Chicago Jazz Festival 2013
Event Info: (312) 744-6630 cityofchicago.org
In its 35th year, Jazz Fest moves into a new Millennium—Park, that is. Well, it's pushing forward musically as well. After years in Grant Park, the bop centers around the Bean, with stages named the Von Freeman Pavilion and the Jazz and Heritage Pavilion, along with Pritzker Pavilion, of course. Who's filling those stages? Drummer Hamid Drake shines and stretches in different directions every day: in a trio (Ganz Hall, Aug 29 at 5pm), in a percussion extravaganza (Jazz and Heritage, Aug 30 at 3:30pm), in quartet mode (Von Freeman, Aug 31 at 1:10pm), and in a reggae vibe with his global fusion troupe, Bindu (Pritzker, Sept 1 at 6:10pm). Other main stage highlights include Robert Glasper, who brings his hip-hop fusion on Sept 1 (crossing our fingers for a Lupe Fiasco appearance); blazing sax man Rudresh Mahanthappa, who plays from his funky latest, Gamak (Aug 31); pianist Jason Moran's tribute to Fats Waller (Aug 31); and Moran collaborator Charles Lloyd, a tenor ace (we adored his tranquil Mirrors) who welcomes Bill Frisell as guest. Oh, and we didn't mention the tribute to Jack DeJohnette (Aug 29). Or Wadada Leo Smith getting all multimedia (Aug 30). Heck, the whole thing just smokes this year.