Innovative trumpeter and composer Malachi Thompson was scheduled to perform tonight, but sadly, because of his July 16 death, this appearance by his band Africa Brass with saxophonist Billy Harper instead becomes a memorial concert to Thompson’s legacy as a second-generation member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). He combined free jazz with a bebop sensibility and was an outspoken jazz educator and historian who challenged the narrow definitions and directions of mainstream jazz. It would be hard to imagine a more jarring juxtaposition than preceding that tribute with an appearance by conservative New Orleans clarinetist Dr. Michael White’s Original Liberty Jazz Band, but the 5pm Petrillo Band Shell set will do just that within an evening that will also include singer Nnenna Freelon in a Billie Holiday tribute and guitarist Charlie Hunter unveiling his new trio. Earlier in the day on the Jazz on Jackson stage (Jackson and Lake Shore Drive) at noon, Catholic priest and Chicago guitarist John Moulder and his ensemble will perform followed by Frieda Lee, Organissimo and the Bobby Lewis Jazz Sextet. The 12:30pm afternoon set on the Jazz & Heritage Stage includes the West Aurora High School Jazz Band, a session on jazz soloing with Nicole Mitchell and Edward Wilkerson Jr. and the Jazz Links All-Stars with Ken Chaney. (Dennis Polkow)
September 1 at the Chicago Jazz Festival.