Chicago Park District & Jazz Institute of Chicago Celebrate 15th Anniversary of JazzCity
The Chicago Park District and the Jazz Institute of Chicago proudly announce the 15th anniversary season for JazzCity, an admission-free concert series featuring world-class performers at various neighborhood parks throughout the city on select Fridays, Feb. 10 – Dec. 7. The Jazz Links student ensembles kick off all of these family friendly concerts at 7 p.m. Artists and dates are subject to change. For more information on JazzCity, please call the Jazz Institute at 312-427-1676.
Over the past 15 years, the JazzCity series has surveyed the various forms of the genre from masters to experimental groupings, including an improvisation with a young basketball team and a hip hop poet. Many emerging musicians made their public debut through this program and have gone on to national repute.
The JazzCity free concert series began in 1997 as a way to explore cultural connections in communities throughout Chicago. The concerts are unique in their mission to connect people of all ethnicities and generations to the musical and spiritual legacy of jazz in Chicago. For musicians, it's a great opportunity to present new work. For audiences, it's an opportunity to bring families and friends to see world-class musicians in their own community.
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Following is the 2012 season lineup for JazzCity:
Big Band Brazil
Austin Town Hall Park, 5610 W. Lake St., 773-287-7658
The season opener will feature Brazilian guitarist/vocalist Paulhino Garcia leading a band that explores the history of bossa nova combining traditional jazz with Brazilian rhythms.
Good Vibes: Tribute to Greats of the Jazz Vibraphone
Sherman Park, 1301 W. 52nd St., 312-747-6672
Jim Cooper and 16-year-old marvel Joel Ross explore the music of Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, Milt Jackson, Gary Burton and Cal Tjader.
Loyola Park, 1230 W. Greenleaf Ave., 773-262-8605
Guitarist Henry Johnson’s Organ Quartet moves people to groove with Peter Roothan on saxophone, Kwame Steve Cobb on drums and organist Lloyd Wilson. This is a rescheduled concert from 2011 due to weather.
Bebop Brass: Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie
Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St., 312-747-6147
This band of rotating brass masters always features new writing by participating musicians. Trumpets feature Marquis Hill, David Young and Pharez Whitted and trombones Norman Palm, Tom Garling and Jeb Bishop with Charles Heath on drums, Larry Gray on bass and band daddy pianist Ken Chaney leading the charge.
Young Jazz Artist Showcase
Foster Park, 1440 W. 84th St., 312-747-6135
For the fifth year, the new voices of jazz will be introduced featuring saxophonist Josh Johnson’s Trio, bassist Larry Brown’s Quartet and the vibraphonist Justin Thomas’ Quartet.
Jazz Cabaret: Joan Collasso
Columbus Park Refectory, 5701 W. Jackson Blvd., 773-287-0856
Chicago diva Joan Collasso pays tribute to musical influences that helped shape the sound of jazz.
Latin Jazz Festival
Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1359 N. Sacramento Ave., 312-742-7549
Puerto Rican percussionist Paoli Mejias headlines one of the only Latin jazz festivals in Chicago featuring Inspiracion Latina.
Women of Chicago Jazz Piano
Revere Park, 2509 W. Irving Park Rd., 773-478-1220
Bethany Pickens leads a tribute to the legendary Lil Hardin, Dorothy Donnegan and Earma Thompson.
Memories N’ Time
LaFollette Park, 1333 N. Laramie Ave., 773-287-0541
Muntu Dance Theater explores the common cultural roots and urban evolution of African dance and jazz.
Dee Alexander’s Tribute to Jimi and James
South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr., 773-256-0149
The season finale features Chicago vocalist Dee Alexander transforming works by Jimi Hendrix and James Brown through her own unique vision.