Chicago Jazz

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Summer is in full swing, and with my newfound freedom from school, I was recently able to take advantage of yet another Chicago institution: the jazz scene.

Jazz has flourished in Chicago for decades, and today there are more than a handful of great players in the city.  Even better, seeing them is usually very straightforward.  There are a number of jazz clubs to visit in Chicago if you know where to look.

I recently visited The Jazz Showcase, a legendary landmark in the world of Chicago jazz.  The Jazz Showcase was founded in 1947 and is still run today by its original founder.  Jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, Joey DeFrancesco, and Count Basie have stopped there while on tour, along with countless others.  It’s definitely a hot spot for seeing national acts coming through Chicago.

The night I visited, I had the opportunity to catch a set played by Frank Caruso and his band.  Caruso is an incredibly talented, genius-level pianist.  He was simply a joy to watch, and he brought to life what I’ve always loved in listening to jazz: those moments in which a musician’s creativity and mastery of their craft results in music that is not only beautiful, but transcendent.  Several times throughout the set, I felt like I had been transported into another space.

Opportunities to see shows like this are a dime a dozen in Chicago.  It’s one of the advantages of living in a metropolitan city!