Chicago Jazz Festival

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  • Jazz
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Photograph: Mark Higashino
Dee Dee Bridgewater

In its 37th year, Jazz Fest returns to Millennium Park (and the Cultural Center) with a solid lineup of fusion, traditional bop and cosmic shizz. Confirmed performers include Muhal Richard Abrams, José James, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Henry Butler. The focus in 2015 is on the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), the pioneering org that pushes jazz forward. Cofounder Muhal Richard Abrams closes the fest on September 6 with an epic jam session stocked with local scene legends like Roscoe Mitchell and Wadada Leo Smith. Hip-hop fusionist José James pays tribute to Billie Holiday on Friday, September 4. The whole thing kicks off with Thursday headliners Butler, Bernstein & The Hot 9, who rip through early jazz with New Orleans swagger.

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