Chicago & Detroit Festivals Welcome Jazz Fans

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The Chicago Jazz Fest (left) and Detroit Jazz Fest will take place over Labor Day Weekend. Admission to both festivals is free.

(Photo: Courtesy Chicago Jazz Festival/Detroit Jazz Festival)

Jazz fans within earshot of Chicago and Detroit might want to pack up the car and head into town, as both cities play host to their free annual jazz festivals.

The 39th Chicago Jazz Festival is underway in the Windy City, with pianist Jason Moran set to take the stage Friday evening at the Jay Pritzker Pavillion in downtown Millenium Park. His performance is one of many in this music-packed marathon of jazz concerts, which culminates Sunday, Sept. 3, with New Orleans’ Rebirth Brass Band. Additional headliners include the Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio, Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom, reedist Roscoe Mitchell and vocal icon Sheila Jordan.

The Chicago Jazz Festival will also feature tributes to Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk—all of whom celebrate their centennial anniversaries in 2017.

Celebrating its 38th year, the Detroit Jazz Festival runs from Friday through Monday, Sept. 4. Friday will see performances by bass phenom Miles Mosley at 8:30 p.m. and keyboard legend Herbie Hancock at 9 p.m.

The festival will also feature appearances by Donny McCaslin, the supergroup Hudson, pianist Billy Childs, vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, tenor saxophonist Kamasi Washington, pianist Vijay Iyer and many more.

Special showcases include performances by the Mack Avenue All-Stars, a tribute to Michael Brecker, a performance by featured artist Karriem Riggins with rapper Common, and a finale concert with Detroit Jazz Festival Artist-in-Residence Wayne Shorter.

For a complete lineup of artists at the Chicago Jazz Festival, click here.

To view the full performance schedule for the Detroit Jazz Festival, click here. DB



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