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

Music
Jazz

Floating Points
Floating Points Photo: Louise Haywood Schiefer

CLARK SOMMERS’s BA(SH)

5/11 at 9:30 After years as an opener, Clark Sommers formed a new trio known as Ba(sh), featuring drummer Dana Hall and reedist Geof Bradfield. The band quickly built a set fueled by playful improvisation and muscular, charismatic flair. Expect a preview of material slated for their next record, currently in the works. Free. Constellation, 3111 N. Western. constellation-chicago.com

 

FLOATING POINTS

5/7 at 9 Before dropping his debut album, Elaenia, in November, English DJ Sam Shepherd spent five years demoing it across the globe. Along the way, he built a rabid fan base and stunning live show around his jazz-infused electronic compositions. $20–$23. Metro, 3730 N. Clark. metrochicago.com

RENÉ MARIE

5/20 at 8 Powerhouse vocalist René Marie may have broken out in her 40s, but that hasn’t stopped her from amassing near-infinite plaudits. Here, Marie toasts Sarah Vaughan with guest stars Dee Alexander, Ann Hampton Callaway, and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. $24–$43. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. cso.org

FAY VICTOR AND TYSHAWN SOREY

5/14 at 8:30 Singer and educator Fay Victor is known for a range that spans opera, blues, and jazz—a vocal dexterity that’s earned her spots alongside the likes of jazz drummer Mike Reed. Constellation, 3111 N. Western. constellation-chicago.com

WAYNE SHORTER QUARTET

5/27 at 8 After 40 years away from jazz label Blue Note Records, saxophonist Wayne Shorter made waves when he returned with 2013’s Without a Net. The album mixes live recordings from Shorter’s last European tour with a 23-minute opus as stunning as anything he penned in the ’60s. $38–$135. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. cso.org

 

ZELIENOPLE

5/13 at 8:30 Not quite ambient and not quite pure jazz, Zelienople’s droning vocals and sputtering cymbals fit perfectly in Chicago’s increasingly avant-garde jazz scene. $10. Constellation, 3111 N. Western. constellation-chicago.com

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