Roy Hargrove
Roy Hargrove Credit: Michael Jackson

Budget reductions meant that the city’s festivals devoted to gospel, Latin, and Celtic music all suffered the indignity of being reduced to single days of programming at the Taste of Chicago this year. But the Chicago Jazz Festival, the oldest of the city’s big lakefront music fests, has been spared that fate, at least for now. Though it hasn’t run for three days in Grant Park since 2009, the grim-looking budget the City Council passed in December of that year didn’t turn out to reduce the festival to two days—in 2010 its four-day schedule included Thursday and Friday programming at the Cultural Center, in Millennium Park, and elsewhere. This year the only major cut is the loss of daytime music on Friday, which all things considered is certainly something to be thankful for.

As was the case last year, most of the marquee names play on Saturday and Sunday—that is, the Grant Park days. But the music on Thursday and Friday is hardly chopped liver. In fact, the bookings provide a pretty good snapshot of Chicago’s amazing jazz community, a diversity of riches that’s on offer year-round. (Of the three big out-of-town bandleaders, two are backed by locals.) It’s also no secret that the sight lines and sound quality are much better at Pritzker Pavilion than in Grant Park, and the shows at the Q QCultural Center provide an intimacy lacking at all of the outdoor stages.

The heavy-duty national names during the fest’s first two days include brilliant octogenarian pianist Randy Weston, who performs at Pritzker with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble on Thursday night, and both acts playing that same stage as part of Friday’s double bill: guest saxophonist Bobby Watson with the local Deep Blue Organ Trio, followed by the Saxophone Summit (aka Joe Lovano, David Liebman, and Ravi Coltrane). Among the highlights at Grant Park are mercurial, bluesy singer Cassandra Wilson on Saturday, trumpeter Roy Hargrove on Sunday, and a promising new Sun Ra project led by drummer Mike Reed with guests Taylor Ho Bynum, Mary Halvorson, and Ingrid Laubrock, also on Sunday.

Past artists in residence at the festival have included envelope pushers Nicole Mitchell, George Lewis, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Ed Wilkerson Jr., but this year the distinction goes to a relatively mainstream figure: trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Orbert Davis. On Friday and Sunday he’ll play small-group sets, and on Saturday he’ll present his ambitious Chicago Jazz Philharmonic project, with guests Marianna Soroka, Brandon McCune, and Zach Brock.

For the third year running now the Young Jazz Lions stage showcases local high school and university bands, but this time some serious ringers are raising the stakes. On Saturday the great alto saxophonist Phil Woods joins the already strong DePaul University Jazz Ensemble; on Sunday, Orbert Davis and violinist Zach Brock play with a group of standout students from Davis’s recent summer jazz camp, and trumpeter Victor Garcia sits in with the Curie Jazz Ensemble.

As always, all music is free. On Thursday and Friday the shows are mostly at Pritzker and in different halls at the Cultural Center, but on Friday there’s an early-evening set in Roosevelt University’s Ganz Hall (430 S. Michigan, seventh floor). Saturday and Sunday everything’s in Grant Park. Afternoon sets are at the Jazz on Jackson stage (on Jackson near Lake Shore Drive), the Jazz & Heritage Stage (south of Jackson near Columbus), and the Young Jazz Lions Stage (east of the Heritage stage and south of the Jackson stage). For the second year in a row, local smooth-jazz club Close Up 2 (with radio station WLFM 88.7 FM) takes over the Young Jazz Lions Stage at 6 PM to present two groups nightly. The Petrillo Music Shell, which hosts each evening’s headliners, is at Columbus and Jackson. And after the lakefront stages go quiet, there’s more jazz on offer around town every night. —PM

