Hyde Park Jazz Fest welcomes 35 bands to 14 stages

AXS

by Jacqueline Runice

The Obama family’s old stomping grounds play host to more than 35 bands playing on 14 stages. That's over 18 hours of moving grooves, melancholy meditations and improvised glee during the 9th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival, September 26-27. Hundreds of fine jazz musicians including world-class headliners and local emerging artists converge upon some creative and unexpected indoor and outdoor cultural venues in the south side neighborhood. See the artists and hear their work at the Logan Art Center; Smart Museum; Little Black Pearl; Kenwood Academy Auditorium; Hyde Park Bank; International House; Oriental Institute; Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House; Rockefeller Chapel; Hyde Park Union Church; and outdoors at the historic Midway Plaisance.

You can also expect fun extras like an outdoor dance floor, artisan vendors, jazz-focused film and discussion programs and a oral histories project in which organizers hope festival goers will share their feelings and experiences with jazz.

Among the numerous aural options, don't miss the virtuosic trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire who can claim winner of both the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition and the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition. Ambrose performs his composition, banyan, for the Hyde Park Jazz Festival.

The New York Times described Henry Threadgill as "perhaps the most important jazz composer
of his generation" who has been known since the 1970s for leading ensembles with distinctive instrumentation. How about catching the foremost jazz violinist of her generation? Regina Carter has collaborated with Faith Evans, Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, and Dolly Parton. Other stand-outs performing at the free music festival include Mary Stallings and Bruce Barth and the Tomeka Reid Ensemble. Get a full schedule online.

Hours for the fest are Saturday, September 26, 1pm to midnight and on Sunday, September 27, 1p to 7pm.