• Dave Miller

Since shortly after jazz was born in New Orleans, Chicago has been one of its greatest incubators, and back in the 20s the city attracted and sustained some of the music’s greatest players. By mid-century, though, New York was the jazz capital of the world, and the majority of Chicago’s best—with the exception of folks like Von Freeman and Fred Anderson—ended up heading east to chase their fortunes. This summer Chicago’s jazz and improvised-music community will lose two more of its most talented figures, guitarist Dave Miller and flutist Nicole Mitchell. But if they follow the example of previous defectors like Aram Shelton, Greg Ward, and Matt Bauder—all of whom have maintained strong ties to, if not active membership in, Chicago-based bands—they won’t ever go too long without coming back.