galloway—a veteran of the Count Basie Band who’s been based in Europe for nearly three decades–will pay tribute to Chaney leading a talent-packed Chicago big band.

6:30-7:20 PM

Geof Bradfield’s Melba! with special guest Randy Weston

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Geof Bradfield shares his latest suite—one he composed for the criminally overlooked trombonist and arranger Melba Liston, who died in 1999 at the age of 73. Melba!, captured on a superb 2013 recording for Origin Records, includes original pieces that reflect all of these chapters in Liston’s colorful career, with evocative heapings of old-school bebop, Latin jazz flourishes, and the Moroccan modes explored by Weston–who joins in on several pieces as a special guest.

7:40 - 8:40 PM

Wadada Leo Smith’s Ten Freedom Summers, performed by WLS’s Golden Quartet and Pacifica Red Coral with video artist Jesse Gilbert

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Mississippi native, trumpeter, and composer Wadada Leo Smith, a key early member of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, completed a monumental piece of work in 2011, an elaborate suite of compositions he calls Ten Freedom Summers. The powerful music avoids easy categorization. In fact, much of it is fully composed, yet Smith’s resourceful collaborators imbue every note and rhythm with individuality. The compositions don’t explicitly feel programmatic, but Smith’s writing absolutely draws ideas from the era he’s writing about.

9:00-10:00 PM

Charles Lloyd and Friends featuring Bill Frisell

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

In March he turned 75 and his touring in 2013 is marked by special birthday celebrations, including this visit to Chicago. Lloyd will perform with his long-time rhythm section with bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland—two players who’ve fully absorbed and reflect the liquid mutability, serenity, and concentrated power of the leader’s music—but they’ll be joined by special guest Bill Frisell.

Saturday, September 1

11:30 AM-12:00 PM

Whitney Young Combo

Young Jazz Lions Stage
12:00-12:55 PM

Frank Russell Band

Von Freeman Pavilion

Perhaps best known as the long-serving electric bassist in bands led by the great Chicago soul jazz guitarist Henry Johnson, Frank Russell has been stepping out on his own in recent years, bringing his hard-hitting, funky style to a wide variety of material. He notes with pride that he’s the first electric bassist to lead a band at the Chicago Jazz Festival, and he’ll certain kick of Saturday’s festivities with a bang.

12:15-12:45 PM

Kelly High School Ensemble

Young Jazz Lions Stage
12:30 and 3:15 PM

Paul Wertico, Larry Gray, and David Cain "The Rhythm Method Part II"

Randolph Cafe

The Education Committee of the Jazz Institute of Chicago (JIC) Presents: “What is this thing called “JAZZ?” Developed to offer an insider’s view of the intricacies of jazz performance. This inaugural series begins with a presentation by Committee Member, Grammy award-winning percussionist, Paul Wertico, noted Bassist, Larry Gray, and multi-instrumentalist, David Cain. Join this dynamic trio for a live improvised conversation through music.

12:30-1:30 PM

Nick Mazzarella Trio

Jazz and Heritage Pavilion

Nick Mazzarella has stepped out of those shadows of Ornette Coleman, and of late his interest in the intense spirituality of John Coltrane has added a rich new facet to his sound. When joined by bassist Anton Hatwich and drummer Frank Rosaly, the young saxophonist achieves an infectious buoyancy and vitality that’s hard to resist, full of energy, confidence, and optimism.

1:10-1:50 PM

Rauner High School Ensemble

Young Jazz Lions Stage
1:10-2:05 PM

Hamid Drake Quartet with Kidd Jordan, William Parker, and Cooper-Moore

Von Freeman Pavilion

This protean quartet bears Hamid Drake’s name, but even if one of the other top-flight improvisers were in charge you can bet Drake’s efforts would still be the same. Outside of Drake’s inextricable links to the late Fred Anderson—his greatest mentor and colleague—bassist William Parker might be the percussionist’s truest musical brother; they form one of improvised music’s most malleable, grooving, and powerful rhythm sections. Both Anderson and Drake are, like New Orleans saxophonist Edward “Kidd” Jordan, Louisiana natives, but their ties to go much deeper. New York’s Cooper-Moore is a regular fixture in bands led by Parker as well as the last groups of the late saxophonist David S. Ware.

