(Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune) Practically every weekend this fall has seen another jazz festival – or closely related event – blossoming in Chicago’s neighborhoods.
The Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Asian American Jazz Festival, World Music Festival and Chicago Guitar Festival all have presented important concerts in superb venues to attentive audiences. In so doing, each has offered a welcome alternative to the gigantism and poor production values of the long-suffering Chicago Jazz Festival.
But the boldest festival of them all kicks off Wednesday and runs through Sunday night. During the course of nearly 20 sets, the Umbrella Music Festival will bring the most innovative ideas in jazz to high-profile spots such as the Chicago Cultural Center and grass-roots clubs such as the Hideout and the Hungry Brain.