Fred Anderson's 80th Birthday Tribute Festival: Fred Anderson, Jeff Parker, Tatsu Aoki, and Chad Taylor; Tatsu Aoki & Miyumi Project with Jeff Chan, Ed Wilkerson, Jimmy Ellis, Jeff Parker, and Avreeayl Ra; Chicago Clarinet Quartet | Fairs & Festivals | Chicago Reader

Fred Anderson's 80th Birthday Tribute Festival: Fred Anderson, Jeff Parker, Tatsu Aoki, and Chad Taylor; Tatsu Aoki & Miyumi Project with Jeff Chan, Ed Wilkerson, Jimmy Ellis, Jeff Parker, and Avreeayl Ra; Chicago Clarinet Quartet Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., March 20, 9 p.m. 2009

Tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson earned the honorific “the Lone Prophet of the Prairie” both for his singular style, which emphasizes long, winding solos and forceful rhythmic punctuation, and for his determination to stick it out in Chicago. During a dark time that lasted from the mid-70s to the early 90s, when he barely recorded and the folks who’d founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians with him left town in droves, Anderson persevered, hosting jam sessions and mentoring younger players like now-celebrated drummer Hamid Drake. Despite some health problems, the aughts have been good to him; he’s released 16 fine albums, been feted at New York’s Vision Festival, performed a concerto composed for him by Ken Vandermark with the Territory Band at Millennium Park, and kept his Velvet Lounge open despite the demolition of its original location on Indiana Avenue. But you only turn 80 once, and Anderson is making quite a party out of the occasion. Anderson’s big 80th birthday bash isn’t for another couple days, but he plays tonight with guitarist Jeff Parker, bassist Tatsu Aoki, and drummer Chad Taylor. The evening’s second set is Tatsu Aoki’s Miyumi Project with guests Jeff Chan, Ed Wilkerson, Jimmy Ellis, Jeff Parker, and Avreeayl Ra; opening is the Chicago Clarinet Quartet with special guest Jimmy Ellis. -Bill Meyer

Price: $35, $30 in advance

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