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The Chicago Jazz Festival: A Fitting End to a Chicago Summer

Chicagoans know how to do summer.  The long, cold, windy winters leave them primed to relish the rays of sun and its warmth with a gusto unmatched anywhere else. In Kanye West’s litany of good time cities in his song, “Good Life,” the only city he affixes a seasonal qualifier to, “…summertime Chi…, ” is the one he knows best of all. So, now that summer’s approaching its conclusion, the people of Chicago annually show that they also know how to bring it to an end with a bang, the Chicago Jazz Festival.
Since 1974, the festival set up as a tribute to Duke Ellington, has grown into a tremendously popular success with residents and visitors alike. Across the city in multiple venues, attendees are treated to a showcase of local, national and international acts with most events being free and open to the public.
Here’s the line up for this year’s festival which runs  August 30 – September 2, 2012:

Thursday Headliners

  • Chicago Cultural Center – Randolph Café: Hyde Park Jazz Society Presents “A Tribute to Jodie Christian” featuring Ken Chaney
  • Chicago Cultural Center – Claudia Cassidy Theater: Japonesque with special guest Dee Alexander
  • Chicago Cultural Center – Preston Bradley Hall: Jim Gailloreto’s String Quartet
  • Millennium Park – Jay Pritzker Pavilion: Exquisitely for Ella: A Songbook Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald featuring Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra

Friday Headliners

  • Roosevelt University – Ganz Hall: Ken Vandermark and Joe McPhee (fun fact: Vandermark is this year’s Artist in Residence)
  • Millennium Park – Jay Pritzker Pavilion: Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band (fun fact: Haynes recently received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award)

Saturday Headliners – Grant Park (Jackson Blvd. & Columbus Dr.)

  • Jazz on Jackson Stage: Ambroe Akinmusire
  • The Chicago Community Trust Young Jazz Lions Stage: NIU Jazz Ensemble
  • Cricket Jazz and Heritage Stage: Marlene Rosenberg Quartet
  • Petrillo Music Shell: Dianne Reeves (fun fact: four-time Grammy Award-winning singer)

Sunday Headliners – Grant Park (Jackson Blvd. & Columbus Dr.)

  • Jazz on Jackson Stage: Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts
  • The Chicago Community Trust Young Jazz Lions Stage: Lincoln Park Jazz Ensemble
  • Cricket Jazz and Heritage Stage: Tito Carrillo
  • Petrillo Music Shell: Allen Toussaint’s “The Bright Mississippi” featuring and Marc Ribot and Don Byron

Pre-Festival Events

  • Humboldt Park (July 13)
  • Carter Woodson Library (July 21)
  • Garfield Park Observatory (July 28)
  • National Museum of Mexican Art (Aug. 17)
  • Szold Hall will also showcase various jazz musicians in a Sunday-evening jazz series running from July 29 to Aug. 26.

 

Hours

Thursday: 12 – 3 p.m.; 6:30 p.m.
Friday: 5 p.m.; 6:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 12 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

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