• Jim Baker

On Wednesday night this year’s Umbrella Music Festival kicks off with four free performances at the Chicago Cultural Center, all part of an event called European Jazz Meets Chicago (which continues on Thursday). But fans can get a sneak preview on Tuesday night at Elastic, as well as attend a (soft) opening reception for an exhibition of photographs by Reader contributor Jim Newberry, who over the past few years has devoted more and more energy to live shots and posed portraits of improvising musicians from Chicago and abroad. The reception runs from 6 till 9 PM, and the show is called Improvisers; the formal opening is December 14, and the photos will stay up till December 30.