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Programming announced for virtual Chicago Jazz, World Music festivals

“These creative renditions of this year’s Jazz and World Music events will provide ways for people to enjoy the spirit of a Chicago festival season while prioritizing health and safety,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Musician Anjali Ray is among the Sept. 5 lineup for the virtual “Millennium Park at Home: Chicago Jazz.”
Musician Anjali Ray is among the Sept. 5 lineup for the virtual “Millennium Park at Home: Chicago Jazz.”
Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images

Programming for the 2020 “Millennium Park at Home: Chicago Jazz” series and the “Virtual World Music Festival Chicago” was announced Thursday by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

“Millennium Park at Home: Chicago Jazz” will be serving up four days of free online performances — newly recorded, produced and programmed in conjunction with the Jazz Institute of Chicago — from 4 to 8 p.m. Sept. 3-6. The series will also feature archival footage from previous festivals, including sets by Orbert Davis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Von Freeman and Clifford Jordan, Sun Ra Arkestra and the Ari Brown Quintet, among others.

“What is this Thing Called Jazz?,” the annual Jazz Festival lead-in showcase will be presented online from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 3 at facebook.com/jazzinchicago. This year’s panel of musicians and educators will feature drummer Paul Wertico, saxophonist Sharel Cassity, trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist Victor Garcia, pianist Alexis Lombré, and bassist Junius Paul.

The “Virtual World Music Festival Chicago” includes a series of free concerts featuring artists from around the globe from 1-3 p.m. every Sunday in September as part of World Music Month 2020.

“Music has long been our universal language and the common thread that ties people together across culture, time, and now, more than ever, physical distance,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “These creative renditions of this year’s Jazz and World Music events will provide ways for people to enjoy the spirit of a Chicago festival season while prioritizing health and safety. As the birthplace of gospel and house music, electric blues and modern jazz, Chicago’s sounds and melodies reflect the diversity and dynamism of the people and communities we all call home.”

Streaming for both festivals will be available via YouTube.com/ChicagoDCASE.

Jazz Series highlights include:

Thursday, September 3: Live the Spirit Residency presents: The Young Masters directed by Ernest Dawkins; Birdhouse presents: Mai Sugimoto Trio at Fred Anderson Park

Friday, September 4: AACM presents Tribute to Black Lives Matter; The South Side Jazz Coalition presents The Denise Thimes Quartet; Public Media Institute presents Preservation of Fire

Saturday, September 5: Kalapriya Foundation presents Anjali Ray; MCA Tuesday on the Terrace presents Isaiah Collier and The Chosen Few; Constellation presents Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things; Reggie Thomas and Trio Nexus

Sunday, September 6: The Hungry Brain presents the Josh Berman Quartet; 51st Street Business Association presents Bronzeville Jazz; The Jazz Showcase presents Dee Alexander

World Music Festival highlights include:

Sunday, September 6:

— Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music: the annual celebration of Indian classical music programmed this year with People of Rhythm, recorded at the Chicago Cultural Center; includes a centennial tribute to Ravi Shankar)

Sunday, September 13:

— Afro-Diáspora y Folklore: programmed with and recorded at Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center; Chicago-based music groups celebrate the Afro-Latin folkloric musical traditions of some of the city’s Latin American communities.

Sunday, September 20:

— Anam Mór: programmed with and recorded at Martyrs’; The Chicago-based traditional Irish supergroup led by master percussionist Jackie Moran features Laurence Nugent, Brendan Bulger and Jesse Langen.

Sunday, September 27:

— Chicago Immigrant Orchestra: recorded at Epiphany Center for the Arts; Fareed Haque and Wanees Zarour co-conduct a global lineup of Chicago-based artists.

“During these Years of Chicago Music, DCASE and our partners are committed to showcasing and lifting up the incredible musicians, organizations, and venues that comprise our diverse and legendary music scene,” said Mark Kelly, Commissioner of DCASE. “While celebrating Chicago’s rich music legacy, we will also welcome artists from across the globe virtually, because music has the power to unite us.”

The complete lineup for the jazz series is available at MillenniumPark.org; the lineup for World Music Fest enthusiasts is available at WorldMusicFestivalChicago.org