Back Alley Jazz FAQ

What is it? Back Alley Jazz is a neighborhood-based daylight event led by South Shore residents and Chicago artists Fo Wilson and Norman Teague, and in partnership with the Hyde Park Jazz Fest and the Hyde Park Art Center. This project celebrates a legacy of jazz performances in neighborhoods on the South Side of Chicago. The event will include 4 jazz performances, artist projects, and other all ages activities. Careful attention will be given to all aspects of production to ensure the safety of property and people.


Where will it take place? Back Alley Jazz has been developed in collaboration with four residents on S. Paxton between 73rd and 74th Street. Performances will take place in the back yards of 7326, 7330, 7337, and 7343 S. Paxton. A picnic area. Learning Lab, and all-ages art activities will be located on the street on S. Paxton between 73rd and 74th Street, block party style.


When will it happen? Saturday, July 14, 2018, 2-8pm


Who will attend this event?  Back Alley Jazz is intended to be a community event, similar to a block party. We anticipate jazz and art fans from South Shore and adjacent neighborhoods will be interested in attending.


How will you advertise the event? We are taking the scale and context of this event seriously in our outreach planning. The event will be promoted locally with flyers and through word of mouth. There won’t be any paid advertising. We will publish information about the event in the Hyde Park Jazz Festival and Hyde Park Art Center website/newsletter and through artist websites.


How many people do you expect to attend?  We anticipate several hundred people across the course of the day. The organizers have extensive professional experience in managing events and will be overseeing all aspects of the event, including attendance/headcount, to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all.  


Where will people park?  We know it’s inconvenient when your street parking is limited. We will arrange for parking near the event for visitors. Parking on S. Merrill and Luella will to be limited to residents only and we will encourage biking and walking to the event.


What about bathroom facilities?  For the comfort and convenience of attendees, we will provide 4 wheelchair accessible porta-potties on S. Paxton. These will be locked and secured overnight and will be picked up Sunday, July 15 in the morning.


How will you handle security? The safety and care for neighborhood property is our primary concern. Professional security to be on site from 1-9pm the day of the event. South Shore police and local SSA security will also be alerted of the event and we’ll have experienced volunteers and staff on hand to help attendees stay in designated areas. Pedestrian and car traffic will be limited to residents-only in the following areas: S. Merrill between 73rd & 74th; the alleyways east and west of S. Merrill between 73rd and 74th; and Luella between 73rd and 74th.


How will set up and clean up work? Event set up will take place the morning of Saturday, July 14. Back Alley Jazz staff and volunteers will clean up the event area and the surrounding neighborhood in several blocks each direction from the activated block Saturday and Sunday after the event; we are aware of ongoing parking difficulties on Sundays and so will plan accordingly so that we are not taking up any street parking that day.


Who can I contact with questions and ideas? Please feel free to be in touch with Project Manager Olivia Junell anytime -, 512-565-7254 (text & call both fine)