Click here for the Reader‘s list of postfest jam sessions

Thursday 9/1

Randolph Cafe, Chicago Cultural Center

R Noon Rich Corpolongo Trio Saxophonist Rich Corpolongo has played music all his life, from college jam sessions with Herbie Hancock to spots in the Shubert Theatre’s pit orchestra and Barrett Deems’s big band. But he didn’t make his first record as a leader till he was 40, and his fourth, Get Happy (Delmark), came out just last year. Corpolongo is three weeks shy of his 70th birthday, and what gets him happy now is apparently sticking to tenor sax and playing standards and Charlie Parker tunes in a style that brings to mind Sonny Rollins’s muscular loquacity and Jackie McLean’s uncompromising pitch. —BM

1:30 PM Curtis Robinson Trio Wes Montgomery’s 60s recordings for Riverside and Verve managed a rare feat: they were both crowd-pleasers and, for everyone who played jazz guitar, game changers. Local guitarist Curtis Robinson is versatile enough to serve up smooth steppers’ hits and go note-for-note with Dee Alexander’s wild vocalizations, but this afternoon his trio will focus on Montgomery’s early repertoire. —BM

Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center

R 11:30 AM Mwata Bowden lecture/discussion Jazz has long made nonsense of the notion that those who can’t do, teach. Some bandleaders, like Miles Davis and Betty Carter, taught from the bandstand; Cannonball Adderley and Bill Dixon were accomplished in the classroom as well as onstage. Mwata Bowden belongs to the latter lineage: though he’s brought his skills on various reeds, flutes, and didgeridoos to previous festivals with groups like 8 Bold Souls, the Miyumi Project, and the AACM Big Band, today he’ll draw on the pedagogical skills he’s honed at the AACM School of Music and as the University of Chicago’s Director of Jazz Ensembles to explain the geometrically inspired notation he uses to guide players through his own compositions. —BM

12:15 PM Mwata Bowden: The Maze Factor Clarinetist and baritone saxophonist Mwata Bowden has been one of the hidden pillars of Chicago’s creative-music scene for more than three decades, buoying the AACM through rocky times and adding his characteristic melodicism to 8 Bold Souls and his own Sound Spectrum, among other groups. Today the veteran teacher is joined by stalwart partners Harrison Bankhead on cello, Junius Paul on bass, and Dushun Mosley on drums, along with New Orleans out-cat Edward “Kidd” Jordan on tenor saxophone and Bowden’s son Khari B. on vocals; he’ll demonstrate his use of graphic scores, some drawn from images of the sculpted gardens at the Louvre. —JC

1:45 PM Shanghai Stories featuring Francis Wong San Francisco saxophonist Francis Wong has assembled a Chicago version of his long-running Legends & Legacies project—which bridges generations as well as the gaps between modern jazz and traditional Chinese and Japanese musics—to perform Shanghai Stories, a work based on the memoirs of his 90-year-old father, George Wong, who grew up in China, moved to the U.S. midcentury, then returned home after a few decades. Wong has brought Yangqin Zhao—a virtuoso of the instrument with which she shares her name, a Chinese hammered dulcimer called the yangqin—with him from the Bay Area, and she joins a strong crew of locals: Edward Wilkerson Jr. (reeds), Tatsu Aoki (bass, shamisen), Jeff Chan (bass clarinet), Dushun Mosley (drums), and Tomeka Reid (cello). —PM

Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center

12:30 PM Bob Dogan Quintet Bob Dogan is one of Chicago’s most experienced, flexible, and unfairly overlooked mainstream pianists, and for this gig he enhances his sturdy working trio (with bassist Dan DeLorenzo and drummer Joe Adamik) by adding the excellent front line of bass trumpeter Ryan Shultz and saxophonist Ron Dewar; all four have long-term musical relationships with Dogan. —PM

2 PM Glawdys N’Dee Singer Glawdys N’Dee, born in the Caribbean island territory of Guadeloupe, moved to Chicago from Paris a couple years ago; she’s rooted in straight-up jazz, but Creole and African influences from her first home make themselves felt in everything she does. (Jim Gailloreto’s Jazz String Quartet, originally booked in this slot, was forced to cancel due to injury.) —PM

Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park

R 6:30 PM Spiritual Source: Randy Weston and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble featuring the arrangements of Melba Liston Randy Weston turned 85 this spring, but the remarkable pianist shows no sign of slowing down. Not only has he done more than almost any living pianist with the lessons of Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, Weston was also one of the first jazz musicians to directly engage the music’s African roots—he famously opened a club in Tangier, Morocco, in the late 60s and collaborated with a wide range of Moroccan players, bringing their ideas into his own muscular music. By his side for much of his career, from his late-50s hard-bop days through his late-90s explorations of densely busy African-flavored postbop, was brilliant arranger Melba Liston, who died in 1999; she expanded the sound of Weston’s sturdy compositions with thoughtful counterpoint and gripping harmonies. Tonight Weston will join the Chicago Jazz Ensemble for a selection of Liston’s arrangements of his work, including “African Sunrise,” which the Chicago Jazz Festival commisioned from him for a 1984 performance with Dizzy Gillespie. —PM

Click here for the Reader‘s list of postfest jam sessions on Thursday

Friday 9/2

Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University

5 PM Orbert Davis Trio The trio format is unforgiving to an instrument as fickle and demanding as the trumpet, but Orbert Davis has a rich, full-bodied tone, perfect intonation, and enough energy to go it alone; here he’s backed by pianist Brandon McCune and bassist Stewart Miller. —PM

Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park

Credit: Michael Jackson

R 6:30 PM Bobby Broom & the Deep Blue Organ Trio with special guest Bobby Watson It’s easy to take the Deep Blue Organ Trio for granted thanks to its weekly gig at the Green Mill, but it’s one of the best groups using this classic format anywhere in the world. Guitarist Bobby Broom, organist Chris Foreman, and drummer Greg Rockingham are all veterans, and the latter two in particular have devoted much of their careers to mastering the organ trio’s greasy, groovy, blues-driven sound. On the new Wonderful! (Origin), the band takes a modern-standards approach similar to the one Broom has used with his own guitar trio, delivering a full program of tunes by Stevie Wonder. In the process of improvising on the indelible melodies of tunes like “My Cheri Amour” and “Tell Me Something Good” (made famous by with Chaka Khan’s old group Rufus), Deep Blue highlights the amazing strength of Wonder’s writing. Tonight, though, the group is joined by hard-bop saxophonist Bobby Watson, a fierce true believer who cut his teeth in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers—so I’d expect a postbop set, with maybe one or two Stevie songs. —PM

8 PM Saxophone Summit featuring Joe Lovano, David Liebman, and Ravi Coltrane This long-running all-star band exists to celebrate the sound of John Coltrane, and when founding member Michael Brecker died in 2007 (he’s been replaced by Coltrane’s son Ravi), he too became a subject of its homage. On the Saxophone Summit’s latest album, Seraphic Light (Telarc, 2008), all three reedists contribute compositions—which complement selections from the elder Coltrane’s repertoire—and their varied tones and approaches sometimes allow the group’s songs to sound like more than just blowing sessions. Onstage, where they all let it rip, you can expect plenty of fireworks but not a lot of nuance. The band’s regular rhythm section—pianist Phil Markowitz, bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Billy Hart—rolls out spiritual grooves a la McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones. —PM

Click here for the Reader‘s list of postfest jam sessions on Friday

Saturday 9/3

Jazz on Jackson

Noon Brian O’Hern & the Model Citizens Big Band No one can call pianist and bandleader Brian O’Hern self-serious—his Model Citizens Big Band could take the piss out of anything. The lineup includes some great players—reedists Pat Mallinger and Tim McNamara, guitarist Mike Allemana, drummer Gerald Dowd, pianist Dan Trudell—and though their music is based in blaring swing, it makes all kinds of absurdist stylistic detours. These guys are here to have fun, and they underline that point with Zappa-esque song titles like “Burpin’, Spittin’, and Fartin'” and “Bones Are Swell.” —PM

