Chicago Park District and Jazz Institute of Chicago Present 16th Season of JazzCity

Ken Chaney

The Chicago Park District and the Jazz Institute of Chicago proudly announce the 16th anniversary season for JazzCity, an admission-free concert series featuring world-class performers at various neighborhood parks throughout the city on select Fridays, Feb. 15 – Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.  JazzCity concerts are unique in their mission to connect people of all ethnicities and generations to the musical and spiritual legacy of jazz in Chicago. 

All programs are family friendly and admission free.  Dates are subject to change.  For more information on JazzCity, please call the Jazz Institute at 312-427-1676.

Following is the 2013 season lineup for JazzCity:

Awakening to Xperience: Tribute to Ken Chaney
Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.
Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St., 312-747-6147
This season is dedicated to two people without whom JazzCity would not have been possible: cultural arts advocate Helen Doria (1951-2012) and pianist Ken Chaney (1939-2012). As Deputy Director of New Program Development at the Chicago Park District, Helen Doria welcomed the idea to program free concerts in neighborhoods across the city and helped shape and grow the program while at the Park District.  Master musician Ken Chaney was JazzCity’s music director.  His creative programming chops gave birth to the BeBop Brass Band and many other concerts that brought musicians and audiences together in unexpected ways.  This concert celebrates their spirit and continues their legacies with a new season of spectacular music, beginning with a tribute to Chaney.

"He was a very sensitive human being, a very humble human being, and highly creative," said pianist Ramsey Lewis.

In recognition of his hallmark bands and years of mentoring and introducing young artists to the public, Awakening to the Xperience: A Tribute to Ken Chaney will celebrate his music with performances by Chicago’s leading jazz artists.  Duke Payne leads off with a bagpipe salute, followed by a bebop set led by pianist Willie Pickens, with Rajiv Halim and Irvin Pierce on saxophone, Marquis Hill on trumpet, Zakiya Powell on trombone, Josh Ramos on bass and Ernie Adams on drums.  Chaney’s much-admired Awakening band will include alums Ari Brown on saxophone, Pharez Whitted on trumpet, Josh Ramos on bass, Ernie Adams on drums and Miguel De la Cerna on piano. Special guest Dee Alexander who worked with Chaney for a decade and will also pay homage to her longtime music partner.

Ken Chaney’s Xperience, a unique fusion of jazz and funk, was reunited at JazzCity in 2007, and will come together again to honor its leader with Robert Irving III on piano, Frank Russell on bass, Charles Heath on drums and original vocalists Ann and Susan Ward, Ben Farnandis and newest member Teniya Farnandis. 

Big Band Dance
March 8 at 7 p.m.
Loyola Park, 1230 W. Greenleaf Ave., 773-262-8605
Got your dancing shoes ready?  Come hear the NIU Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Ronald Carter, one of the best college big bands in the country.

Bebop Brass: Tribute to Lee Morgan
April 12 at 7 p.m.
Tuley Park, 501 E. 90th Pl., 312-747-6763
Ken Chaney’s dream band featured a different line-up of Chicago’s top brass every year.  This one features Pharez Whitted, Victor Garcia and Bobby Lewis on trumpets, Steve Berry, Adam Thornberg and Audrey Morrison on trombones, Xavier Breaker on drums, Marlene Rosenberg on bass and stepping into Chaney’s band leader role, pianist Miguel de la Cerna.

NextGenJazz in the Park 
May 10 at 7 p.m.
Sherman Park, 1301 W. 52nd St., 312-747-6672
Hear what the new generation has to play with New Frontline led by trombonist Kendall Moore.  Featuring Christopher McBride on sax, Marquis Hill on trumpet, Michael King on piano, Junius Paul on bass and Marcus Evans on drums.

Jazz Cabaret: Frieda Lee
June 14 at 7 p.m.
Columbus Park Refectory, 5701 W. Jackson Blvd., 773-287-0856
A Chicago mainstay for more than 20 years, Frieda Lee’s swinging vocals moved and grooved countless audiences touring with Joe Williams and Kevin Mahogany and as primary vocalist for Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra.

Latin Jazz Festival: Celebrating Community Through Culture
July 19 at 7-9 p.m. & July 20 at 1-8 p.m.
Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1359 N. Sacramento Ave., 312-742-7549
With performances at the open-air boathouse in Humboldt Park, this festival has been expanded to two days to feature music, dance and art making in celebration of Latino traditions old and new.  Enjoy music on Friday and more music, mask making, parades, bombaso, and activities for the whole family on Saturday.

Remembering Jodie Christian
Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.
West Pullman Park, 401 W. 123rd St., 312-747-7090
Jodie Christian was known far and wide as one of the few pianists who thrived across the entire spectrum of jazz styles.  Some close musical companions will celebrate him including pianist Miguel de la Cerna, saxophonist Juli Wood, trumpeter Brad Goode, bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Charles Heath.

John Moulder: Soul and Spirit
Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.
Austin Town Hall Park, 5610 W. Lake St., 773-287-7658
How does jazz give voice to the human soul and spirit?  Guitarist John Moulder explores the connection with a new composition that expresses transcendence and the quest for unity, higher consciousness and peace.

Cultural Crossroads: Miyumi Project Meets Great Black Music Ensemble
Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.
Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., 773-638-1766
Tatsu Aoki’s Miyumi Project has long incorporated Great Black Music Ensemble Director Mwata Bowden into its unique amalgam of traditional Japanese music and jazz.  Bowden’s leadership of Great Black Music Ensemble has redefined the art of improvised composition in the context of swing.  Come listen as two musical brothers unite to explore their musical and cultural connections.

JazzCity is a free concert series initiated in 1997 by the Jazz Institute in collaboration with the Chicago Park District, now in its 16th season of bringing people together from across the city to hear Chicago’s top jazz musicians. JazzCity is sponsored by WDCB 90.9 FM and WHPK 88.5 FM Radio and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information visit www. or call 312.427.1676.


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