| Jan 20, 2015
| 10:19 AM
Chicago trumpeter Orbert Davis was rehearsing with students in Havana last month when a translator tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to stop everything.
The translator then told the room that Cuban President Raul Castro had just been on TV to...
| Jan 15, 2015
| 8:45 AM
When he was 26 years old, Chicago pianist Robert Irving III joined the band of one of the most revered musicians in jazz: Miles Davis.
Irving played with Davis from 1979 to 1988, serving as music director and foil for a profoundly creative jazz...
| Jan 13, 2015
| 7:32 AM
We already knew she could sing, play the piano and write hyperliterate, musically sophisticated songs.
But can Chicagoan Patricia Barber host a radio show? More specifically, can she preside over a program designed not merely to entertain listeners...
| Jan 6, 2015
| 6:55 AM
If New Year's resolutions help us to aspire higher, Chicago jazz could use a few:
Boost the Chicago Jazz Festival, Part 1. The Chicago Jazz Festival made significant improvements in 2014, as in its belated embrace of social media, with a dramatically...
| Dec 31, 2014
| 2:05 PM
The first week of the year will be rich with jazz offerings. Following is a guide to the highlights:
Ari Brown: A magisterial saxophonist, Brown carries forward the legacy of the Chicago tenor tradition in distinctive ways. The sheer heft of his sound...
| Dec 30, 2014
| 9:34 AM
The great clarinetist Artie Shaw once told me — in characteristically provocative fashion — that at any given moment there were maybe five or six people in the world who could really play the instrument.
Buddy DeFranco was one of them....
| Dec 22, 2014
| 8:21 AM
Chicago jazz listeners heard great sounds in 2014, including:
Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Nov. 14, Auditorium Theatre: A little more than a decade ago, the CJP was but a dream of Chicago trumpeter-composer Davis and colleague Mark Ingram....
| Dec 23, 2014
| 2:25 PM
The tempo of Chicago jazz does not slow for the holidays.
Among the highlights:
Roy Hargrove: For the past several Decembers, Hargrove – a lyrically inspired trumpeter – has played an extended residency at the Jazz Showcase to ring in...
| Dec 11, 2014
| 9:29 AM
If you didn't catch Dee Alexander performing around town this year, you need to get out more.
The protean Chicago singer was ubiquitous in clubs, concert halls and festivals, proving that her ferocious work ethic matches the nature of her virtuosity....
| Dec 16, 2014
| 7:32 AM
Who says holiday music has to be treacle?
In the hands of accomplished jazz musicians, familiar tunes become new, sugary ballads pick up spice and original compositions deepen our appreciation of the season.
Certainly that's the case this year, with a...
| Dec 2, 2014
| 7:54 AM
Igor Stravinsky's monumental ballet score "Rite of Spring" inspired many tributes during its 100th anniversary last year, but surely none quite like "Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi."
This startling film, which will receive a preview screening Dec. 10 at the...