Afterfest jam sessions at the Chicago Jazz Festival 

Bobby Watson

Bobby Watson

Michael Jackson

When the music ends at the Jazz Festival, it's usually just starting somewhere else in the city. Last year's traditional jam sessions at the Velvet Lounge—always a highlight of the afterfest festivities—felt a little strange and sad without Fred Anderson working the door, but this year the Velvet too is gone. Still, plenty of worthwhile options remain each night, from loose jam sessions to full-blown concerts—far more than I'm listing here, where I've restricted myself to shows with a connection to the festival. (There's also one morning event: Delmark's annual jazz brunch at Jazz Record Mart.) This year the Jazz Showcase could be the hottest spot in town all weekend, since terrific alto saxophonist Bobby Watson (who plays with the Deep Blue Organ Trio in Millennium Park on Friday) is hosting the club's customary jams—and among the likely guests are the many Showcase regulars playing the fest, including Roy Hargrove, Ira Sullivan, Randy Weston, Joe Lovano, Ravi Coltrane, Maurice Brown, David Sanchez, and Stefon Harris.

Despite the loss of the Velvet, avant-garde jazz remains well represented. David Boykin hosts his annual Hereafter Festival at Heaven Gallery on Friday and Saturday, and New York bassist Henry Grimes and New Orleans saxophonist Edward "Kidd" Jordan, both regular fixtures at the Velvet's afterfest celebrations, play at various venues in various configurations (many of them involving large groups led by violinist Renee Baker). Elastic presents postfest music Friday and Saturday at the newly rehabbed Logan Square-Avondale Arts Center, and on Thursday and Sunday ad hoc bands drawn from the lineup of Mike Reed's Myth/Science Assembly play at Elastic and the Hungry Brain, respectively.

Thursday 9/1

Zach Brock Quintet 10 PM, Katerina's

Henry Grimes and Edward "Kidd" Jordan with members of Renee Baker's Chicago Modern Orchestra Project 9 PM, Brown Rice

Greg Ward, Mary Halvorson, Joshua Abrams, and Tomas Fujiwara; Taylor Ho Bynum, Nick Butcher, Jason Adasiewicz, and Tomeka Reid 10 PM, Elastic

Jam sessions hosted by Bobby Watson 8 PM, Jazz Showcase

Friday 9/2

Mwata Bowden, Douglas Ewart, Edward Wilkerson Jr., Avreeayl Ra, Tatsu Aoki, Khari B., and Edward "Kidd" Jordan 10:30 PM, Logan Square-Avondale Arts Center, 2810 N. Milwaukee, second floor, 773-772-3616

David Boykin Expanse 10 PM, Heaven Gallery

Ernest Dawkins Black Star Project 10 PM, L26, South Loop Hotel, 2600 S. State, 312-225-4545

Henry Grimes and Renee Baker's Chicago Modern Orchestra Project 8 PM, Defibrillator, 1136 N. Milwaukee, 773-485-6284

Jam sessions hosted by Bobby Watson 8 PM, Jazz Showcase

Saturday 9/3

Afterfest hosted by Mwata Bowden and Tatsu Aoki with Douglas Ewart and Hanah Jon Taylor 10:30 PM, Logan Square-Avondale Arts Center, 2810 N. Milwaukee, second floor, 773-772-3616

David Boykin Trio with Henry Grimes and Vincent Davis, Henry Grimes with Renee Baker's Chicago Modern Orchestra Project 10 PM, Heaven Gallery

Dave Gordon 6:30 PM, Katerina's

Jam sessions hosted by Bobby Watson 8 PM, Jazz Showcase

Sunday 9/4

Delmark Records Annual Jazz Brunch with Ari Brown, Corey Wilkes, Ernest Dawkins, Frank Catalano, Kirk Brown, Yosef Ben Israel, Avreeayl Ra, Dr. Cuz, and more 10 AM, Jazz Record Mart, 27 E. Illinois, 312-222-1467 F

Henry Grimes and members of Mantra Blue Free Orchestra 8 PM, Brown Rice

Taylor Ho Bynum, Ingrid Laubrock, Mary Halvorson, and Joshua Abrams; Greg Ward, Tomeka Reid, Nick Butcher, and Tomas Fujiwara 10 PM, Hungry Brain

Jam sessions hosted by Bobby Watson 8 PM, Jazz Showcase

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