| Mar 18, 2014
| 1:34 PM
Few poets have captured the feeling of jazz – its rhythms, its cadences, its sense of freedom – more lyrically than Langston Hughes. The music courses through his words, which carry backbeats and melodies as seductive as those in any solo by a...
| Feb 25, 2014
| 8:08 AM
Mardi Gras will arrive a little early this year for Chicago listeners, thanks to a most unusual and promising concert this weekend by Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic.
While revelers in New Orleans will celebrate the traditional Fat Tuesday on...
| Jun 17, 2014
| 12:10 PM
The Chicago Jazz Orchestra has played many long runs at Andy's Jazz Club, but the engagement that launched this month will break records: Jeff Lindberg's plush ensemble will be in residence every Monday night through December.
Never has the CJO held...
| Mar 4, 2014
| 7:52 AM
Several years ago, Chicago priest and jazz guitarist John Moulder came up with a bold idea: Put on a jazz festival in which all the musicians and clubs donate their services, with the proceeds going to fight hunger.
Moulder, who's widely admired by...
| Feb 18, 2014
| 6:47 AM
Last March, the superb Chicago jazz singer Grazyna Auguscik was rehearsing for one of the biggest concerts of her career, in her native Poland, when she received the worst news of her life.
Her partner of more than 20 years, Marek Bajson, had been...
| Feb 11, 2014
| 7:27 AM
Can 15 years have gone by since Chicago blues master Billy Branch released a studio album as bandleader?
Apparently so, but he surely sounds as if he's trying to make up for lost time with "Blues Shock" (Blind Pig Records), a remarkably strong release...
| Jun 10, 2014
| 9:56 AM
What happens when an ace Chicago blues guitarist meets up with a scorching Chicago soul singer?
Fire meets fire.
You can hear it on the key tracks of Dave Specter's deeply satisfying, jazz-tinged new album, "Message in Blue" (on Chicago's Delmark...
| May 20, 2014
| 7:46 AM
A world premiere by Chicago drummer-bandleader Dana Hall, a solo concert by the innovative pianist Craig Taborn and a high-profile engagement by genre-defying Chicago cellist Tomeka Reid will play the eighth annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival, running Sept....
| May 13, 2014
| 7:36 AM
The accordion doesn't get much respect in the United States – not since "The Lawrence Welk Show" and uncounted polka bands placed the instrument well outside the realm of chic.
Nevertheless, the glorious squeezebox holds a noble tradition in jazz,...
| Jul 29, 2014
| 10:43 AM
Anyone who appreciates Chicago's position as a global hotspot of avant-garde jazz owes a thank you to bandleader Hal Russell.
The unrepentantly iconoclastic Chicago musician – who died in 1992 at age 66, just as he was achieving a degree of...
| Jun 11, 2013
| 9:48 AM
Joseph Marinaro had a dream: He was going to be a great singer, like his heroes Frank Sinatra and Mario Lanza.
But the talented young crooner from Buffalo, N.Y., got married and had 10 kids, set aside his musical ambitions and laid asphalt to support...