8:00 PM Friday, October 12, 2018
Ahmad Jamal’s prolific career has spanned seven decades since his landmark album At the Pershing: But Not for Me—recorded at the Pershing Hotel in Chicago—attracted the attention of Miles Davis and launched him to international fame. Jamal’s sound continues to evolve on his funky and spacious latest album, Marseille.
Azerbaijani pianist Shahin Novrasli opens with a solo performance that blends his country’s traditional mugham folk music with a host of jazz and baroque influences.
To be announced from stage.
Ahmad Jamal pianoShahin Novrasli piano
8:00 PM Friday, November 2, 2018
One of the most highly esteemed saxophonists performing today, NEA Jazz Master Branford Marsalis and his quartet play with a seemingly telepathic connection to one another. They return to Symphony Center with special guest trumpeter Roy Hargrove, whose bold and flexible tone has made him a star since his emergence in the early 1990s.
In an SCP commission commemorating the centennial of the World War I Armistice, Chicago contemporary ragtime pianist and composer Reginald R. Robinson will present a tribute to James Reese Europe, whose 369th Regiment “Hellfighters” first brought black American music to France during the war.
Branford Marsalis QuartetBranford Marsalis saxophones Roy Hargrove trumpet and flugelhorn
Reginald R. Robinson celebrates the great James Reese EuropeReginald R. Robinson piano
8:00 PM Friday, February 1, 2019
Saxophonist Joshua Redman’s strong tone and fluid approach match his wide palette of styles. Since his first album in 1993, which was soon followed by his first Orchestra Hall appearance in 1995, he has collaborated with a diverse array of musicians on everything from hard bop to jazz standards.
Israel-born clarinetist Anat Cohen brings elements of swing to a musical vision that embraces sounds from Brazil, Africa and the Middle East. With a tentet of horns, strings and percussion, Cohen expands on this sound and her global musical journey. This performance will include a Symphony Center co-commission of a concerto for solo clarinet and ensemble by Cohen’s longtime colleague Oded Lev-Ari.
Joshua Redman Quartet Joshua Redman saxophones Aaron Goldberg piano Reuben Rogers bass Gregory Hutchinson drums
Anat Cohen Tentet Anat Cohen clarinet
8:00 PM Friday, February 22, 2019
Inspired by the musical life of the Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer Ralph Ellison, Jazz in the Key of Ellison is a multimedia concert featuring music by Ellison’s favorite artists including Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and Thelonious Monk. This star-led evening includes Grammy® Award-winning trumpeter Nicholas Payton, R&B and jazz vocalist Will Downing, iconic Labelle singer Nona Hendryx and 2017 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz vocal competition winner Quiana Lynell with the Andy Farber Jazz Orchestra.
Will Downing vocals Nona Hendryx vocals Quiana Lynell vocals Nicholas Payton trumpet Andy Farber Jazz Orchestra
8:00 PM Friday, March 8, 2019
Enjoy a night of Latin jazz featuring two generations of Cuban masters. In his Symphony Center debut, 14-time Grammy® Award-winning clarinetist and saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera, a co-founder of the landmark ensemble Irakere, performs with his masterful quintet.
World-class Afro-Cuban hand percussionist Pedrito Martinez and Alfredo Rodríguez, a classically trained pianist and protégé of producer Quincy Jones, form a lively duo, exploring Cuban dance through a modern jazz lens.
Paquito D'Rivera Quintet Paquito D'Rivera clarinet and saxophone
Pedrito Martinez & Alfredo Rodriguez Duo Alfredo Rodríguez piano Pedrito Martinez drums
8:00 PM Friday, March 15, 2019
Returning to Symphony Center in a special performance featuring influential guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and the group's new pianist Orrin Evans, The Bad Plus draws from a wide range of influences to create compelling original songs and reinventions of hits by artists such as Blondie, Nirvana and Black Sabbath.
José James’ smooth baritone voice and coolly assertive delivery have made him “one of the suavest vocal improvisers on the scene” (Pitchfork). He makes his Symphony Center debut with a tribute to superstar R&B singer-songwriter Bill Withers.
The Bad Plus Orrin Evans piano Reid Anderson bass David King drums Kurt Rosenwinkel guitar
Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers José James vocals
8:00 PM Friday, April 12, 2019
The 25th anniversary of the Symphony Center Presents Jazz series celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Monterey Jazz Festival by bringing this touring ensemble of today’s young all-stars to our stage. Two-time Grammy® Award-winner Cécile McLorin Salvant, called “the finest jazz singer to emerge in the last decade” by The New York Times, returns to Symphony Center to star alongside Chilean-born saxophonist Melissa Aldana, trumpeter and singer-songwriter Bria Skonberg, and drummer and vocalist Jamison Ross. Musical director and pianist Christian Sands leads this incredible ensemble from one of the world’s greatest jazz festivals.
Cécile McLorin Salvant vocals Melissa Aldana tenor saxophone Yasushi Nakamura bass Bria Skonberg trumpet Jamison Ross drums Christian Sands musical director and piano
8:00 PM Friday, May 3, 2019
Iconic keyboardist, composer and bandleader Chick Corea, a 22-time Grammy® Award-winner and NEA Jazz Master, teams up with banjo innovator Béla Fleck, himself a 14-time Grammy® Award-winner, for a collaboration between two globally minded virtuosos. Through their compositions, the duo’s combined love for jazz, bluegrass and flamenco shines through.
Chick Corea pianoBéla Fleck banjo
8:00 PM Friday, May 24, 2019
Pianist Jason Moran, a 2010 MacArthur Fellow with a command of jazz history that seems to flow from his fingertips, returns to Symphony Center for a performance of Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration, a Symphony Center Presents Jazz series premiere. For this ambitious project, Moran and his wife, mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran, weave together a broad spectrum of musical styles to tell the story of the African-Americans who relocated from the South and how their journey shaped American culture.
Jason Moran piano Alicia Hall Moran mezzo-soprano Pastor Smokie Norful piano and vocals Imani Winds Kenwood Academy Jazz Band Joseph Joubert musical directorAdditional Artists to be Announced
8:00 PM Friday, June 7, 2019
NEA Jazz Master Wayne Shorter is one of the most revered saxophonists and influential jazz composers of all time. His signature tone and improvisational genius stand at the center of his quartet, which has been performing together for more than 18 years. Of their last performance at Symphony Center, the Chicago Tribune said “These weren't straightforward renditions of a band’s working repertory so much as occasions for crafting abstract portraits in sound.”
Wayne Shorter saxophones Danilo Pérez piano John Patitucci bass Brian Blade drums