R 1:10 PM Marquis Hill Black-tet Chicago trumpeter Marquis Hill, 24, made one of the year’s most impressive debuts with his self-released New Gospel. Elegant and hard-driving, it proves Hill to be a sensitive student of hard-bop history who’s inventive enough not to get bogged down in it. He performs with his working band, which appears on the album: alto saxophonist Christopher McBride, pianist Joshua Moshier, drummer Jeremy Cunningham, and bassist John Tate. —PM

2:20 PM Jeremy Khan & the Pepper Adams Project Just as pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach recorded every Thelonious Monk tune for the 2005 three-CD set Monk’s Casino (Intakt), Oak Park-based pianist Jeremy Khan has recorded a big chunk of the considerably more obscure songbook of Pepper Adams, a major baritone saxophonist who died in 1986. With producer Gary Carner, who’s supervising the project, Khan has made two CDs, working with another monster bari, Gary Smulyan, as well as in a piano-trio context, digging deep into Adams’s fascinating postbop. For this set, though, he’ll shift the emphasis a bit. New York vocalist Alexis Cole will sing Adams’s melodies, with newly minted lyrics, backed by three fine Chicagoans—the positively propulsive George Fludas on drums, Dennis Carroll on bass, and Geof Bradfield on saxophones—plus Toronto-based saxophonist Pat LaBarbara. —JC

R 3:30 PM Gerald Clayton Trio Though only 27 and with just two records as a leader under his belt, New York pianist Gerald Clayton has attracted more attention than most musicians twice his age, and deservedly so. He’s enormously gifted and has both a keen ear for melodic development and a highly developed awareness of the importance of overall shape and dynamic. The work he’s done in his regular three-piece—bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Justin Brown, who’ll be with him here—has proved Clayton to be one of a handful of young players retooling the piano-trio tradition, searching for new angles of approach, expanding it from within rather than tearing it down and starting over. —JC

Young Jazz Lions Stage

Noon Curie Percussion Combo

12:45 PM Jones College Prep Combo

1:30 PM Whitney Young Magnet Jazz Combo

2:15 PM Fatum Brothers Jazz Orchestra

3:10 PM Kenwood Academy Jazz Ensemble

4:05 PM DePaul University Jazz Ensemble with special guest Phil Woods

6 PM* Buddy Fambro Band

7:15 PM* Keith Henderson Band

*Presented by Close Up 2 and 87.7 FM

Jazz & Heritage Stage

12:30 PM Miguel de la Cerna Quartet Local pianist Miguel de la Cerna has provided flexible, empathetic support to adventurous singers like Oscar Brown Jr. and Dee Alexander, but his own Latin-flavored projects deserve attention as well. The band he leads today, though not overtly Latin, looks promising: it features his wife Sylvia de la Cerna on violin, Harrison Bankhead on bass, and Kwame Steve Cobb on drums. —PM

2 PM Petra’s Recession Seven Chicago-based singer Petra van Nuis brings a swing mentality to a Broadway-minded repertoire, most often performing in a duo with her husband, guitarist Andy Brown. The seasoned septet she’s playing with today—which includes Brown, trumpeter Art Davis, trombonist Tom Bartlett, clarinetist Kim Cusack, bassist Joe Policastro, and drummer Bob Rummage—jacks up the dynamic range and rhythmic verve. —PM

3:30 PM Latin Inspiration Led by trombonist Johnny Rodriguez, local combo Latin Inspiration plays hard-charging salsa dura (“hard” salsa), combining muscular, tightly arranged brass with a fierce battery of polyrhythmic percussion. They’re fiery improvisers, and their repertoire complements classics by the likes of Eddie Palmieri and Mongo Santamaria with durable hard-bop numbers. —PM

