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The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is pleased to announce the headliners performing in Millennium Park for the 36th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival. The favorite Labor Day Weekend tradition will take place at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) and in Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.), August 28-31, showcasing the very best of Jazz music from noon to 9:30pm daily. Millennium Park headliners include: Terence Blanchard, Rufus Reid, Gary Burton, Dave Holland, Cecile McLorin Salvant and the Sun Ra Arkestra. The FREE admission Chicago Jazz Festival is produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago. The complete schedule will be announced at a later date.
On Friday, August 29 in Millennium Park, renowned bassist Rufus Reid will delight the Jay Pritzker Pavilion audience with selections from his newly released album, Quiet Pride: The Elizabeth Catlett Project, at 6pm. Throughout his career as a musician, Reid has composed music for string orchestra, jazz ensembles large and small, concert band, double bass ensemble and solo bass. Reid has strong Chicago roots: after earning his Bachelor of Music degree at Northwestern in 1971, he launched his professional career in Chicago, where he lived until moving to New York in 1976.
Friday evening closes with five-time Grammy® Award-winning trumpeter Terence Blanchard,joined by Blue Note artists saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and West African guitarist Lionel Loueke at 8:30pm. Adding to his track record as a successful artist and influential band leader, Blanchard is also a renowned film-score composer, having worked on more than 50 soundtracks, including George Lucas’s 2012 film, Red Tails, chronicling the Tuskegee Airmen.
On Saturday, August 30, vibraphone virtuoso Gary Burton will bring his quintet to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage at 6pm. Burton’s two recent releases: the Grammy®-nominated album, Guided Tour, and his autobiography, Learning to Listen, which chronicles his 50-year career as a bandleader, acclaimed soloist and seven-time Grammy® Award winner. At 8:30pm, British-born bassist Dave Holland leads his quartet Prism, which stars guitarist Kevin Eubanks. Having appeared on nearly 200 albums – with artists ranging from Miles Davis to Chick Corea to Anthony Braxton to Herbie Hancock – Holland has thrilled audiences for over three decades with his own bands: groundbreaking quintets, big bands and now this neo-fusion quartet.
The Chicago Jazz Festival closes on Sunday, August 31 with a vibrant performance from the “new voice of Jazz,” Grammy®-nominated vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, at 7:10pm. Performing unique interpretations of little-known and seldomly-recorded jazz and blues compositions, Salvant has graced the stage at numerous festivals nationally and internationally, including Jazz à Vienne in France, the Detroit Jazz Festival and other venues. At 8:30pm, current and former members of the Sun Ra Arkestra will join together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the visionary composer and self-proclaimed visitor from Saturn. Starting in Chicago in the mid-1950s and continuing until his death, the prolific Sun Ra regaled the music world with his colorful combination of cosmic philosophy, new jazz sounds and beguiling stagecraft (including dance and costumes).
The 36th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival is produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago with support from the Chicago Jazz Partnership and these sponsors: American Airlines, Aquafina, Chicago Jazz Magazine, Chicago Transit Authority, Communications Direct, Downbeat Magazine, E&J Gallo Family Vineyards, LaGrou Distribution System and Pepsi.
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Media seeking credentials to review or photograph performances at the festival must submit their request in writing on media letterhead. Requests must include whether credential is regular press or photo, indicate which date or dates and provide phone and email contacts. Note: Some musical artists require approval and some dictate how many songs may be photographed.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.