• ChicagoJazz.com

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Rolls Out Three New Programs for 2021!



The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (CJP) continues to generate new programs, despite the ever-changing circumstances of COVID19. Keeping education at the core of their work, CJP’s Jazz Academy now features two new opportunities for its young musicians. The first is the newly formed Student Leadership Council, a professional development and mentorship program for students, ages 14-18 who are enrolled in CJP’s Jazz Academy program. Participants meet each month with members of the CJP staff to help develop youth-inspired programs for the Jazz Academy and are matched with veteran musician mentors including saxophonists Ari Brown and Mwata Bowden, CJP drummer Ernie Adams, CJP Concertmaster Zara Zaharieva, and Jazz Academy alum Kevin King. Two group mentoring meetings will be led by Jon Faddis and Robert Irving III.



Leaning into the geographical boundary-bashing benefits of virtual programming, CJP will launch the second new addition to Jazz Academy, the International Masters of Improvisation Workshop series, on January 30, 2021. The 5-session series will explore the many ways in which Latin Jazz artists approach improvisation. Featured presenters include Latin jazz greats Miguel Zenon, Victor Garcia, Jane Bunnett, Danae Olano, John Santos and others. In addition to the grades 6-12 students already enrolled in Jazz Academy, CJP has invited students from Mexico, Puerto Rico and Argentina to participate. High school students from across the United States can also register for the workshops. The program is designed to build cross-cultural bridges while bringing Latin music to the forefront, and delving into the world of improvisation through a different culture’s roots. Each interactive session will include 60 minutes of bi-lingual instruction including opportunities for participating students to meet and interact with the presenter and each other.

Responding to the absence of a normal concert season, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic has relied on its many relationships in the world of jazz and beyond to find new ways to engage their audience.


One outcome is a new podcast series, JazzCast, featuring conversations with guest presenters from CJP’s two-week virtual Summer Jazz Academy in July. CJP Co-Founder and Artistic Director Orbert Davis, Board Member Lesley Picchietti and Interim Executive Director Lauren Deutsch sit down with music legends, rising stars, and a civil rights icon to share the lessons learned along the way, and the moments that defined their direction. The first three episodes feature Timuel Black, Jon Faddis, and Franklin Vanderbilt and are available now on Spotify and YouTube. New episodes are released at the beginning of each month and will feature Pinqy Ring, Robert Irving III, B. Lilly, Howard Levy, and more.


Chicago Jazz Philharmonic continues its cross-genre collaboration with Chicago Immigrant Stories III: The Culinary Edition this spring. This edition expands on the mixing of different musical ingredients to look at the ways in which culinary traditions define our immigrant stories. This approach recognizes that food, like music is at the heart of our human experience, and the two things we are most likely to share when we come together in normal times. The virtual edition melds the organization’s definitive ‘third-stream’ performances with ethnic and folk music in new and unexpected ways. Featured artists are Tatsu Aoki (Japan), Geraldo De Oliveira and De De Sampaio (Brazil), and Ivan Smilo (Ukraine). In addition to a culminating live stream broadcast performance on June 12, 2021, this third iteration will include live-streamed artist profiles and an interactive website that invites everyone to read and share their family’s immigrant story.


International Masters of Improvisation Workshop DATE: Final Saturday every month, January - May TIME: 3:15 – 4:15PM CST, LOCATION: online, virtual MORE INFO


JazzCast DATE: New episodes released monthly Platform: Spotify, YouTube MORE INFO


Chicago Immigrant Stories III Artist Profiles March 13, April 10, and May 15, 2021. Culminating live stream broadcast performance June 12, 2021 LOCATION: online, virtual MORE INFO