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Esperanza Spalding
All hail: the woman who beat out Bieber.

She got some of the best reviews at Lolla this year, so we still can’t figure out why Lorde wasn’t a headliner. 



The flack the music extravaganza took for its male-dominated lineup won’t be an issue for the Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park on Labor Day weekend. 



Not only will women lead several big acts, they’re also some of the most buzzed-about performers on the schedule.


Here, the lady-run sets you definitely shouldn’t miss.

Esperanza Spalding: August 30 at 7:10 p.m. Spalding will play as part of trumpeter Tom Harrell’s Colors of a Dream band. Keep an ear on this unusual turn from the dynamic bassist/vocalist who beat out Justin Bieber for the Best New Artist Grammy in 2011--no matter which instrument she’s on, she’s a soulful player.

Tomeka Reid: August 31 at 12:30 p.m. The cello isn’t the first instrument that springs to mind when we think of jazz, but Chicagoan Reid can make that overgrown violin bop and weave through her brilliant original compositions. Reid’s music is challenging and contemporary but with plenty of swing.

Cécile McLorin Salvant: August 31 at 7:10 p.m. What does the future of jazz singing sound like? Catch this 24-year-old wunderkind’s closing-night set to find out. Hint: There’s a touch of Madeleine Peyroux, a dash of Nina Simone and a voice that’s ultimately striking and original.

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