Meet four rising jazz stars who are bellowing their way out of the local fringe and into the big time.
Photograph: Hayley Murphy
1. JABARI LIU Highflying 19-year-old alto saxophonist Jabari Liu complements his formal musical education at Columbia College with lessons learned at the Velvet Lounge, where Fred Anderson and Ernest Dawkins school him in improvisation. Beyond picking up notes and technique, the South Sider hopes to absorb the Chicago Sound, a feeling and an attitude absent from textbooks. “It’s an honor to play this music in a town that has so much history,” says Liu. Catch him: with Corey Wilkes’s 5th Element on Dec. 8th and 9th at The Green Mill (4802 N. Broadway).
2. COREY WILKES Any serious conversation about ascendant stars of Chicago jazz begins with 27-year-old Corey Wilkes. “The camaraderie among Chicago musicians is not something that you find in a lot of other cities,” says the Hyde Park native. A daring trumpet soloist whose virtuosity is rivaled by his abundance of musical ideas, Wilkes honors jazz history while taking unexpected detours into electronica, hip-hop, and hard funk. Catch him: at Kind of Miles: A Tribute to Miles Davis on Nov. 3rd at Austin Town Hall Park (5610 W. Lake St.) or with 5th Element on Dec. 8th and 9th at The Green Mill.
3. DAVE MILLER Like fellow guitarists Jeff Parker and Fareed Haque, Dave Miller, 24, thinks beyond a single genre. “There are a lot of musicians in Chicago writing great creative music,” says the Wheaton native, “and, just as important, live venues that welcome it.” See Miller interpret the standards in the trio Birdhouse, shred his way through hard-driving bop with Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls, or scramble jazz and indie rock with his band Algernon. Catch him: with Algernon on Nov. 15th at Tonic Room (2447 N. Halsted St.) or with Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls on Nov. 20th at Morseland (1218 W. Morse Ave.).
4. FRANK ROSALY In many ensembles, the drummer beats away in anonymity. The exceptions to this rule drive the music in unexpected directions. The dexterous Frank Rosaly, 32, who hails from Arizona, is just such a player, putting his skills to good use in the aggressive Rempis Percussion Quartet with young veterans Dave Rempis, Anton Hatwich, and Tim Daisy. Catch him: with Paul Giallorenzo and Jason Stein on Nov. 2nd at Elastic (2830 N. Milwaukee Ave.) or with Dave Rempis on Nov. 10th at Ice Factory (526 N. Ashland Ave.).