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The best Chicago jazz concerts of fall 2023


I hope you rested after the Chicago Jazz Festival, because that was just the beginning.

From the Englewood Jazz Festival just around the corner to Kurt Rosenwinkel at the Jazz Showcase, it’s a time when jazz in the city has dropped one after another. In fact, I’m embarrassed to say that I had to fix several overbookings so much in a row. (Mea maxima culpa.) But this is a good problem, as the lists below amply prove.

Do as I say, not as I do, and put them on your calendar nicely and early so they don’t get missed:

Englewood Jazz Festival: Organized by saxophonist and composer Ernest DawkinsThis festival always aims high and this year is no exception. Dawkins and his Experience the Spirit Residency Big Band A repeat of “Memory in the Center” (2014), an opera homage to Nelson Mandela that coincided with the 10th anniversary of his death. Then the ubiquitous young pianist Alexis Lombre premieres a large-scale work of his own, the first “Synesthesia” suite. Also on the bill: saxophonist Isaiah Collier and the Chosen Minorityvibraphonist Joel Rosstrumpeters Marques Carroll And Sean Jones (sharing a bill) and guitarist Jeff Parkerplay with New Horizons Community Delmark Allstars. Englewood Jazz Festival September 14-16, Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St.; free, for more information: englewoodjazzfest.org

“I’m Still Listening” by Jahari Stampley: This mega-talented Chicagoan started playing the piano at age 14; Within two years, he began to win instrument-related competitions. Stampley, now 23 and frequently seen on orchestra stages in the city, is releasing his sunny debut album “Still Listening” on the same night as this show at Evanston SPACE. “Jahari Stampley presented by WDCB”, 7pm Sep. 17, SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston; tickets $20-40 ticketweb.com

Hyde Park Jazz Festival: The last three festival runs of September are a real killer: with 13 venues and lots of overlapping performances, it’s nearly impossible to catch all of the worthwhile concerts at this neighborhood-wide party. But as with many music festivals, at some point you have to embrace FOMO and chart a path forward. All I know is that I’m eager to catch Quince Community And Community of Nothing playing Courtney Bryanheart stopper “Requiem” live, sampled from an online performance of the Chicago Symphony two seasons ago (Hyde Park Union Church, September 13, 2013); poet Nikki John and saxophonist Jason Jacksonattended last year’s live presentation of “The Gospel According to Nikki Giovanni” (Hyde Park Union Church, 3:45 p.m., September 23); Louis Hayes’ quintet (Wagner Stage at Midway, September 23, 8:30 pm); Dee Alexander’s all women project Ancestral Reign (Logan Center Performance Hall, September 23, 21:30); And Kenny Barron‘s solo piano set (Rockefeller Chapel, September 23, 23:00). But choose your own adventure; the options are endless. Hyde Park Jazz Festival will be held on September 23-24 in many venues; free with a suggested donation of $10; Check for full lineup and schedule hydeparkjazzfestival.org

Front bassist: Christian Dillingham He combines the jazz and classical realms on almost equal footing: you can see him as a bassist in most Chicago orchestras, and saxophonists Greg Ward and Chico Freeman, trumpeters Marques Carroll and Sean Jones, singer Dee Alexander and drummer Mike Reed, to name a few. Released his first record “Cascades” We’re celebrating this event with an album release party at the Green Mill later this month. If you fail, he will play with the same band for a one-night engagement at the Jazz Showcase in October. The Christian Dillingham Quartet on September 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. at Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway; $20 deposit; greenmilljazz.com; 20:00 Oct. 9, Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct.; tickets are between $15-30 jazzshowcase.com

The upcoming concerts of Christian Dillingham's quartet will be at Green Mill and Jazz Showcase.

On the Vonski 100: Big von Freeman It would be 100 on October 3 – by the way, we know that for sure, thanks to former Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich. in the open Freeman’s birth certificate in 2011. A quintet of ex-collaborators (guitarist) to celebrate Mike Allemantrumpeter Brad Goodebassist Matt Fergusondrummer Mike Raynor and his son playing the saxophone Chico Freeman) play Freeman’s centennial in style at one of the tenor saxophonist’s old haunts. “Von Freeman’s 100th Birthday Party” on October 6 and 7 at 8 p.m. at Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway; $20 deposit; more information at greenmilljazz.com

Alone behind the piano: constantly seeking Craig Taborn – equally comfortable in acoustic and electronic environments, improvised and thoroughly composed music – dominating a solo set like no other. Lucky for us, she’s here for the second time in a year: Taborn, who performed in the first season of Constellation, most recently took to the stage in April to celebrate this intrepid venue’s 10th anniversary. Craig Taborn at 8:30 p.m. on October 25, Constellation, 3111 N. Western Ave.; tickets $20 constellation-chicago.com

SCP Jazz’s big year: It’s hard to believe Symphony Center presents its jazz series He’s just turning 30 this year. Commemorates milestone with a full season that began with a Grammy-winning vocal phenomenon The Joy of SamaraAt the SCP jazz outlet and regulars of the Symphony Center Brad Mehldau and his trio (with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard). at the Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.; Samara Joy on October 27 at 20:00, tickets are $49-299; The Brad Mehldau Trio is on November 17 at 8 p.m., tickets are between $39-199. cso.org

Archestra goes down: The only thing that can hold Sun Ra Archestra Since returning regularly to her hometown of Chicago, it was COVID-19. Fortunately, the cosmic jazz band is back again for a two-night event at Constellation. They are boldly led by the saxophonist Marshall Allen – Who will turn 100 years old next May according to world years. Sun Ra Arkestra, November 2 and 3 at 8:30 p.m. Constellation, 3111 N. Western Ave.; tickets $40 constellation-chicago.com

Theon Cross will perform at the University of Chicago Logan Center Performance Hall on November 3.

Tuba like you’ve never heard of it before: this is the first time i learned Theon’s Cross thanks to his hard driving work (and now tragically disbanded) sons of Kemet. He brought to this quartet the courage of a mad scientist and the inexhaustibility of a decathlete with an unusual instrument to say the least. It made me a student. We’ll see what Cross can do for that. UChicago Presents physical appereance. Theon Cross at 7:30 p.m. on November 3 at Logan Center Performance Hall, 915 E. 60th St.; tickets are between 10-40$ chicagopresentations.uchicago.edu

Kurt Rosenwinkel: In recent years, this guitar magician has done a few things wrong: a solo album (on baritone guitar, no less), a set of Chopin adaptations, and even a piano recording. Anyone can guess what Rosenwinkel has planned for these shows; A three-night show at Jazz Showcase with a quartet. Kurt Rosenwinkel, November 17-19 at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct.; ticket prices coming soon, for more information: jazzshowcase.com


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