Ten years ago, a group of Hyde Park cultural activists led by James Wagner realized a dream long in the making: They created a jazz festival unlike any other that attracted throngs to the historic neighborhood.
For hours on end, listeners could stroll from one landmark venue to the next — among them Hyde Park Union Church, the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and the Midway Plaisance — to hear some of the world's greatest jazz musicians. For free.
Under the sharp curatorial ear of artistic director Kate Dumbleton, abetted by Hyde Park Jazz Society’s vivacious, indefatigable Judith Stein and a team of half a dozen effective women (plus nearly 300 volunteers), the ninth annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival proved once again to be a highlight in Chicago’s cultural calendar.
On Sept. 26–27, more than 40 jazz events in 14 locations energized the picturesque environs in and around the mile-long Midway Plaisance, six miles south of Chicago’s downtown Loop neighborhood.