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The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is pleased to announce the headliners for the 38th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival. The festival will take place in Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington Street) September 1-4, showcasing the greatest jazz artists from Chicago and around the world. The FREE admission Chicago Jazz Festival is produced by DCASE and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago (JIC).
“As a favorite Labor Day Weekend tradition, the 38th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival will celebrate the genre’s future while exploring the rich history that continues to influence jazz today,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
This year marks the Centennial of the Great Migration, the mass movement of more than 6 million African Americans from the rural South to the urban Midwest, Northeast and West beginning in1916. Chicago was a key destination for that transformative relocation, with a momentous impact on the development of jazz as a vernacular music from New Orleans into an industry in Chicago.
That history will be marked in several ways throughout this year’s festival, most notably in the premiere performance of a newly-commissioned piece entitled Soul Migration by Chicago trumpeter, composer and bandleader Orbert Davis that will headline opening night on Thursday, September 1. Commissioned by the Chicago Jazz Festival, Davis’ piece will trace the route of the people who made the trek northward with a suite that takes listeners on a moving journey of their own.
On Friday, September 2, the evening will culminate with late bass legend Charlie Haden’s politically-charged Liberation Music Orchestra, now led by Haden’s longtime collaborator and arranger Carla Bley and featuring electric bass great Scott Colley. The stellar band upholds the revolutionary legacy of Haden, who tragically passed away in 2014 after a long illness, for a performance entitled, Celebrating Charlie.
The evening will also feature a performance by influential composer, arranger and saxophonist Benny Golson. The Philadelphia-born hard bop pioneer is responsible for several of the most-played standards in jazz, including “I Remember Clifford,” “Killer Joe,” “Stablemates,” and “Along Came Betty.” He also helped pave the way for jazz composers in the world of film and television, spending years writing for shows like M*A*S*H and Mission: Impossible.
Saturday, September 3 headliners include Israeli-born saxophonist and clarinetist Anat Cohen and her quartet, one of the most exciting bands in modern jazz. The classically-trained Cohen melds influences from her native Israel with electrifying jazz, Brazilian choro, and Afro-Cuban rhythms, all expressed with an engaging, joyous presence that compels audiences to dance.
She’ll be followed by The Bad Plus with special guests, alto saxophonist Tim Berne, cornetist Ron Miles and soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome playing the music of recently departed jazz iconoclast, Ornette Coleman from his groundbreaking 1972 album, Science Fiction.
The final night will feature two can’t-miss concerts. The first will be the quartet co-led by guitarist John Scofield and saxophonist Joe Lovano, two of the most revered and influential artists of the last 40 years. Scofield’s acclaimed new album, Past Present (Impulse!) reunites his much-heralded band from the early 1980s that helped launch Lovano’s career.
The festival will conclude with what is sure to be an explosively festive set celebrating the milestone 95th birthday of legendary Cuban percussionist Candido Camero – better known as just Candido. The all-star celebration will feature a host of special guests including trombonist Steve Turre, flautist Nestor Torres, pianist Elio Villafranca, singer Frankie Figueroa, bassist Yunior Terry and percussionist Sammy Figueroa.
“The festival strives to touch on the broad range of music that falls under ‘jazz,’ and even some things that stretch that definition slightly,” says Mike Reed, Programming Chair of the Chicago Jazz Festival. “Just look at the variety in our headliners. They’re all very powerful investigations, deep in their own aesthetics while still being engaging music on every level.”
The range of artists comprising the Chicago Jazz Festival runs the gamut from jazz egends celebrating momentous occasions to commemorations of key contributions by lost giants, from influential modern masters to crucial new voices in the music’s continuing evolution.
The Chicago Jazz Festival is sponsored in part by American Airlines, Chicago Jazz Magazine, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Tribune, CLTV-ChicagoLand’s Television, Communications Direct, Downbeat Magazine, LaGROU Distribution System, Stella Artois and WGN-TV.
For the latest information on the Chicago Jazz Festival, visit www.chicagojazzfestival.us, like us on Facebook at Chicago Jazz Festival and follow us on Twitter (@ChicagoDCASE, @ChiJazzFest, #ChiJazzFest).
NOTE: Media seeking credentials to review or photograph performances at the festival must submit their request in writing on media letterhead to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requests must include whether credential is regular press or photo, indicate the date or dates and provide phone and email contacts. Note: Some artists require approval, and some dictate how many songs may be photographed.
About Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs And Special Events:
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.
About Jazz Institute of Chicago:
Founded in 1969, the not for profit Jazz Institute of Chicago has programmed the Chicago Jazz Festival in partnership with the City of Chicago since the festival began in 1979. The organization’s mission to promote and nurture jazz in Chicago is carried out by providing jazz education for youth and adults, supporting the creation of new work by Chicago jazz musicians; growing the audience for jazz by presenting programs that are free and available for all and fostering a thriving jazz community.
Chicago Jazz Festival 2016 Headliners - Millennium Park
Thursday, September 1
Friday, September 2
Saturday, September 3
Sunday, September 4
City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Media Contact:
Jazz Institute of Chicago National Media Contact: