Here Are the 2013 Chicago Jazz Festival’s Five Most Exciting Acts

The festival isn’t happening until the end of summer, but a newly announced lineup is good enough to make plans now.

Photo: Courtesy of Robert Glasper

Robert Glasper, pianist in the Robert Glasper trio, performs in Milennium Park on September 1.

The first 80-degree week of the year may seem an odd time to be thinking about the end of summer, but jazz fans have plenty to look forward to—the full 2013 Chicago Jazz Festival lineup was just unveiled.

As if the acts weren’t buzz-worthy enough, the venue is worth a mention, too: The Labor Day weekend fest will take place entirely in and around Millennium Park for the first time.

Here are some highlights to look forward to:

August 29: Jack DeJohnette

This previously announced Made in Chicago concert doubles as opening night of the Fest, as the Chicago-born drummer celebrates his 70th birthday with an all-star roster of past collaborators, including Muhal Richard Abrams, Larry Gray, Roscoe Mitchell and Henry Threadgill.
 

August 30: Wadada Leo Smith

The trumpeter and composer plays excerpts from his “Ten Freedom Summers” suite, a finalist for this year’s Pulitzer Prize.
 

August 31: Hamid Drake Quartet

As this year’s artist-in-residence, the percussionist will be popping up all over the park throughout this year’s Fest, but this afternoon set with Kidd Jordan, William Parker and Cooper Moore looks especially promising.
 

August 31: Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Gamak; Jason Moran’s Fats Waller Dance Party

Even if Moran’s set is a rerun of the program he brought to Symphony Center at the end of last season, the chance to hear two of the most innovative voices in jazz music in back-to-back sets at the Pritzker is one not to be missed.
 

September 1: Robert Glasper Trio

The pianist (pictured above) has edged further and further into hip-hop and R&B with each successive visit to Chicago over the past several years, bringing sorely needed new ears and new demographics to the jazz scene.

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