Petrillo Music Shell

5 PM Maurice Brown Effect A local prodigy in the late 90s, fluent both in hard bop and free jazz, trumpeter Maurice Brown was a staple at jam sessions at the New Apartment Lounge and Velvet Lounge while still a teenager. But after moving to New Orleans in 2001 to study with clarinetist Alvin Batiste, he drifted away from the avant-garde, and since relocating to New York after Hurricane Katrina he’s injected heavier and heavier doses of R&B and hip-hop into his music. Last year’s The Cycle of Love (Brown) is very much a jazz record, but its tough vamps, stuttery funk-inflected beats, and meticulously lyrical solos certainly make it sound like Brown is hoping to connect with a broader, more pop-minded audience. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but in this case it often makes for less interesting music. Brown is joined here by his working band: tenor saxophonist Derek Douget, pianist Chris Rob, drummer Joe Blaxx, and bassist Solomon Dorsey. —PM

R 6 PM Trio 3 + Geri Allen During the Umbrella Music Festival last November, Trio 3 brought the house down with an epic set at the Hideout, giving what amounted to a clinic on the fundamentals of inside-out playing—that is, embracing jazz’s hard-swinging, bluesy roots while masterfully subverting them. Reedist Oliver Lake, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer Andrew Cyrille have almost 150 years of combined experience in jazz, and they more than equal the sum of their parts as Trio 3, exploring everything from gestural collective improvisation to scalding free jazz to fierce postbop. When they add a pianist, it only enhances their energy and drive, and Geri Allen has been a regular collaborator. Together they recently released the superb Celebrating Mary Lou Williams (Intakt), a 2010 live session that pays homage to an enduring object of Allen’s musical devotion with a program of Williams compositions—but the quartet is just as consistent and fascinating playing originals. —PM

7:10 PM Orbert Davis’s Jazz Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble Artist in residence Orbert Davis picks up a baton to lead his wildly ambitious fusion project, the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic—and I for one am happy he’s presenting its “chamber ensemble” incarnation, with a mere 18 musicians. The lineup on the group’s 2008 debut album, Collective Creativity (3Sixteen), is more than 50 strong, and it can’t help but sound bloated as it seesaws between jazz and classical. At its best the ensemble can bring awesome firepower to bear on Davis’s compositions, but my favorite parts tend to be stripped-down passages with a soloist blowing over a rhythm section. Tonight’s lean, mean version will perform a piece commissioned by the festival that features percussionist Marianna Soroka, pianist Brandon McCune, and violinist Zach Brock—a former Chicagoan who’s just released a spirited trio album, The Magic Number (Secret Fort), that privileges his improvisational acumen and wordless singing rather than his flair for elaborate arrangements. The group also includes bassist Stewart Miller, drummer Mikel Avery, flutist Nicole Mitchell, and saxophonist Steve Eisen—and, ominously, a string quartet that I’ve been told will play a Mozart piece while accompanied by a jazz rhythm section. —PM

Cassandra Wilson
Cassandra WilsonCredit: Will Sterling

R 8:30 PM Cassandra Wilson Cassandra Wilson is probably the dominant jazz singer of the past two decades, at least if you only count singers working to advance the art—she brings earthy languidity and an alluring sinewy quality to everything she touches, her thick contralto moving with sensual deliberation. Last year’s terrific Silver Pony (Blue Note) combines live and studio recordings, all made with the same empathetic band, and as usual Wilson mixes jazz standards, blues classics, original songs, and a bit of pop and rock material. The live cuts are predictably more demonstrative than the studio ones, but such is the strength of her aesthetic vision that the varied approaches on the album—polyrhythmic vamps, snappy funk beats, airy ballads—all beautifully complement one another. She even makes John Legend sound good on a duet reading of “Watch the Sunrise.” Tonight Wilson fronts a scaled-back version of her excellent working band, with guitarist Marvin Sewell (a Chicago native), bassist Reginald Veal, and drummer Herlin Riley; they’re joined by harmonica player Gregoire Maret. —PM

