The country's greatest jazz musicians got to where they are by refusing to cut corners, such as auto-tuning their piano or writing out their "improvised" solo on a graphing calculator. Take in some good honest fun with this GrouponLive deal: for $18, you get two all-access tickets to Jazzin' at the Shedd, sponsored by Bank of America (up to a $36 value). Choose one of 11 performances, scheduled Wednesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. every week from June 27 to September 5.
Chicago's rich musical heritage bops on every week at Shedd Aquarium's Jazzin' at the Shedd series, as nationally known ensembles, many from the Chicagoland area, fill the summer with cool, hot, smooth, and rocking jams. Kicking off the season with the first of three appearances, Detour JazFunk (June 27, July 18, and August 29) brings a genre-melting improvised show built on a cornerstone of old-school R&B and funk, and Rio Bamba floats vocalist Maggie Vagle's bell-like staccato over classic Brazilian bossa nova and samba (July 4 and September 5). On July 11, Evanston composer and saxophonist Chris Greene, whose fresh, clean sax has backed such hip-hop and R&B superstars as Common and Sheena Easton, will lead his quartet through standards such as “Stompin' at the Savoy” and lesser-known pieces such as “My Foot is Caught in the Savoy’s Floor.” With an audacious, soaring alto praised by the Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich, the creamy-voiced Agnieszka Iwanska (August 1) performs groovy vocal acrobatics, and Petra van Nuis’s (August 15) Billie Holiday–esque croon has been heard all over the city, from the Green Mill to the Chicago Cultural Center.
All tickets include admission to Shedd staples, including the Abbot Oceanarium, Wild Reef, and Waters of the World exhibits. Encounter beluga whales and sea otters at the Abbot Oceanarium, or share a rueful chuckle at the dodo's demise with the penguins at the Polar Play Zone. Crystalline invertebrates lacking blood, bones, and brains sway their tentacles with the languid grace of a lobotomized maestro in the limited-run exhibit Jellies.
Chicago might be far from any ocean, but that obstacle didn't stop it from pioneering the first permanent inland saltwater aquarium in the country. Thanks to civic leader John G. Shedd’s drive and contribution of $3 million paid for nearly a million gallons of seawater transported by rail from Florida’s coast, by 1930 the city hosted exhibits large enough to accommodate a wide variety of marine species–sea mammals as well as fish.
Today, Shedd’s dream continues to thrive with the aquarium’s scores of undersea creatures—from sharks and dolphins to vibrant sea cucumbers—showcased in educational, eye-catching exhibits. The permanent collection spirits visitors from the Great Lakes to the Amazon River to the waters of the Arctic Circle. The resident critters often share their turf with temporary guests such as sea jellies and stingrays, who fill dramatic special exhibits.
The most exciting animal encounters, however, may come via the year-round aquatic show. Trainers demonstrate the natural behaviors of sea lions, dolphins, and even beluga whales. They have some four-legged company, too: a trio of rescue dogs often perform alongside their finned adoptive family, demonstrating how learning through positive reinforcement transcends boundaries between species.
My Chicago by Giuliana Rancic
E! News anchor and Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic was born in Italy but she has strong ties to Chicago—namely, her husband Bill, the Trump-approved entrepreneur and restaurateur behind RPM Italian. In the My Chicago by Giuliana Rancic collection, the star of Giuliana & Bill gives the scoop on her favorite local spots to get glammed up, be entertained in style, and even shop for Bill.