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Chicago’s Best, Jazz, Folk, Country, and World Music Shows in March

See Wynton Marsalis, the Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet, John Prine, and more big acts next month.

Wynton Marsalis (seen on New Year’s Eve in 2013) brings a big band to play at Symphony Center on March 28.   Photo: Luigi Beverelli

Folk, Country, World

Robbie Fulks

3/3 at 7 A formidable guitarist, singer, and irreverent jokester, Fulks lights up the Hideout with his weekly show. $10 suggested donation. The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia, hideoutchicago.com


John Prine

3/14 at 8 The songwriter’s songwriter Prine was born in Maywood, Illinois. The folk legend’s story begins at the Old Town School of Folk Music, where he took guitar lessons in the 1960s before being plucked from Chicago’s revivalist scene by no less than Kris Kristofferson. His 1971 self-titled debut for Atlantic is considered one of the most influential folk records of all time. And today, with more than 20 albums and four decades performing, it seems nothing can slow down the sexagenarian, not even the surgery he had for lung cancer in December. Lauded contemporary Iris DeMent joins him for a night of songs, stories, and—given Prine’s knack for a lyrical wink—a load of guffaws. $49.50–$85. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. etix.com

George Strait

3/8 at 7:30 George Strait became the King of Country when he ousted the late, great Conway Twitty as the top-selling country artist of all time. Be sure to catch him at this stop on his Cowboy Rides Away tour, which he says is his last go at the touring rodeo. $74–$95. Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim. ticketmaster.com



Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet

3/7 at 7:30 Winner of DownBeat magazine’s 2012 Critics’ Poll for Best Jazz Trumpeter, Akinmusire leads this quintet as it plays songs from their latest contemporary jazz album, The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier to Paint, to be released this month. $5–$35. Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E 60th. chicagopresents.uchicago.edu


3/1 at 9:30 Wadada Leo Smith, Douglas Ewart, and Mike Reed. Constellation regular Reed, trumpeter Smith, and reeds player Ewart unite for a night of free jazz. $15.
3/3 at 9:30 Fred Frith. The rock guitarist with a penchant for improvisation makes a pit stop in Chicago, his first in more than 16 years. $15.
3/14 at 9:30 Matt Ulery’s Loom. Some talented local musicians—including Rob Clearfield on piano, Marquis Hill on trumpet, and Ulery on double bass—team up to perform acoustic post-bop. $8.
3/21 at 9:30 Nils Frahm. The Berlin pianist mixes electronic bloops and bleeps with his more traditional fare. Up-and-coming London singer-songwriter Douglas Dare also performs. $15–$18.
3111 N Western. constellation-chicago.com

Green Mill

3/1 at 8 Donny McCaslin Group. As his most recent album, 2012’s Casting For Gravity, demonstrated, the tenor saxophonist favors ambient, almost fusion -style sounds. $15.
3/8 at 8 Chris Greene Quartet. The Chicago saxophonist celebrates the release of his latest album, Music Appreciation. $12.
Critic’s Pick 3/14 at 9 Chévere. The local Latin jazz band has been regaling the city with its dizzying, percussive style of music for more than thirty years. Get there early. It will pack the place. $15.
Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N Broadway. greenmilljazz.com


Jazz Showcase

3/6 at 8 and 10 Bobby Lewis Quintet. Longtime trumpeter Bobby Lewis performs.
3/27–30 Benny Green Trio. Last time the Berkeley-born hard-bop pianist Green played here, in May, he performed original material from his new album, Magic Beans. Catch an encore tonight. $30–$45.
806 S Plymouth. jazzshowcase.com

The Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60

3/23 at 5 and 8 Jazz cats, including clarinetist Anat Cohen and double bassist Larry Grenadier, celebrate the seminal festival’s 60th year with an intimate bash. $38–$40. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln. oldtownschool.org

Pat Metheny Unity Group

3/11 at 8 With the addition of multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi, the Grammy-award-winning quartet, headed by guitar veteran Pat Metheny, expands its sound significantly. Look out for the group’s latest album, Kin. $38–$75. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. cso.org

Wynton Marsalis

3/28 at 8 Two months after his older brother Branford played the same venue, the famous trumpeter comes to Symphony Center with his big band Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra brethren in tow. $60–$145. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. cso.org


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