Musicians tune in to Hyde Park Jazz Festival

Hyde Park Herald

by Allison Matyus

The 10th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival features about 200 musicians on its diverse lineup scattered over 13 stages with 34 shows. Some of those 200 musicians are South Side locals who are honored to play in their own backyard.

Victor Goines is a clarinetist and saxophonist who has played at local venues such as Room 43, 1043 E. 43rd St., and is a resident of the Kenwood neighborhood, but his roots are tied to his hometown of New Orleans.

“Chicago is that completion of a triangle of jazz between New Orleans, Chicago and New York,” he said.

He said that his style of jazz music has a historical perspective to it as he incorporates all different styles from all different time periods into his sound.

“I’m very into understanding the history of the music in order to move jazz into the future,” Goines said. “Jazz itself could be more vibrant and visible, but it is not dead. The Hyde Park Jazz Festival and the Hyde Park Jazz Society proves that jazz is not dying…. it’s being celebrated.”

Goines will be closing out the festival on Sunday, Sept. 25 during his 6 p.m. set at the Wagner Stage on the Midway. As a first time performer at the festival, Goines said this is a special honor.

“I’m very thrilled to be playing at the festival,” he said. “It’s like coming home and playing for your family, and for a musician that’s important, because I play 200 concerts per year around the world, but the number I get to do at home is only a fraction of that,” Goines said.

The celebration of jazz in Hyde Park is always a two-day event, and saxophonist and composer Greg Ward is excited to play his slot on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 4:45 p.m. at the West Stage on the Midway.

Ward will be joined by his band, 10 Tongues, to perform “Touch My Beloved’s Thought,” which was originally commissioned for a performance at Millennium Park last summer. Ward has since played the piece numerous times, but said it is almost always different.

“Every time we have the opportunity to perform this piece, the music kind of takes a new shape and the band-even though it’s a larger group-works like a small ensemble in the sense that there’s a lot of flexibility in the arrangements which allows new things to happen every time,” he said. “I’m very excited to see what’s going to happen when we hit the stage.”

Ward describes his musical style as honest and personal.

“I’m an explorer of sound and I am very interested in sounds and melodies and rhythms form all over the world and interpreting them personally,” he said. “Creating something that is honest is important to me.”

He said that although he works with many different groups aside from 10 Tongues, different opportunities pose different flexibilities.

“That, to me, is when you really start to make some music that people can move to,” Ward said.

See Ward and Goines and the other talented musicians during the Hyde Park Jazz Festival on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 1 p.m. until midnight, and on Sunday, Sept. 25 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. For a full schedule and lineup, visit hydeparkjazzfestival.org.

a.matyus@hpherald.com