The opening-night concert features Blue Son, a band with a style based on Afro-Cuban jazz and Cuban son (a song and dance form that is the root of salsa), along with Churchito Vald_s playing piano in the debut performance of his Quarteto Vald_s Latin Jazz Ensemble.
Other artists scheduled to perform include Eddie Palmieri, Manny Oquendo, Andy Gonzalez, Bobby Sanabria, and John Santos. The festival schedule features concerts, jam sessions, workshops, and panel discussions. An exhibit called Latin Jazz: La Perfecta Combinacion at the Chicago Historical Society, was not planned for the festival, but fits its theme perfectly.
The festival organizers hope to make Jazz En Clave‹the name refers to the two-bar musical pattern that forms the root of much Latin jazz‹a yearly event.