The Hyde Park Jazz Festival began as an experiment. Nine years ago, some passionate jazz fans in the Hyde Park community created and rallied behind the idea of a jazz festival to be presented in different settings across the neighborhood. The concept was to animate a variety of spaces—community centers, businesses, museums, churches, art centers, schools, and the outdoors with jazz to celebrate and build community. Not a bad concept! With some seed support from the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement, the community members gave it a whirl and in September 2006 the Hyde Park Jazz Festival was launched. The experiment was a home run, drawing more than 5,000 attendees the first year.
Hyde Park Jazz Festival is now a highlight of early autumn cultural activity in Chicago. This year the festival will feature more than 35 performances and programs on 14 unique stages. The performing artists featured are some of the finest in Chicago and on the national and international scene. They are exploring a broad spectrum of the music, from traditional to free jazz to dance music to experimental composition. Many of them are presenting in new or rarely heard configurations, adding to the uniqueness of the festival.
At the center of the performances this year is a major commissioning initiative based on the festival’s Story Share project, which invites anyone to audio record a personal story about jazz at our booth on the Midway Festival grounds. In partnership with the Rebuild Foundation and with support from the Chicago Community Trust, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival has commissioned local artists Tomeka Reid and Mikel Patrick Avery to create new compositions based on stories collected in the Dorchester neighborhood.
In addition, the festival has commissioned critically acclaimed trumpeter and composer, Ambrose Akinmusireto compose a 60-minute suite from conversations he has had with jazz greats such as Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Archie Shepp, and more.
This year's festival will take place September 26-27 in Hyde Park. The festival is free but a $5 donation is suggested.
For a full listing of this year’s performances, please visit hydeparkjazzfestival.org.
To participate in the Story Share Project, stop by the book on the Midway on either Saturday or Sunday.
2015 Hyde Park Jazz Festival
Midway Plaisance, Hyde Park
Saturday, September 26 1 p.m. until midnight
Sunday, September 27, 2-7 p.m.
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PUBLISHED BY NURIA SHEEHAN ON MON, 09/21/2015 - 4:52PM
UPDATED ON MON, 09/21/2015 - 4:58PM