The opening act of the opening day of the Chicago Jazz Festival will be powerhouse Chicago fusion drummer Ernie Adams and his trio with special guest East Coast alto saxophonist Richie Cole, taking the “Jazz on Jackson” stage at Noon. At 1:10 pm, cross-cultural Chicago guitarist Fareed Haque—just named Best World Music Guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine—and the Flat Earth Ensemble will take the stage, followed by Chicago vibraphonist, drummer and composer Jason Adasiewicz’s Rolldown (2:20pm) with a finale by bassist Esperanza Spalding. Meanwhile, over at the Jazz & Heritage Stage, the Dudley Owens Quintet performs at 12:30pm, the Diane Delin Quintet at 2pm and Bob Seeley and Bob Baldori at 3:30pm. The evening session at the Petrillo Music Shell features the Jeff Parker Quartet (5pm), “The Trio” with Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis and Roscoe Mitchell (6pm), Madeleine Peyroux (7:10pm) and the Gonzalo Rubalcaba Quintet (8:30pm). Other not-to missed festival highlights include an eightieth birthday jam session with Fred Anderson (5pm Saturday, Petrillo Music Shell), a rare area appearance by the Dave Holland Big Band (8:30pm Saturday, Petrillo) and “A Tribute to Art Tatum,” the greatest and most innovative of all jazz pianists, featuring Buddy DeFranco and Johnny O’Neal (6pm, Sunday, Petrillo). (Dennis Polkow)
September 4-6, Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson, (312)744-3315. Noon-9:30pm. Free.
Dennis Polkow is an award-winning veteran journalist, critic, author, broadcaster and educator. He made his stage debut at age five, was a child art prodigy and began playing keyboards in clubs at the age of fourteen. He holds degrees in music theory, composition, religious studies and philosophy from DePaul University in Chicago. Polkow spent his early years performing and recording in rock and jazz bands while concertizing as a classical pianist, organist and harpsichordist and composing, arranging and producing for other artists. As a scholar, Polkow has published and lectured extensively and taught at several colleges and universities in various departments. As an actor, narrator and consultant, Polkow has been involved with numerous films, plays, broadcasts and documentaries. As a journalist, Polkow helped co-create the experiential Chicago Musicale and Spotlight, the award-winning tabloid arts and entertainment section of the Press Publications chain of newspapers, which he later edited. He also created and ran the nationally recognized journalism program at Oakton College and was faculty advisor to its award-winning student newspaper; many former students went on to major media careers, including Channel Awesome’s the Nostalgia Critic. Polkow’s research, interviews, features, reviews and commentaries have appeared across national and international media and he has corresponded from the Middle East, Asia and Africa for the Chicago Tribune. Contact: email@example.com