BACK ALLEY JAZZ
July 14, 2018, 2-8pm
S. Paxton between 73rd & 74th
Thank you to everyone who came together for Back Alley Jazz 2018.
Conceived as a one-day event in 2018, the project presented musicians, artists, and designers in backyards in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, creating a contemporary neighborhood happening that builds on and celebrates Chicago’s history of the neighborhood jam, as inspired by the original Jazz in the Alley events.
Throughout the afternoon guests were invited to hang out at the picnic area, enjoy food available for purchase from 3 J’s Restaurant, brush up on South Shore jazz history in the “Learning Lab” curated by SAIC graduate students, and participate in all-ages activities organized by the Hyde Park Art Center and at each of the installation/performance sites.
SCHEDULE & ARTISTS
2-2:20pm OPENING PROCESSION
Featuring Back Alley Jazz Grand Marshall and original Jazz in the Alley co-organizer Jimmy Ellis.
7330 S. paxton
2:30-3:30pm - "Nomadic portals" performance
The afternoon performances open with Nomadic Portals. This music and dance program celebrates the Diasporic history of jazz through a celebration of the music’s African roots and of the ways in which jazz has become a part of African influenced folk musics and rituals around the world. Listeners are invited to play percussive instruments along with performers while under the shade of the “Big Tree”--a traditional African gathering space that provides shade to the community, and to hear a performance of Bomba music by one of Chicago’s best ensembles. This installation and performance is dedicated to the youth of the South Side for their protection, encouragement, and longevity.
Bomba con Buya musicians include: TEOFILO LOPEZ, ROBERTO PEREZ, IVELISSE LOPEZ, LAUREN BROOKS, JONATHAN PACHECO, and ARIF SMITH. African Dance & Music Institute performers include musicians IDRIS DANIEL; AKINJOBI DAVIS; MANGUE SYLLA; CLIFTON ROBINSON; and dancers JEREMY NOAH; AKILAH HILL; AISSATOU BEY; DENISHA BURNS; NATASHA JELKS; PAMELA PENNEMON; JANEEN HARRELL; JUDY TYSON; and UCHE ONOMIYI.
Hosted by Gail Mangrum.
7337 S. Paxton
4:00-5:00pm - PERFORMANCE
The original Alley Jazz events featured friendly Sunday afternoon DJ battles. Saxophonist Jimmy Ellis suggested adding live music and soon the DJ’s were joined by musicians. In a nod to this history, jazz drummer Mikel Patrick Avery’s Quartet and DJ Rae Chardonnay have created a very special DJ and live band collaboration to which they will add the incomparable Sydney Chatman and her company, The Tofu Chitlin' Circuit, a theatrical company focusing on youth and young adult theatre for a new layer of collaborative energy to the history of alley jazz. The team will also celebrate the Lomax family, hosts of this site, and their passion for Chicago’s stepping dance form. Attendees are invited to select records of their liking and try their hand at stepping. Musicians include MIKEL PATRICK AVERY (drums); JOHN SUTTON (bass); ANTHONY BRUNO (tenor saxophone); and BEN LAMAR GAY (cornet).
Hosted by Dave & Dana Lomax
7326 S. Paxton
5:30-6:30pm - Performance
Jazz saxophonist and composer Greg Ward, artist/poet Preston Jackson, and tap dancer Jumaane Taylor will collaborate to present original music, poetry and choreography for this very special performance. The program is inspired by the history of the South Shore neighborhood, the DIY-nature of the improvised jazz jams sessions, and the beauty of site hosts Jonita and Jeannine Sharpe’s home. Preston Jackson’s paintings and sculptural works depicting the African American presence at the World’s Fair will be installed onsite as well. Visitors will be treated to a space that blends history, music, and movement into a one seamless composition. Musicians include GREG WARD (alto saxophone); JEREMIAH HUNT (bass); GREGORY ARTRY (drums); PRESTON JACKSON (poetry).
Hosted by Jonita & Jeannine Sharpe.
7343 S. Paxton
7:00-8:00pm - "Call and Response" Performance
Back Alley Jazz concludes with vocalist Maggie Brown’s ensemble performance. Maggie will draw from the practice known well by church-goers and jazz musicians alike—Call and Response—to invite participation from the audience. Spoken word and song will mix with portraits and images curated by RJ Eldridge that celebrate the histories of black joy and the legacy of jazz. Interdisciplinary designer Eric Hotchkiss will create a custom “congo square” seating arrangement encircling the performers, making the audience a part of the performance itself. Musicians include MAGGIE BROWN (vocals); FRED JACKSON, JR. (alto saxophone); SHAWN WALLACE (keyboard); KENARI ALLISON (drums).
Hosted by Zenja Vaughn.
PARTICIPATORY ARTS ACTIVITIES
ACTIVITIES ON THE STREET
Learning more about the the history of Jazz in the Alley, enjoy interactive activities like button making led by Busy Beaver Button, share your stories about South Shore and jazz in Chicago, and hear stories from others.
The Learning Lab is organized by graduate students from the School of the Art Institute Chicago: Jean Osberger, Kaity O'Reilly, Egon Scheile, and Yuting He.
Michelle Nordmeyer from the Hyde Park Art Center will guide visitors in making their own screen prints.
2pm - Robert Paige at 74th & S. Paxton
2:30pm - Wisdom Baty at 73rd & S. Paxton
“Art Moves: Chicago’s Innovative Structures of Address” is a project of the Museum of Vernacular Arts & Knowledge and is based on grass-roots models from the 1960s and 70s for circulating information about black art to residents on the South Side of Chicago. At the Back Alley Jazz event educator Wisdom Baty, founder of Ways We Make, will discuss the work of sculptor and performance artist Senga Nengudi; and Chicago-based artist and designer Robert Paige, previously with the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, will share about his work in the area of design.