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Chicago Jazz Festival Expands to Neighborhoods for 40th Anniversary


The Chicago Jazz Festival is expanding for its 40th anniversary.

Featuring extended dates and dozens of acts, the event now features performances not just in Millennium Park but in neighborhoods across the city, including Uptown (The Green Mill), North Center (Constellation), the Loop (Shedd Aquarium) and more.

Headlining performers at the fest, programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago, include Ramsey Lewis (in what is supposedly his last live performance in Chicago before he retires) plus Kurt Elling, Dianne Reeves, Maceo Parker and Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. Other highly anticipated performers include flautist Nicole Mitchell and Chicagoan Dee Alexander performing the music of Nina Simone.

Young performers also get to shine in the Young Jazz Lions concerts on the Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace. Jazz bands from Kenwood Academy, Morgan Park High School and Whitney Young High School will participate.

(Credit: City of Chicago, DCASE)(Credit: City of Chicago, DCASE)

Commissioner Mark Kelly of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events joins us to talk about expanding the festival for its 40th birthday.

Below, the schedule for Jazz Fest concerts at Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Get the full Jazz Fest schedule here.

Wednesday

6:30-9 p.m.: Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic: Legends and Lions

Thursday

5 p.m.: Second-line Procession led by Mystick Krewe of Laff featuring the Big Shoulders Brass Band (starts at the west side of the Great Lawn)

5:25–6:15 p.m.: Geof Bradfield Nonet

6:30–7:25 p.m.: Nicole Mitchell and Mandorla Awakening

7:45–9 p.m.: Kurt Elling featuring Marquis Hill and Jeff “Tain” Watts

Friday

3:45 p.m.: Second-line Procession led by Mystick Krewe of Laff featuring the Big Shoulders Brass Band (starts at the west side of the Great Lawn)

4:15–5:05 p.m.: Tribute to Dr. Muhal Richard Abrams

5:25–6:15 p.m.: Sabertooth Organ Quartet 25th Anniversary

6:30–7:25 p.m.: Louis Hayes Quintet: “Seranade for Horace”

7:45–9 p.m.: Dianne Reeves

Saturday

3:45 p.m.: Second-line Procession led by Mystick Krewe of Laff featuring the Big Shoulders Brass Band (starts at the west side of the Great Lawn)

4:15–5:05 p.m.: Tribute to Willie Pickens

5:25–6:10 p.m.: Kenny Barron Quintet

6:25–7:25 p.m.: Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society

7:45–9 p.m.: Ramsey Lewis

Sunday

3:45 p.m.: Second-line Procession led by Mystick Krewe of Laff featuring the Big Shoulders Brass Band (starts at the west side of the Great Lawn)

4:15–5:05 p.m.: Matt Ulery’s Loom Large

5:25–6:10 p.m.: Arturo O’Farrill Sextet

6:25–7:25 p.m.: Charles McPherson-Barry Harris Quartet

7:45–9 p.m.: Maceo Parker

Ramsey Lewis (Courtesy City of Chicago, DCASE)Ramsey Lewis (Courtesy City of Chicago, DCASE)

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