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Hyde Park Jazz Festival Showcases the Breadth of Chicago Jazz Talent

By Louise Burton on Sep 28, 2013 03:17 PM EDT

The seventh annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival takes place this weekend at venues in and around the University of Chicago. This year, the festival features 30 of the most prominent jazz artists and groups in Chicago, as well as stars from out-of-town like New York-based pianist Gerald Clayton and Israeli clarinetist Anat Cohen. All Jazz Festival concerts are free, but some require tickets. According to critic Peter Margasak of the Chicago Reader, "...no other fest showcases the breadth of Chicago jazz better."

Here are just a few of the highlights of the Jazz Fest's impressive lineup. For a complete schedule of Festival events in Chicago on September 28 and 29, visit HydeParkJazzFestival.org.

Gerald Clayton Trio

7 p.m. Saturday, Logan Center Performance Hall

Young pianist and composer Gerald Clayton has established himself as a leading figure in the new generation of jazz artists. He has three albums as a leader--several studio projects as a sideman--and has performed worldwide. Note: Free tickets are required for this performance, and will be available at the Logan Center box office starting at 5:30 p.m.

Ken Vandermark Ensemble, "Music of the Midwest School"

9:30 p.m. Saturday, Logan Center Performance Hall

Composer, arranger, multi-reedist and MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship winner, Ken Vandermark explores the music of Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton and Henry Threadgill--all of them jazz performers and composers who flourished in the Chicago area in the 1960s and 1970s.

Anat Cohen and Douglas Lora Duo

11 p.m. Saturday, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel

Israeli clarinetist Anat Cohen and Brazilian guitarist Douglas Lora team up for a late night duet at Rockefeller Chapel. Cohen has performed at Carnegie Hall and other major venues throughout the U.S., as well as in festivals all over the world. This past summer, she performed at the Ravinia Festival in a tribute to Benny Goodman. Her most recent album is Clarascuro. Douglas Lora, known as one of the most prominent Brazilian artists of his generation, is a member of the Brasil Guitar Duo (with Joao Luiz), and is the seven-string guitarist of the choro and samba band Caraivana and Trio Brasileiro.

Dee Alexander

7 p.m. Sunday, Wagner Stage on the Midway Plaisance

Alexander is a well-known Chicago jazz singer who also performs throughout Europe. Her repertoire includes virtually every music genre related to the African diaspora: gospel, blues, neo-soul, rhythm-and-blues and world music, although jazz is her primary mode of expression. Dee has had long associations with other members of Chicago's jazz elite, including Ramsey Lewis, Orbert Davis and Nicole Mitchell.

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TagsHyde Park Jazz Festival, Anat Cohen, Gerald Clayton, Ken Vandermark, Dee Alexander, Douglas Lora, University of Chicago, Rockefeller Chapel, Logan Center for the Arts