For several years now, the heart of the Chicago Jazz Festival has been in Millennium Park. This year the four days of the fest also include programming at the Cultural Center (from 11 AM till 5:15 PM on Thursday, September 1) and a lunchtime show at the Maxwell Street Market on Sunday, September 4. Around the city, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and local music organizations have jointly booked more than a dozen neighborhood concerts from Tuesday, August 23, through Wednesday, August 31. 

Of course, the local venues that routinely host jazz aren’t about to stop during the jazziest weekend of the year—in fact, many of them put in extra effort to attract concertgoers in a festival mood. Below I’ve listed the best of those shows. If you stick it out till the last note at Pritzker Pavilion, you’ll get to some of these pretty late—but not too late to enjoy some top-shelf music.

Matt Ulery and Quin Kirchner jam session; Matt Ulery, Mike Gamble, and Jeremy Cunningham; Matt Ulery & Mike Gamble
Wed 8/31, 9 PM, the Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee, free, 21+

Jam session with Eric Schneider 
Thu 9/1-Sat 9/3, 8 and 10 PM; Sun 9/4, 8 PM, Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct., $20-$40, 21+

JD Allen
Thu 9/1, 9:30 PM, Constellation, 3111 N. Western, $20, 18+

Dave Rempis, Jason Adasiewicz, Joshua Abrams, and Tyler Damon
Thu 9/1, 8:30 PM, Elastic Arts, 3429 W. Diversey #208, $15, all ages

Fri 9/2, 9:30 PM, Constellation, 3111 N. Western, $25, 18+

Abigail Riccards Quintet
Fri 9/2-Sat 9/3, 8 PM, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway, $15, 21+

Isaiah Spencer
Fri 9/2-Sat 9/3, 10:30 PM; Andy’s, 11 E. Hubbard, $15, 21+

Kris Davis solo, Ben Goldberg & Geof Bradfield
Sat 9/3, 9:30 PM, Constellation, 3111 N. Western, $20, 18+

Soul Message Band
Sun 9/4, 8 PM, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway, $10, 21+ 

2022 Chicago Jazz Festival