I attended two excellent jazz events last week, jazz being one thing the Chicago music scene excels at (*).
The first was "Brazilian Nights" with Paulinho Garcia and some very talented NU jazz students, at the Regenstein Hall in the NU campus. Best live bossa nova since Eliane Elias's concert in Denmark a couple of years ago. Could not find any of the pieces from the concert I mention above (let me know if you trace Chega de Saudade in Paulinho Garcia's rendition anywhere) but check out Garcia in an amazing duet on Batida Diferente, one piece that well emphasizes both his guitar and vocal abilities.
The second was a super interesting fusion of gypsy jazz, chansons, latin & more-- indeed a "fantastic French-y performance" as they themselves call it-- by Paris La Nuit, at Katerina's. On their site you can directly listen to several nice pieces (try for instance J'ai Un Revolver, that rendition is superb). All the members of the quintet, format in which they played at Katerina's, are superlative on their own (though only the bassist markets herself properly), while they also almost perfectly synchronize within the team. A plus for Marielle, the talented lead singer and violinist: she's got the style and theatrical presence, something one might think a sine qua non in this business, but nonetheless pretty hard to come by... Way above my uninformed priors; I am sure I'll hear many good things about them in the near future. Check them out also in quartet format, interpreting Serge Gainsbourg's Le Poinçonneur des Lilas (with the risk of committing the sacrilège: despite that song launching Gainsbourg, I prefer Paris La Nuit's jazzy version)