Hyde Park Jazz Festival Executive Director Kate Dumbleton (right) receives the “2019 Jazz Hero Award” from the Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) at the Logan Café, 915 E. 60th St. Grammy-award winning journalist, music critic and radio host Neil Tesser made the presentation during a break between sets of the Café’s Third Tuesday Jazz series on April 16, 2019. Jazz journalist Michael Jackson wrote of Dumbleton on the JJA Jazz Awards’s website: “The choice of … Kate Dumbleton as the JJA’s 2019 Chicago Jazz Hero is a no-brainer. She is chiefly revered in the jazzosphere for helping transform the neighborhood Hyde Park Jazz Festival into an event of national and international repute.”Read More
The New York City Jazz Record
By Mark Keresman
When it comes to jazz, Chicago is one of THE American cities, with a vibrant and varied local scene. It also has one of the nation’s great annual festivals, but there’s another, not as well known, deserving attention. The city’s Hyde Park section (home to the University of Chicago) hosts a two-day festival (Sep. 29th-30th) with varied talent of both local (The Chicago Yestet, DJ Sadie Woods, Kenwood Academy Jazz Band directed by Gerald Powell, Mike Reed, Maggie Brown) and national (Kris Davis, Ryan Cohan, Christian Sands) renown…Jazz fans throughout America and beyond: know this festival.Read More
by Aaron Cohen
When drummer Mike Reed spoke at the Logan Center on Saturday about his new “The City Was Yellow: The Chicago Suite,” he encapsulated the Hyde Park Jazz Festival’s essential spirit. Reed’s recent work represents 30 years of the city’s jazz compositions and he said his goal was to share stories about people and places rather than delve into a singular musical style. The entire day showed how his words resonated throughout the event.
Now in its 12th year, the festival presents an invaluable mix of locally based musicians and national stars. Spread throughout Hyde Park, most of the free Saturday concerts were held on or near the University of Chicago campus. The audiences that lined the Midway and filled the Logan Center’s venues also reflected the diversity among the artists on its dozen stages.Read More
In its 12th year, Chicago’s Hyde Park Jazz Festival presented an almost preposterous amount of quality music on Sept. 29, day one of the two-day event that hosted scores of programs in about a dozen disparate venues.
The day commenced at 1 p.m. with Brandee Younger in the screening room of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts as she delivered a talk: “Transcendence: A Glimpse Into The Life And Legacy Of Alice Coltrane.” Though Coltrane was a fellow harpist who enthralled Younger as a child when she first heard “Blue Nile,” she also showed a vintage clip of Coltrane playing piano in the manner of her mentor, Bud Powell. Following this detailed appreciation came New York-based writer Nate Chinen, reading excerpts from his latest work, Playing Changes: Jazz For The New Century.Read More
by Kyle Olesiuk
Ravi Coltrane is laughing at me. Or maybe with me? I can’t say for sure. However he’s laughing, I don’t feel too bad about it. I’ve asked a stupid question.
“How did you pick the band?” He looks around, at each of his bandmates: Brandee Younger, the electric harpist who wrote one of the pieces they performed (the rest were penned by Alice Coltrane); Johnathan Blake, the drummer famous for playing with Omer Avital; and Rashaan Carter, the bassist of Coltrane and Younger’s Alice Coltrane–centered group. You can imagine why he’s laughing. It’s been a long, cold day, and they’ve been working on this show for most of it.Read More
by Howard Reich
The 12th annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival was the reason, musicians performing in far-flung venues, from churches to concert halls to the great outdoors.
Music always resonates in Hyde Park, but over the weekend it was practically ubiquitous.
Following is one listener’s diary of some of Saturday’s events, which kicked off two days of stylistically wide-ranging jazz.Read More
by Lee Edwards
HYDE PARK — Returning for its 12th year, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival this weekend gives a platform to the city’s emerging, current and former jazz stars.
The fest runs from 1 p.m.-midnight Saturday, and from 2-7 p.m. Sunday, with performances at several venues across the neighborhood, including two outdoor stages at Midway Plaisance Park, 1130 Midway Plaisance.
Headliners at the free fest include Ravi Coltrane, Jason Moran and Dee Alexander. View the entire artist line-up and venues here.Read More
by Howard Reich
For jazz lovers, it’s one of the most eagerly anticipated weekends of the year: the Hyde Park Jazz Festival.
As always, the historic neighborhood will come alive with the music, which will play in several venues from 1 p.m. to midnight Saturday and 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Following is a guide to several of the most promising sets. All are free, with the exception of the finale, “Jason Moran: Celebrating Willie Pickens & Muhal Richard Abrams,” 8 p.m. Sunday.
For details, visit www.hydeparkjazzfestival.org.Read More
by Izzy Yellen
In its 12th year, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival continues to program a diverse lineup of jazz artists. Over the course of the two days, the event will showcase over 30 acts at various venues in Hyde Park while embracing countless styles, traditions, and innovations. Though there are plenty of big names on the bill—including Ravi Coltrane with Brandee Younger, Jason Moran (paying tribute to Willie Pickens and Muhal Richard Abrams), Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, and Dee Alexander—the fest puts emphasis on giants in niche scenes.Read More
by Howard Reich
Last year, the Orchestre National de Jazz in France invited drummer-impresario Mike Reed to compose a suite of pieces dedicated to Chicago, where he’s based.
