3:14 PM CDT, May 30, 2013
On paper, at least, this looks to be another exciting jazz summer, with everything from the vintage music of Benny Goodman to the fiery exhortations of Peter Brotzmann on our stages. Among the highlights:
Peter Brotzmann: Thanks to drummer-impresario Mike Reed's remarkable new venue, the most innovative musicians in Chicago — and from around the world — now have a place where they can play in prime time. Exhibit A is explosive reedist Brotzmann, who will give Constellation one of its most anticipated bookings since it opened in April. Brotzmann will appear in two settings: with the Peter Brotzmann/Joe McPhee Duo and with percussionist Hamid Drake, bassist Kent Kessler and multi-instrumentalist McPhee. 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Constellation, 3111 N. Western Ave.; $15-$20; constellation-chicago.com
Tribute to Benny Goodman: Seventy-five years ago, clarinet virtuoso Benny Goodman shook up the music world with a historic concert at Carnegie Hall, bringing jazz into a bastion of “highbrow” art. That same year, he also made his debut at the Ravinia Festival, similarly redefining the kind of music that the North Shore venue presented. To mark the anniversary, three world-class clarinetists — Anat Cohen, Larry Combs and Eric Schneider — will rekindle Goodman classics, alongside vocalists Sylvia McNair and Cyrille Aimee and Jeff Lindberg's Chicago Jazz Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. June 14 at the Ravinia Festival, near Lake-Cook and Green Bay roads, Highland Park; $22 lawn, $45-$55 pavilion; 847-266-5100 or ravinia.org
Nicholas Payton: Even as a teen, New Orleans trumpeter Payton dazzled listeners with his mastery of extraordinarily difficult, historic techniques integral to the music of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton and other Crescent City innovators. Today, Payton stands as one of the most versatile, virtuosic and creative trumpeters in jazz — or Black American Music, as he prefers to call it. He'll be playing music from his newest release, “#BAM Live at Bohemian Caverns” (BMF Records), sharing the stage with bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Lenny White. June 20-23 at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Court; $25-$50; 312-360-0234 or jazzshowcase.com
Dana Hall: The “Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz” series is a highlight of the Pritzker Pavilion season, running Thursday evenings from July 25 through Aug. 29. Each concert has its allure, but drummer Hall's program — “The Andrew Hill Project,” with Black Fire — looks particularly promising. Hall played his reworkings of some of Hill's music last year at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival to tantalizing effect, and he'll expand the concept here. 6:30 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Pritzker Pavilion, near Randolph Drive and Michigan Avenue; free; 312-742-1168 or millenniumpark.org
Jason Moran: The long-suffering Chicago Jazz Festival opens a new chapter this year: It leaves behind ramshackle Grant Park and moves into Millennium Park (and peripheral venues), with concerts Aug. 29 through Sept. 1. Of particular interest is pianist Jason Moran's “Fats Waller Dance Party,” a reprise of a brilliant re-imagining of Waller's music that Moran presented last year at Symphony Center. 8:45 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Pritzker Pavilion, near Randolph Drive and Michigan Avenue; free; 312-742-1168 or millenniumpark.org; also jazzinchicago.orgCheck out more Chicago summer music shows.
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