The most inspiring moment in last weekend's Hyde Park Jazz Festival occurred as the event was winding down. With Saturday's attractions having come and gone, Chicago drummer and visual artist Mikel Patrick Avery on Sunday afternoon offered the world premiere of his "Parade," which opened as a New Orleans-style second line procession, evolved into a collective improvisation on the festival's west stage dance floor and concluded with the musicians parading off into the distance. During several moments, there was almost no distinction between performers and audience, the two groups interacting and intermingling, a communal jazz gathering if ever there were one.
Chicago's best jazz festival energized a city neighborhood over the weekend, drawing large crowds to an ancestral home of the music: the South Side.
Once again, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival — in its ninth year — showed how a great jazz soiree unfolds, with performances across the University of Chicago campus and beyond. Here's one listener's diary of Saturday concertgoing (the event ends Sunday):