BY KYLE MACMILLAN | FOR SUN-TIMES MEDIA
Some cultural arts highlights to check out this week:
Fred Hersch is something of a living legend in the jazz world. “Floating,” the veteran pianist’s most recent recording with bassist John Hebert and drummer Eric McPherson reached No. 1 in sales on iTunes Jazz, No. 2 on Amazon Jazz and No. 5 on Billboard Jazz after its release in July. “Mr. Hersch has been making acclaimed trio releases since his debut album as a leader, 30 years ago. He hasn’t made one better than this,” wrote critic Nate Chinen in the New York Times. Hersch will perform solo concerts at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Constellation, 3111 N. Western. Tickets, $15-$20. www.constellation-chicago.com.
The 19th-annual Chicago Artists Month, a five-week celebration of the city’s creative energy, runs through Oct. 31, with more than 300 events across a range of disciplines, including visual art, dance, fashion, music, theater and culinary arts. Activities include performances, exhibitions, studio tours and neighborhood art walks and festivals. For a complete schedule, visit: chicagoartistsmonth.org. Among the events this week is “Alice” from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday beginning at the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. As part of this unusual, multi-disciplinary theatrical experience, groups of 15 audience members follow a white rabbit to various locations in the Andersonville neighborhood. Trips leave every 15 minutes. Tickets, $20. (773) 817-3956; upendedproductions.com.
Storm Large lives up to her name. The vocal dynamo, who gained national prominence as a 2006 finalist on the CBS show, “Rock Star: Supernova,” has enjoyed an unusually varied career, performing in clubs and symphony halls and touring with the “retro-chic” band, Pink Martini. Large shows off her variegated vocal artistry on her first album for Heinz Records, “Le Bonheur,” which ranges from classics like Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and Richard Rodgers’ “The Lady is a Tramp” to Black Sabbath’s “N.I.B.” and Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love.” Large will perform selections from the recording at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Avenue West. Tickets, $18 and $28. (312) 801-2100; promontorychicago.com.
In the world of dance, American Ballet Theatre needs little introduction. This longtime stalwart of the New York scene is an international company known its athleticism, vivacity and energy. As part of the 125th-anniversary celebration of the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress, ABT will present an all-American program at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The line-up of works from across the 20th century will consist of Twyla Tharp’s “Bach Partita” and “Sinatra Suite,” Clark Tippet’s “Some Assembly Required” and Jerome Robbins’ “Fancy Free,” an unquestioned American classic from 1944. Tickets, $34-$129. (800) 982-2787; auditoriumtheatre.org.
Latino Music Festival
Featuring music new and old from Latin America, Spain and Portugal, the 9th Latino Music Festival runs through December with concerts across the city. Among the upcoming events is a concert at 2 p.m. Saturday in Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago, featuring the Spektral Quartet and accordion and bandoneon virtuoso Julien Labro. They will perform selections from their soon-to-be-released album on Azica Records, “From This Point Forward,” in which they explore Tango Nuevo in the aftermath of Astor Piazzolla’s revelatory transformation of the form. Free with regular museum admission. (312) 443-3600; artic.edu. For a full schedule of festival events or other information: (312) 431-1330; latinomusicfest.org.
Kyle MacMillan is a local freelance writer.