| 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...
| May 11, 2013
| 7:15 AM
The pleasant, thoroughly intelligent, often-engaging, sometimes frustrating show set that Karrin Allyson played Friday night at the Green Mill Jazz Club started out strongly and ended that way, too.
In between, it lost some steam when Allyson headed...
| Jun 13, 2013
| 11:50 AM
On Jan. 16, 1938, clarinetist Benny Goodman shook up the music world by bringing jazz unapologetically into a shrine of highbrow culture: Carnegie Hall.
That concert, with its spectacular solos and thrilling ensemble playing, has long since acquired...
| 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 4, 2013
| 6:21 AM
If there were ever any doubt that violinist Zach Brock stands poised for a major career, it was obliterated Friday night at the Green Mill Jazz Club.
Not that Brock's performance was particularly dramatic or flamboyant. Quite the contrary, the...
| Apr 19, 2013
| 7:11 AM
For more than three decades, the Palestinian oud virtuoso Simon Shaheen has relentlessly championed his soft-spoken instrument across America and beyond.
He has penned solo works, pieces for oud with wind quintet and string quartet and compositions...
| Apr 25, 2013
| 2:22 PM
When singer-pianist Diane Schuur headlined at the Jazz Showcase last week, she wasn't the most commanding player on stage.
At leat not whenever Chicago saxophonist Pat Mallinger stepped up to solo. Each time he brought the mouthpiece to his lips,...
| Apr 16, 2013
| 11:16 AM
In 1994, Orchestra Hall — home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra — took a gamble. The grand old institution for the first time launched a jazz subscription series, betting that Chicagoans would commit to a season of such events, albeit a short...
| 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...
| Jun 2, 2013
| 7:58 AM
Three of the world's leading jazz experimenters – each with ties to Chicago – returned here over the weekend, playing for audiences that listened intently to their work.
The music-making proved tumultuous and intensely challenging at some...
| 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...
| Dec 27, 2012
| 2:20 PM
As his old friend Frank Sinatra might have put it, it was a very good year for Chicago singer Frank D'Rone.
In April, D'Rone turned 80, and in June he overcame a series of health challenges to play a triumphant comeback engagement at the Jazz Showcase....