Click here for the Reader‘s list of postfest jam sessions on Saturday

Sunday 9/4

Jazz on Jackson

R Noon Pat Mallinger Quartet with Bill Carrothers A member of Sabertooth as well as the venerable Chicago Jazz Ensemble, reedist Pat Mallinger is a rock of the local scene. Today his quartet, which includes bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer George Fludas, is joined by terrific pianist Bill Carrothers, who spurned the New York scene in favor of the upper peninsula of Michigan. Carrothers is a postbop player at heart, and on his recent trio album A Night at the Village Vanguard (Pirouet), which includes his own tunes as well as songs associated with trumpet genius Clifford Brown, he subverts standard jazz-piano language with precise rhythmic commotions and a wide-eared harmonic sensibility. He also improvises on nonmusical things like the Civil War and, on his solo album Excelsior (Out Note), the Minnesota town where he grew up—for that ballad-heavy record he went into the studio with nothing, sat down at the piano, and poured out 16 pieces full of nostalgia for a more innocent time. —PM

1:10 PM Orbert Davis Sextet With this fine sextet, artist in residence Orbert Davis will play the kind of hard bop he deploys on most of his recordings—including 2004’s Blue Notes (3Sixteen), albeit with a different band. This one includes four members from yesterday’s Chicago Jazz Philharmonic chamber group—drummer Mikel Avery, bassist Stewart Miller, pianist Brandon McCune, and violinist Zach Brock—as well as superb saxophonist Ari Brown. —PM

R 2:20 PM Matt Ulery’s Loom Chicagoan Matt Ulery is ostensibly a jazz bassist, but his interest in composing and arranging has nearly eclipsed his interest in improvisation. Loom’s impressive second album, Flora. Fauna. Fervor. (482 Music), has its fair share of solos, particularly from keyboardist Rob Clearfield, but they’re inextricably woven into Ulery’s elaborate, beautiful compositions. In his liner notes Ulery writes, “Classical chamber music, modern jazz, folk music of the Americas and Eastern Europe, modern indie-rock and evocative, orchestral film scores have all played a key role in the Loom compositions,” and the music bears that out. The full septet from the recording will perform: Clearfield, vibist Katie Wiegman, trumpeter Thad Franklin, tenor saxophonist Tim Haldeman, drummer Jon Deitemyer, and rising-star violinist Zach Brock. —PM

R 3:30 PM Occidental Brothers Dance Band International The Occidental Brothers Dance Band International has, with help from a series of Ghanaian and Congolese singers, turned halls all over town (and well outside it) into joyous African dance parties. But the ensemble got its start playing instrumentals, and alto saxophonist Greg Ward and guitarist Nathaniel Braddock have jazz chops to spare. Here they’ll apply them to tunes from Mali, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa in a set that they’ve already taken to jazz festivals in Vancouver and Montreal. —BM

Young Jazz Lions Stage

Noon Lakeview High School Jazz Combo

12:45 PM Chi Arts Jazz Combo

1:30 PM Pritzker College Prep Jazz Ensemble

2:25 PM Rich Central Jazz Ensemble

3:20 PM Orbert Davis’s Jazz Academy

4:15 PM Curie Jazz Ensemble with Victor Garcia

6 PM* Lake Effect Band with special guest Lisa McClowry

7:15 PM* Skinny Williams Band

* Presented by Close Up 2 and 87.7 FM

Jazz & Heritage Stage

12:30 PM Reginald Robinson Sextet Ragtime wizard Reginald Robinson has built his career on intricate solo music, but tonight the pianist unveils an intriguing sextet with new arrangements by bassist Stu Greenspan; the lineup also features saxophonist Tim McNamara, trumpeter Robert Griffin, trombonist Steve Berry, and drummer Rob Dicke. —PM

R 2 PM Ernest Dawkins’s New Horizons Ensemble This winter’s album by alto and tenor saxophonist Ernest Dawkins and his long-running New Horizons Ensemble is titled The Prairie Prophet (Delmark) in honor of Fred Anderson, the tenor saxophonist who mentored generations of Chicago musicians and gave them a place to play at his Velvet Lounge (it closed in December, a few months after his death). Dawkins honors Anderson’s legacy in two ways. First, his band’s new lineup puts young players—trumpeters Marquis Hill and Shaun Johnson—on the same stage with veterans like guitarist Jeff Parker. And his music, by turns sumptuous and fiery, draws inspiration from jazz history while keeping the playing and commentary relevant to today. —BM

