Five Great—and Free—Jazz Shows This Month

From Glen Ellyn to Humboldt Park to Millennium Park, there’s free outdoor jazz all over town in the next two weeks.

Elisa Paloschi

Flutist and soprano saxophonist Jane Bunnett will perform at the Latin Jazz Festival on July 19.

Now that the suffocating humidity seems to have abated (at least for now), take advantage of the following outdoor jazz shows. From the DuSable Museum of African American History’s Sound of History Series to Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz—there’s a lot to look forward to:

July 13: Jazz in Glen Ellyn

Every town should try it. Shut down the main drag for one summer evening, dot the pavement with bistro tables and lush planter boxes, invite a few well-chosen Chicago artists to perform (the inventive drummer Paul Wertico, the veteran saxophonist Mark Colby, the luminous vocalist Dee Alexander) and turn downtown into an under-the-stars nightclub. 4pm. Free. Main Street between Crescent and Philadelphia. jazzinglenellyn.org.

July 16, 23, 30: Tuesdays on the Terrace

There’s more to hear on the back patio of the Museum of Contemporary Art than just the roaring hum of nearby Lake Shore Drive, namely the veteran saxophonist Jimmy Ellis (7/16), the up-and-coming Jazz Links All-Stars (7/23) and the venerable bassist Harrison Bankhead (7/30). All shows begin at 5:30pm. Free. 220 E. Chicago. mcachicago.org.

July 17: Sounds of History Series

A visit to the DuSable Museum of African American History is always worthwhile, but when this Washington Park gem is presenting the trio of singers Maggie Brown, Bobbi Wilsyn and Joan Collaso in a tribute to Nina Simone, Abby Lincoln and Nancy Wilson on the patio, it’s a must-do. 6pm. Free. 740 E. 56th. dusablemuseum.org.

July 19-20: Latin Jazz Festival

The Jazz Institute of Chicago’s annual soiree at the Humboldt Park Boathouse is once again a two-day affair designed to delight jazzheads, families and just about anyone with a pulse, with danceable performances from the likes of 92-year-old conga master Candido Camero, saxophonist and flutist Jane Bunnett and New York drummer Bobby Sanabria. Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 1pm. Free. 1400 N. Sacramento. jazzinchicago.org.

July 25: Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz The annual Thursday night series in Millennium Park kicks off with one of Chicago’s finest, as the versatile singer Dee Alexander (there she is again) heats up the city’s front yard with her tribute to Jimi Hendrix and James Brown entitled Funkin’ with Acoustic Soul. 6:30pm. Free. 120 E. Randolph. millenniumpark.org.

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