At first glance, the lineup for the 12th annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival suggests a bulging array of styles and musical idioms.
For any event that features singer Dee Alexander and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, vibraphonist Thaddeus Tukes and the Kenwood Academy Jazz Band, harpist Brandee Younger and pianist and MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran clearly encompasses a wide swath of artistic territory.
But as always with this intelligently programmed festival – which will run Sept. 29-30 at multiple Hyde Park locations – underlying themes and messages will drive the proceedings.
In its eleventh year, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival drew large crowds two weekends ago. The free two-day festival offered music lovers ten venues to hear some of the best local, national, and international music on the planet.
On Saturday, the festival paid tribute to and celebrated the one-hundredth birthday of famed jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, who was born on October 10. The fest’s curators brought four perspectives on the life and legacy of Monk, starting with a biographical perspective in the afternoon, and ending with three unique musical interpretations in the evening.
Chicago’s Hyde Park Jazz Festival in the first days of fall (Sept. 23 & 24th) which were unusually hot, is an exceptional event, curated for creative artistry, local and otherwise, drawing a highly diverse crowd to a fair that mixes popular and specialized performances at a range of boutique venues.