Three masters will light up Constellation

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"It's also a bit of a test of the people – like the musicians, the audiences: 'All right: Are you guys ready? … Are you guys ready to make this work?'

"I can keep the lights on to a certain extent. If people aren't ready for this, it doesn't matter.

"I think they've been meeting that," adds Reed. "I've seen it grow. I'm seeing a lot of younger musicians – musicians I might not have known about or known where to find – they're right in my building. I feel what their energy is and what they're doing to generate their audiences. …

"It's going pretty damn well. I can't ask it to go much better at this point."

Nor can we.

Also worth hearing

Bobby Broom: The masterful Chicago guitarist leads a trio with bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Makaya McCraven. 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4, 8 and 10 p.m. Sunday; at the Jazz Showcase, 806 St. Plymouth Court; $20-$35; 312-360-0234 or

Donny McCaslin: An imposing saxophonist who brings to the stage both brains and brawn, McCaslin leads a group that includes includes pianist Jason Lindner, electric bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Nate Wood. 9 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N. Broadway; $15; 773-878-5552 or

"Mardi Gras Carnival": Orbert Davis will lead the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble in music of New Orleans, with pianist Reginald Robinson and harmonic virtuoso Howard Levy as guest soloists. 8 p.m. Saturday at Governors State University's Center for Performing Arts, 1 University Parkway, University Park; $35 for concert; $25 additional for buffet dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday; 708-235-2222 or or

Joe Louis Walker: The veteran bluesman celebrates the release of his latest recording, "Hornet's Nest." 8 p.m. Saturday at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St.; $18-$22; 312-733-9463 or

To read more from Howard Reich on jazz, go to

Twitter @howardreich

Wadada Leo Smith, Douglas Ewart & Mike Reed

When: 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Where: Constellation, 3111 N. Western Ave.

Tickets: $15;

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