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Headlining the Chicago Jazz Fest

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Orbert Davis

Orbert Davis, left, onstage at the Chicago Jazz Festival Saturday night in the Petrillo Music Shell at Grant Park.

Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

By all accounts, Orbert Davis knocked 'em dead at the 2011 Chicago Jazz Festival.

Davis, clinical associate professor of jazz studies in the department of theatre and music, was the festival's 2011 artist-in-residence, performing five times for the fest.

His Saturday evening appearance with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble gave the festival “its most gripping moments,” said Chicago Tribune arts critic Howard Reich.

The Chicago Sun-Times said Davis “took no prisoners with a blistering opening trumpet solo.”

Davis performed with ensembles from the jazz philharmonic, which he founded and directs. With him onstage at times were fellow faculty members and well-known Chicago jazz musicians Ernie Adams and Stewart Miller, plus UIC student Kedrick Pullum.

His most enthuasiastic audience, however, might have been the crowd at Sunday's performance of students from the UIC Jazz Academy, some of them as young as first-grade.

Their appearance featured a remake of Herbie Hancock's “Watermelon Man” with new lyrics: “I want a cheeseburger.”

Below: jamming with musicians from the CJP/UIC Jazz Academy.

Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

Orbert Davis with musicians from UIC Jazz Academy

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