So these are productive times for Garcia, who seems destined to break free of the expectations that his work with CALJE may have raised.
"I love Latin music, and I'm happy to do that," says Garcia. "But I didn't study just to do Latin jazz.
"I have a lot of blues in my soul, too."
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And plenty of other sounds, as well.
Victor Garcia plays with Scott Burns at 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Andy's Jazz Club, 11 E. Hubbard St.; $15; 312-642-6805 or andysjazzclub.com. And Garcia leads his Organ Quintet at 9 p.m. Monday at the Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N. Broadway; $6; 773-878-5552 or greenmilljazz.com.
Also worth hearing:
Brian Blade: The nimble, creative drummer leads the Fellowship Band, with pianist Jon Cowherd, bassist Christopher Thomas, tenor saxophonist Melvin Butler and alto saxophonist Myron Walden. 8 p.m. Friday at the Old Town School of Folk Music's Maurer Hall, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.; $26-$28; 773-728-6000 or oldtownschool.org.
Chi-Town Jazz Festival: John Moulder's fourth annual event, in which musicians and clubs donate their services for hunger relief, continues this weekend several performances. Among the highlights: Dennix Luxion/Michael Raynor Quratet; "3" with Brad Williams, Eric Hochberg and Jim Widlowski; and Christopher McBride's Quatour de Force; 9 p.m. Friday at the Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N. Broadway; $15; 773-878-5552 or greenmilljazz.com.
Jeremy Pelt: A powerhouse trumpeter, Pelt collaborates the Columbia College Jazz Ensemble, led by Scott Hall; 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4 and 8 p.m. Sunday; at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct.; $15-$20; 312-360-0234 or jazzshowcase.com.
To read more from Howard Reich on jazz, go to chicagotribune.com/reich.