11/07/2012 06:10 pm ET

Chicago's Umbrella Music Festival Guide 2012

In 2012 the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events has made all kinds of blunders—shit-canning the Music Without Borders series, eliminating the majority of the live music at the Chicago Cultural Center for most of the year, allowing bureaucratic hokeypokey to compromise the World Music Festival—but it was smart enough to keep hosting European Jazz Meets Chicago, the mini fest that kicks off the annual Umbrella Music Festival.

This year European Jazz Meets Chicago, featuring players from nine European countries alongside top-notch locals, is Wed 11/7 and Thu 11/8 at the Cultural Center, and the fest continues through Sun 11/11 with concerts at the three regular Umbrella Music venues: Elastic, which hosts improvised ­music on Thursdays; the Hideout, which hosts the Immediate Sound series on Wednesdays; and the Hungry Brain, which hosts the Transmission series on Sundays.

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