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The best things to do in Chicago this month,
selected by our culture criticsFebruary 2016

Music
Jazz

Ambrose Akinmusire
Ambrose Akinmusire Photo: Autumn DeWilde/Courtesy of the artist
 

AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE

2/20 at 8:30 AND 10:00 At 33, the trumpeter has nabbed more honors than most players do in a lifetime (Thelonious Monk and Carmine Caruso competition wins, a spot on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, and innumerable plaudits from jazz critics), and his lightning-fast playing has only gotten more airtight with age. $15–$20. Constellation, 3111 N. Western. ticketfly.com

CHRISTIAN McBRIDE TRIO

2/19 at 8 The Grammy-winning jazz bassist’s trio joins four-mallet vibraphonist Gary Burton, trumpeter Sean Jones, and saxophonist Tia Fuller (of Beyoncé’s touring band), all of whom release music under the Detroit imprint Mack Avenue. Local pianist Willie Pickens opens. $24–$76. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. cso.org

BILL FRISELL

2/18 at 8 Jazz guitar’s preeminent freak of nature brings his instrument-as-symphony style back to Chicago, this time behind When You Wish upon a Star, an album of film and television themes (Psycho, The Godfather). $33–$35. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln. oldtownschool.org

REBIRTH BRASS BAND

2/27–28 You may know this New Orleans big band from HBO’s post-Katrina drama Treme, but the ensemble has released 16 LPs since its 1983 inception, all showcasing Rebirth’s stock blend of second-line music, funk, soul, and hip-hop. $25–$46. 2/27: SPACE, 1245 Chicago, Evanston. 2/28: The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park. ticketweb.com

JOHN SCOFIELD AND JOE LOVANO

2/5 at 7 and 9:30 In the wake of 2008’s two-decades-in-the-making Asian and Australian reunion tour, Grammy-strapped saxophonist Joe Lovano and guitarist John Scofield hit North America with a new ensemble featuring Ben Street on bass and Bill Stewart on drums. $28–$56. SPACE, 1245 Chicago, Evanston. ticketweb.com

CHES SMITH

2/24 at 8:30 The drummer and percussionist teams up with pianist Craig Taborn and violist Mat Maneri to debut The Bell, a piece that’s more of a musical playground for the three star improvisers than a full-on composition. $12–$15. Constellation, 3111 N. Western. ticketfly.com

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