But Reed — founding director of the Pitchfork Music Festival, creator of the Constellation arts center and managing partner of the Hungry Brain music venue — believed he had a better idea.
“I said, ‘That’s music that’s already been written,’” he explains.
Meaning that there’s already a vast body of repertoire written by Chicagoans for and about the city.Read More
by Bridget Vaughn and Kyle Oleksiuk
On 73rd Street and Paxton, toward Merrill, at least one hundred people marched: past cars, over puddles, into alleys and across the block. As they marched, they held bundles of herbs in the air, played percussion, danced, and waved flags. This scene was the beginning of the Back Alley Jazz Festival—and the man at the front of the crowd, who rode in a mint-green Pedicab and wore a sash that read “Grand Marshall,” was Jimmy Ellis, a saxophonist who has been playing in Chicago since 1948.Read More
by The Chicago Community Trust Staff
By seven o’clock in the evening on a muggy Saturday in July, the backyard of Zenja Vaughn’s house at 7343 S. Paxton was filled to capacity. Visitors brought lawn chairs and coolers, or balanced plates of jerk chicken and ribs from a food truck on their knees as they waited, eyes fixed on the concrete parking pad. Folks who didn’t fit crammed into the alley to watch through the open gate, or peered over the fence from the house next door. The attraction, the headliner of the day’s Back Alley Jazz festival, was vocalist Maggie Brown and her ensemble.Read More
By Howard Reich
At first glance, the lineup for the 12th annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival suggests a bulging array of styles and musical idioms.
For any event that features singer Dee Alexander and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, vibraphonist Thaddeus Tukes and the Kenwood Academy Jazz Band, harpist Brandee Younger and pianist and MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran clearly encompasses a wide swath of artistic territory.
But as always with this intelligently programmed festival – which will run Sept. 29-30 at multiple Hyde Park locations – underlying themes and messages will drive the proceedings.Read More
by Bridget Vaughn
In its eleventh year, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival drew large crowds two weekends ago. The free two-day festival offered music lovers ten venues to hear some of the best local, national, and international music on the planet.
On Saturday, the festival paid tribute to and celebrated the one-hundredth birthday of famed jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, who was born on October 10. The fest’s curators brought four perspectives on the life and legacy of Monk, starting with a biographical perspective in the afternoon, and ending with three unique musical interpretations in the evening.Read More
by Howard Mandel
Chicago’s Hyde Park Jazz Festival in the first days of fall (Sept. 23 & 24th) which were unusually hot, is an exceptional event, curated for creative artistry, local and otherwise, drawing a highly diverse crowd to a fair that mixes popular and specialized performances at a range of boutique venues.Read More
by Mark Corrotto
Even though the 11th annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival is on the books and the music is no longer audible, the spirit of the weekend endures. What has become an annual rite and celebration of music, culture, and maybe above, all the spirit of Chicago's South side, is a bucket list experience that you can repeat yearly. The two-day celebration features thirty- five performances at thirteen different venues in and around the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park. If you do the math, that's sixteen hours of music. Kind of like an ultra-endurance event for the ears.Read More
by Michael Jackson
The 11th annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival, populating a dozen varied venues amid the picturesque splendor of the festival’s namesake neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, proved as stimulating as ever this time around (Sept. 23–24). Programmed for the sixth year by the astute, visionary Kate Dumbleton—and assisted by music manager Carolyn Albritton, managing director Olivia Junell and stalwart new operations manager Dave Rempis, among others—the HPJF is unlike any other festival in its intensity and pace. Its principal hit: an offering of 30 presentations between 1 p.m. and midnight on Sept. 23.Read More
by Howard Reich
Two world premieres, one piano colossus, a brilliant look at Thelonious Monk and a couple of vibraphonists swinging hard in a house of worship.
Now that’s a jazz festival — more specifically, the 11th annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival, which ends Sunday.
As always, the event unfolded smoothly, albeit with one surprising misstep: Audience members were allowed to sit on the stairs that form the aisles of the Logan Center Performance Hall, an obvious safety hazard.
Otherwise, though, Chicago’s most appealing jazz festival turned several blocks of Hyde Park into a sprawling musical nexus.
Here’s a diary of Saturday’s highlights:Read More
by Howard Reich
In 2007, when a group of South Side visionaries launched the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, they hoped to bring long overdue attention to a neighborhood rich in jazz history.
“There are so many people in Chicago who simply don’t go south of Roosevelt Road,” James Wagner, one of the co-founders of the festival, told me at the time.
“On the North Side, a lot of people just don’t think of it.”
Since then, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival has become a magnet for thousands of listeners each fall, the 11th annual event featuring Chicago and visiting musicians on several stages this weekend.
Following are one listener’s picks for the most promising sets, the music unfolding at several Hyde Park venues on Saturday and on two outdoor stages on the Midway Plaisance (one named for Wagner, who died in 2009) on Saturday and Sunday. All performances are free; the music plays from 1 p.m. to midnight Saturday and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday; for more information, visit www.hydeparkjazzfestival.org.Read More
by Peter Margasak
The 11th annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival kicks off tomorrow with a typically packed schedule of diverse sounds, focusing on some of the city's most important and creative forces while making room for a selective smattering of national and international attractions. In this week's paper I highlighted a couple of duo performances by Nick Mazzarella & Tomeka Reid and Andrew Cyrille & Bill McHenry, but naturally there's much more that's worth your time.Read More