3:30 PM Joan Collaso Quintet If you hear a common thread of smooth, smiling cheer in the music of Shirley Horne, Billie Holliday, and Nancy Wilson, then Joan Collaso is your kind of singer. All three are represented on her latest album, Ooo Whee. . . . My Favorite Things. —BM

Petrillo Music Shell

R 5 PM Mike Reed’s Myth/Science Assembly A powerful and original musician, Mike Reed is also an invaluable organizer and promoter—his endeavors include running a weekly series at the Hungry Brain with cornetist Josh Berman and helping make the Pitchfork Music Festival happen. With his group People, Places & Things, he explores important lesser-known compositions by Chicago hard-bop and soul-jazz musicians, transcribed from old records. For this concert, commissioned by the Experimental Sound Studio‘s Creative Audio Archive, Reed will concentrate on a single, magisterial composer: Sun Ra. The impetus for the project is a huge collection of Sun Ra tapes (donated to ESS by this writer and his wife, full disclosure) that documents the extraterrestrial jazz pioneer’s musical life in Chicago, a chapter he closed in 1961. Working with a large ensemble that includes killer Chicagoans like vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz and electronics wildcard Nick Butcher as well as great New York guests, including guitarist Mary Halvorson and cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, Reed plans to introduce unknown and perhaps even unfinished Ra material, transformed and brought to life half a century later. —JC

6 PM Ira Sullivan 80th Birthday Celebration Go to the website of the newly octogenricized Ira Sullivan and the list of instruments at the top of the page is arresting: trumpet, flugelhorn, saxophones, flute, even “peck horn” (an E-flat alto horn). Though he came up in the hard-bop scene of 50s Chicago, when most players stuck to one instrument (or at least one family of instruments!), his diverse battery can be seen as a throwback to early jazz and the age of doubling. Sullivan’s work from that period is outstanding, and earned him jobs playing with drummer Art Blakey and on a sensational Blue Note record by tenor saxophonist J.R. Monterose. Though he moved away in the 60s, Sullivan has never lost his connection to Chicago, and his special brand of bop and balladry is an integral part of the city’s jazz lifeblood. He’ll split this set between work with an ensemble (stellar pianist Ron Perrillo, bassist Dennis Carroll, and drummer Greg Artry) and duets with pianist Willie Pickens, who played with Sullivan in the 50s. —JC

7:10 PM David Sanchez with special guest Stefon Harris It’s been several years since supremely talented Puerto Rican saxophonist David Sanchez released an album of his own, but in 2010 he traveled to Cuba with two fellow bandleaders, vibist Stefon Harris and trumpeter Christian Scott, and recorded with two Havana bands to make Ninety Miles (Concord)—the title refers to the distance between the U.S. and Cuba. Tonight Sanchez leads his own sturdy quartet (pianist Fred Simon, bassist Matt Brewer, and drummer Henry Cole), and though his rigorous, multipartite tunes usually focus on Puerto Rican rhythms, Harris is sitting in—so it seems fair to expect some Cuban flavor too. —PM

R 8:30 PM Roy Hargrove As the ultimate act at Jazz Fest this year, New York trumpeter Roy Hargrove is a no-brainer. At 41, he’s still young, but he has the rep of an elder, which he’s worked to establish since being discovered in high school by Wynton Marsalis. He’s brought a level of nu-soul slickness to the traditionally rooted hard-bop sound and format he and his bands pursue. And the sometimes off-putting badass persona he’s cultivated is more than justified by his musicianship—and by his commitment to crackling programs like the one on his 2008 quintet album, Ear Food (Emarcy). It’s perhaps the best indication of what he’ll present here, with a very similar lineup: Justin Robinson on alto sax, Sullivan Fortner on piano, Ameen Saleem on bass, and Montez Coleman on drums. —JC

Click here for the Reader‘s list of postfest jam sessions on Sunday