The fall seasons looks so rich for jazz and related genres that these must be considered the highlights of the highlights:
The rising Chicago trumpeter leads a septet for the 2012 Hyde Park Jazz Festival Gala. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday (with performance starting at 7:30 p.m.) at the University of Chicago's Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St.; $200; 773-324-6926 or hydeparkjazzfestival.org.
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915 E 60th St, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
806 S Plymouth Ct, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
50 W Congress Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
1200 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
220 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60604, USA
1490 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201, USA
1901 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602, USA
2830 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60618, USA
A widely admired pianist, Hersch has performed infrequently in Chicago, which makes this opportunity to hear him leading his trio in a first-class listening room a major event. 8 and 10 p.m. Sept. 20 through 22; 4, 8 and 10 p.m. Sept. 23; at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Court; $20-$25; 312-360-0234 or jazzshowcase.com.
A saxophonist of increasing expressive breadth and musical depth, Coltrane returns to Chicago in support of his profound debut on Blue Note Records, "Spirit Fiction." 8 and 10 p.m. Sept. 27 through 29; 4, 8 and 10 p.m. Sept. 30; at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Court ; $20-$25; 312-360-0234 or jazzshowcase.com.
Hyde Park Jazz Festival
A great event that becomes richer each season, this year's festival will feature more than 170 musicians in 17 venues, including Miguel Zenon, Wycliffe Gordon, Dee Alexander, Eric Schneider, Jason Adasiewicz, Mwata Bowden, Greg Ward and Bobby Lewis. 1 to 11:45 p.m. Sept. 29 and 1 to 8 p.m. Sept. 30 in various locations; free; 773-324-6926 or hydeparkjazzfestival.org.
As singer-pianist and archivist, Feinstein has performed invaluable service to the Great American Songbook. He'll appear with Jeff Lindberg's Chicago Jazz Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 W. Congress Parkway; $32-$92; 800-982-2787 or auditoriumtheatre.org.
The singer-bassist's diaphanous art is best heard in intimate surroundings, which is why her summer concert at the Ravinia Festival proved disappointing. This time, she'll be heard in a rare club engagement. 8 p.m. Oct. 1-3 at City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph St.; $55-$100; 312-733-9463 or citywinery.com.
"The Great Flood"
The Symphony Center Presents Jazz series kicks off with a major opus: Bill Morrison's film about the 1927 Mississippi River flood, with original accompaniment performed by guitarist Bill Frisell and colleagues. 8 p.m. Oct. 12 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.; $23-$54; 312-294-3000 or cso.org.
Billy Strayhorn Festival
A weekend's worth of events will include a screening of the documentary film "Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life" at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26; Terell Stafford Quintet performing "This Side of Strayhorn" at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27; and Stafford with Victor Goines, Tammy McCann, Victor Garcia and Ernie Adams at 3 p.m. Oct. 28; at the Music Institute of Chicago's Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston; ticket prices vary; 847-905-1500, ext. 108 or music inst.org.
Umbrella Music Festival
The seventh annual event brings together creative improvisers from the United States and across Europe, with two free kick-off concerts Nov. 7 and 8 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.; plus performances Nov. 9 at Elastic, 2830 N. Milwaukee Ave.; Nov. 10 at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave.; and Nov. 11 at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont Ave.; umbrellamusic.org.