2:00-3:00 PM

Erin McDougald Quartet

Jazz and Heritage Pavilion

Eric McDougald’s sobriquet “Flapper Girl” may suggest that she’s a throwback to Charleston era, and while she’s fluent in the swing repertoire, there’s no question that she’s a great talent for the present age, bringing a thoroughly contemporary flair to songs past and present.

2:05-2:35 PM

Lincoln Park Ensemble

Young Jazz Lions Stage
2:20-3:15 PM

Ernie Krivda Quartet

Von Freeman Pavilion

While Cleveland remains his home base, Ernie Krivda travels all over the US for festival engagements, and his trip to Chicago will let us hear what they already know in Ohio—that he’s the real deal, an improviser with an innate sense of the blues, a granite-hard tone, and a malleable sense of phrasing that allows him to transform the simplest of melodies into a symphony of motific development.

2:50-3:30 PM

Rich South High School Ensemble

Young Jazz Lions Stage
3:30-4:30 PM

Chévere de Chicago

Jazz and Heritage Pavilion

Chévere de Chicago has endured changing tastes and trends to remains one of Chicago’s most popular and acclaimed Latin jazz bands. The group has steadily opened its sound to incorporate global influences from the Caribbean and South America as well as the blues, while retaining the high-energy sizzle of fusion, the concision of pop-rock, and the improvisational fire of jazz.

3:30-4:30 PM

Satoko Fujii’s Orchestra Chicago

Von Freeman Pavilion

The wildly prolific, galvanic Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii has been pushing at the borders of free jazz and contemporary classical music for several decades, creating fast-moving, often turbulent sounds that shift easily between fury and calm. Her Japanese working quartet KAZE will collaborate with some of the city’s best improvisers.

3:45-4:25 PM

Kenwood Ensemble

Young Jazz Lions Stage
5:00-5:50 PM

Stafford James String and Percussion Ensemble featuring M’BOOM

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Evanston native and bassist Stafford James performs “A Song for Our Heroes,” which he composed upon the 2007 passing of drum legend Max Roach. For this special tribute James has enlisted the participation of M’Boom, the powerful percussion ensemble Roach formed in 1970

6:10-7:05 PM

Gregory Porter

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

“I firmly consider myself a jazz singer but I enjoy blues, southern soul, and gospel,” says Gregory Porter. “Those elements make their way inside my music. And I’ve always heard them in jazz.” Indeed, the singer’s forthcoming third album Liquid Spirit—his debut for legendary Blue Note label—captures all of these elements beautifully, a organic blend that springs from the singer’s understanding and feel for the close relationship of these traditions.

7:25-8:25 PM

Rudresh Mahanthappa’s GAMAK

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Earlier this year Rudresh Mahanthappa released the debut album from the dynamic group he brings to this year’s Chicago Jazz Festival, Gamak. This hard-hitting quartet—with features drummer Dan Weiss, bassist François Moutin, and electric guitarist David Fiuczynski—seems to draw upon many of the saxophonist’s stylistic concerns: lightning-fast bebop, classical Indian melodic lines, off-kilter funk, and a glimmer of razor-sharp fusion. In particular Fiuczynski distinguishes the group, making like a sitar one moment, a second horn the next.

8:45-10:00 PM

Jason Moran: Fats Waller Dance Party

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Few jazz musicians smash boundaries like MacArthur Grant-winning pianist Jason Moran, whose multifarious work pushes not only toward disparate musical styles, but also toward other artistic disciplines. The Fats Waller Dance Party project finds Moran and an eclectic crew of cohorts using the music and era of Waller as a jumping off point, building new works from memories and melodic fragments (by Waller and contemporaries like stride pioneer James P. Johnson) of the past.

Sunday, September 2

11:30 AM-12:00 PM

Jones College Prep Combo

Young Jazz Lions Stage

Bio Coming Soon

12:00-12:55 PM

Fast Citizens

Von Freeman Pavilion

This adventurous, shape-shifting sextet includes some of Chicago’s most incisive and fearless players, all of whom are truly citizens of the bold music making universe. Since the group formed in 2003 they’ve made three albums, each one under the compositional leadership of a different member.

12:15-12:45 PM

Chicago Arts Combo

Young Jazz Lions Stage
12:30-1:30 PM

The Engines

Jazz and Heritage Pavilion

Few bands summon the power of this well-named unit, which slyly erases any lines between post-bop and free jazz, creating lean models of hard-swinging ebullience and exploration.

