Story Share Project

Collecting and sharing stories about jazz from people around Chicago

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival and Be*spoke launched the Story Share project in 2013 as a way to invite Festival attendees to share informal stories about their personal experience and relationship with jazz. With the support of the Joyce Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust, the Story Share expanded to include partnerships with the Rebuild Foundation, Story Corps, and the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

The partnership with the Rebuild Foundation included collecting stories in the Dorchester neighborhood on the South Side, which lead to the commissioning of two Chicago composers, Tomeka Reid and Mikel Patrick Avery, to write new music in response to what neighbors shared. These commissions were performed in the 2016 Festival. Videos of these commissions can be found here.

Below you will find a small selection of these field recordings of memory. More than anything, what the Story Share has come to represent is the power of telling and listening to stories. We hope you enjoy what you hear on this site, and that you will come tell us a story at this year’s Festival. 

Want to explore our full archives of South Side jazz stories? Interested in sharing a story? Contact us below!

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The Story Share Project has been supported by


Story Share partners have included