| Apr 4, 2013
| 9:53 AM
We're about to begin a remarkably lively jazz weekend, even by Chicago standards. Among the highlights:
The Engines: This enterprising ensemble has been offering a stylistically free-ranging music for nearly a decade, but this weekend's engagement...
| Mar 19, 2013
| 7:19 AM
Five years ago, the greatest trio in the history of gospel music – the Barrett Sisters – told me they had one last wish: That someone would make a documentary film about their lives and careers.
That film, a moving evocation of their...
| Jun 20, 2013
| 1:52 PM
Even by Chicago standards, this weekend in jazz will be intense:
Nicholas Payton: The brilliant New Orleans trumpeter keeps expanding his palette. We've known for more than two decades, in other words, that Payton ranks among the most technically...
| Jun 18, 2013
| 7:53 AM
Inspiring music-making isn't necessarily loud, aggressive, self-aggrandizing or heavily promoted.
Consider what happens early every Wednesday night at Andy's Jazz Club, where the superb but serenely understated Chicago guitarist Andy Brown leads a...
| 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...
| Jun 6, 2013
| 12:49 PM
If jazz listeners ruled the world, saxophonist-composer Wayne Shorter's forthcoming 80th birthday – on Aug. 25 – would be deemed a national holiday.
That doesn't seem likely at this point, so Chicago will celebrate the occasion a bit early...
| May 28, 2013
| 11:40 AM
The great flutist-composer Nicole Mitchell moved to Chicago – and launched her international career here – in 1990.
More than two decades later, in August of 2011, she left the city for California, yet it's still impossible to think of...
| May 14, 2013
| 9:55 AM
Let's raise a glass to Bob Koester, the single-minded Chicagoan who this weekend celebrates a remarkable anniversary: 60 years of producing jazz and blues recordings.
Koester's Delmark Records may not be the biggest indie in the country – or...
| May 16, 2013
| 12:39 PM
Though its population hovers at just 8 million, Israel has become a powerhouse in nurturing high-caliber jazz talent.
Chicago concertgoers are well acquainted with Anat Cohen, the uncommonly versatile Israeli clarinetist who's based in New York and...
| May 7, 2013
| 9:28 AM
Bluesman James Cotton has lived the kind of life they make movies about.
He toiled on a Mississippi plantation from earliest childhood, found himself orphaned at age 9, practically was raised by blues master Sonny Boy Williamson II and flourished as a...
| May 9, 2013
| 9:10 AM
Chicago jazz musician Miguel de la Cerna likes to refer to himself as "your basic piano player, commercial musician," but that modest self-assessment greatly understates the case.
De la Cerna proved the point dramatically last year, when he partnered...