1:00-1:40 PM

Morgan Park Ensemble

Young Jazz Lions Stage
1:10-2:05 PM

Juli Wood Quintet

Von Freeman Pavilion

One of Chicago’s most versatile and curious musicians, Juli Wood is not only fluent on soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones, she’s also a terrific singer. She’s been a key force on the local scene for more than 25 years, working alongside the likes of organist Mel Rhyne and pianists Earma Thompson and Ken Chaney, as well as playing in the all-female combo She.

1:55-2:25 PM

Pritzker Ensemble

Young Jazz Lions Stage
2:00-3:00 PM

Fareed Haque and Tony Monaco

Jazz and Heritage Pavilion

Chicago’s Fareed Haque has spent much of career defying expectations of  what the jazz guitarist is supposed to do and sound like. Recently, however, Haque has been tackling one of the most iconic and enduring contexts for his instrument, collaborating with Hammond B-3 whiz in a hard-hitting organ combo. He’s partnered with high-octane organist Tony Monaco from Columbus, Ohio, whose reserves of energy match the guitarist’s.

2:20-3:15 PM

Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road

Von Freeman Pavilion

“Contemporary early jazz,” the phrase New Orleans clarinetist Evan Christopher uses to describe his music, sounds every bit like an oxymoron until you hear him at work. His buoyant, plush tone and slinky hothouse phrasing reveals stylistic links to some of the Crescent City’s first and best licorice stick masters—folks like Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard, and Omar Simeon—but he’s no moldy fig revivalist.

2:40-3:20 PM

Curie Ensemble

Young Jazz Lions Stage
3:30-4:30 PM

Atomic

Von Freeman Pavilion

Since forming in 1999 this explosive Scandinavian quintet has slowly but steadily made converts, on both sides of the Atlantic, to its thrilling, high-wire brand of post-bop. Their music plays thrilling formal experiments, as episodic tunes shift from heavily improvised passages to rigorously structured movements, splitting the difference between Art Blakey and a jacked-up Morton Feldman.

3:30-4:30 PM

Papo Vazquez Mighty Pirates Troubadours

Jazz and Heritage Pavilion

Veteran Latin jazz trombonist and bandleader Papo Vazquez delivered the best album of his long career last year with Oasis, a powerful and wide-ranging session that serves as model for the malleability of Puerto Rican music. At the turn of the century, Vazquez stepped out on his own to form Pirates Troubadours and he’s never looked back.

3:35-4:15 PM
5:00-5:50 PM

Jimmy Heath Quartet with Jeb Patton

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

NEA Jazz Master, composer, saxophonist, and bandleader Jimmy Heath, “has been a connecting agent, bringing together branches of the jazz tradition,” writes Ben Ratliff of the New York Times, describing the musicians ability to bridge the divide and adapt from early bebop (he earned the nickname “Little Bird” thanks to his sonic similarities to Charlie Parker) to the post-bop machinations of legends like John Coltrane and Miles Davis.

6:10-7:05 PM

Hamid Drake & Bindu: Reggaeology

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Hamid Drake has been using the moniker Bindu as the name for a variety of focus-shifting lineups, but the one that released Reggaeology (Rogue Art) in 2010 might be the most rewarding of them. As the name suggests, the project allows Drake to merge his deep investment in reggae with his mastery of improvised music.

7:25-8:25 PM

Robert Glasper Quartet

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

On his hit 2012 album Black Radio (Blue Note) pianist and Houston, Texas native Robert Glasper made explicit what was always bubbling away within his music: the heavy influence of hip-hop and contemporary R&B. And even though he leads his jazz-oriented quartet tonight with bassist Derrick Hodge, drummer Mark Colenburg, and saxophonist and vocalist Corey Benjamin, expect that the funk will still shine through clearly.

8:45 - 10:00

Donald Harrison and The Congo Square Nation with special guest Willie Pickens

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

New Orleans alto saxophonist Donald Harrison reached has reached the largest audience of his career by playing himself on the acclaimed HBO series Treme. Few places embody the totality of American music like the Crescent City, and at 53 Harrison arguably represents that totality better than any living musician.

  • Jay Pritzker
  • Claudia Cassidy
  • Petrillo Music Shell
  • Preston Bradley Hall
  • Randolph Cafe
  • Ganz Hall
  • Young Jazz Lions Stage
  • Jazz on Jackson
  • Jazz and Heritage Stage
  • PianoForte

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