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Chicago Jazz Festival lineup includes tributes to Nat King Cole, Jazz Institute

The career and music of the legendary Nat "King" Cole will be celebrated at the 2019 Chicago Jazz Festival. | AP

Tributes to the legendary Nat “King” Cole and the 50th anniversary of the Jazz Institute of Chicago are among the headliner highlights of the 41st annual Chicago Jazz Festival it was announced Tuesday by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

The 10-day free fest running Aug. 23 – Sept. 1 at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington) and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park will also offer free performances at neighborhood clubs and venues August 23 to 29.

The tribute to Cole will feature his brother Freddy Cole on Sept. 1, while the celebration of the renown Jazz Institute of Chicago, the longtime official programming partner for the festival, will take place Aug. 29. Both events are at the Pritzker Pavilion.

“The Chicago Jazz Festival has become a celebrated staple of our city’s cultural life and a highlight of our summer season,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a prepared statement. “This year’s celebration of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, along with a lineup of legendary innovators, homegrown icons and new stars promises to thrill and inspire music lovers from Chicago and around the globe.”

Cécile McLorin Salvant is among the headliners at this year’s Chicago Jazz Festival. | Provided
Cécile McLorin Salvant is among the headliners at this year’s Chicago Jazz Festival. | Provided

Performances at the Pritzker pavilion include: Cécile McLorin Salvant (whose April 12 concert at Symphony Center was canceled due to a strike by CSO musicians), Christian McBride, Eddie Palmieri, the Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet, George Freeman and Billy Branch and Latino-America Unidas with Miguel Zenon, Antonio Sanchez, Melissa Aldana and David Virelles, among others.

“Celebrating Chicago’s music legacy, we will honor Nat King Cole, the Jazz Institute of Chicago, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, and many of our great musicians as we welcome artists from across the globe,” said Mark Kelly, DCASE Commissioner.

The full schedule and participating music venue locations will be announced at a later date.

Heres’ the lineup for the Jay Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park:

THURSDAY AUG. 29

6:30–7:25 p.m. Jazz Institute of Chicago’s 50th Anniversary

7:45–9 p.m. Tribute to Nat King Cole featuring Freddy Cole

FRIDAY AUG. 30

4:15–5:05 p.m. George Freeman and Billy Branch

5:25–6:10 p.m. Joel Ross

6:25–7:25 p.m. Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet

7:45–9 p.m. Art Ensemble of Chicago

Eddie Palmieri and his Sextet will close out the 2019 Chicago Jazz Festival at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion on Sept. 1. | Provided
Eddie Palmieri and his Sextet will close out the 2019 Chicago Jazz Festival at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion on Sept. 1. | Provided

SATURDAY AUG. 31

4:15–5:05 p.m. Ben Wendel Seasons

5:25–6:10 p.m. Ryan Cohan’s Originations

6:25–7:25 p.m. Christian McBride

7:45–9 p.m. Cécile McLorin Salvant

SUNDAY SEPT. 1

4:15–5:05 p.m. Dave Rempis Quartet

5:25–6:10 p.m. Camila Meza

6:25–7:25 p.m. Latino-America Unida

7:45–9 p.m. Eddie Palmieri Sextet

For more information, visit chicagojazzfestival.us.

FESTIVAL ORGANIZER’S NOTE: Festival hours for August 29 are noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center and 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Millennium Park. Aug. 30-Sept. 1, the festival will run in Millennium Park, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Before the evening concerts at the Pritzker Pavilion, performances can be heard throughout the day at the Von Freeman Pavilion on the South Promenade from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Jazz and Heritage Pavilion on the North Promenade featuring a wide range of artists from noon to 4 p.m. The Roof Top Jazz: Young Jazz Lions and NextGen Jazz stages will feature young, up-and-coming Chicago musicians Aug. 31-Sept. 1.