Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz

July 27, 2011 10:18:31 AM PDT
Steve Coleman, Eric Alexander, Julian Preister, Michael Raynor and Michael Allemana will lead an all star line-up of special guests in Truth Be Told: Celebrating the Legacy of Von Freeman in Millennium Park on Thursday, July 28 2011 at 6:30 p.m.

This free concert will open the Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz concert series, presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, and the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

Earle Lavon "Von" Freeman, Sr. is considered a founder of the "Chicago School" of jazz tenor saxophonists. He has encouraged, inspired and mentored three generations of musicians, including all of the artists scheduled to perform at Wednesday night's concert in Millennium Park. At nearly 90 years of age, Freeman has been playing weekly gigs on Chicago's south side for more than half his life. His thirty year tenure at the New Apartment Lounge, which was interrupted in January for building repairs, is scheduled to start back in August.

Every Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz concert begins at 6:30 p.m. with a short set by young, aspiring musicians from Chicago-area high schools. Tonight's opening act will be the Jazz Institute of Chicago's Jazz Links Ensemble.

For more information about Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz , visit, call 312.742.1168

Upcoming Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz Concerts:

Thursday, August 4 at 6:30 PM
Otis Clay: The Gospel of Jazz and Soul
In Otis Clay's 50 years of singing he has crossed musical paths with musicians from Sam Cooke to Curtis Mayfield to Duke Ellington. Partnering with arranger/drummer Tom Tom Washington, Clay will be joined by tenor saxophone player Gene "Daddy G" Barge, trumpet player Burgess Gardner, baritone saxophone player Willie Henderson and vocalists Sue Conway and Willie Rogers (of the Soul Stirrers) to present a musical salute for Mahalia Jackson's centennial and Sam Cooke's 85th birthdays.

Thursday, August 11 at 6:30 PM
African Journeys Featuring Ryan Cohan and Geof Bradfield
In 2008, pianist Ryan Cohan's quartet was selected by the Rhythm Road program (co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and Jazz at Lincoln Center) to perform as cultural ambassadors in Africa. The experience profoundly affected all members of the band, and inspired Cohan and saxophonist Geof Bradfield to each compose music describing what they had experienced in their travels. Heard together for the first time on one stage, Cohan's The River and Bradfield's African Flowers share reflections on the universal joys and sadness of the human experience. Trombonist Vincent Gardner and percussionist Samuel Torres join as special guests with Bradfield and Cohan's ensembles.

Thursday August 18 at 6:30 PM
Latin Inspiration: Howard Levy with Chévere, Trio Globo and Special Guests
Composer, virtuoso pianist and harmonica player Howard Levy's imagination is inspired by many muses including the Blues, but closest to his heart is the amalgam of the rhythms of the Americas known as Latin Jazz. This evening includes the premiere of his new suite, "Recuerdos de Nueva Yorque" with his long-time comrades in Chévere and three additional horn players (Victor Garcia, Tom Garling and Rock Yera), selections from the CD Steering by the Stars with Trio Globo, and several duets with the astounding guitarist Chris Siebold.

Thursday, August 25 at 6:30 PM
Kindred Spirits of the Horn: Corey Wilkes Celebrates Miles Davis and Roy Eldridge
Known for igniting the spark that became Bebop, Roy Eldridge and Miles Davis' influences also loom large in the multi-directional work of trumpeter Corey Wilkes. Past meets future in a centennial tribute to the men who set the standard for the modern jazz trumpet. Wilkes will premiere a new work in collaboration with electronics artist and DJ Osunlade and his Chicago cohorts, Robert Irving III, De'Sean Jones, Fareed Haque, Junius Paul, Kahil El'Zabar and Makaya McCraven.

Thursday, September 1 at 6:30 PM
Spiritual Source: Randy Weston and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble Featuring the Arrangements of Melba Liston
Opening Night of the Chicago Jazz Festival

Randy Weston collaborated with trombonist/composer/arranger Melba Liston to create a new music that explores the cultures, connectedness and music of the African Diaspora. For this special occasion, Weston will partner with the Center for Black Music Research and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, both resident at Columbia College Chicago, to illuminate and perform works from his dynamic union with Melba Liston, and premier a new composition by cellist Tomeka Reid, inspired by their musical collaborations.

The 33rd Annual Chicago Jazz Festival will once again be free admission, produced by the City of Chicago and programmed with the Chicago Jazz Institute. This year's event will run from September 1-4 and will be held in three locations: the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion and Grant Park

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