BACK ALLEY JAZZ
July 14, 2018, 2-8pm
Conceived as a one-day event in 2018, the project presents musicians, artists, and designers in garages and alleys in the South Shore neighborhood, creating a contemporary neighborhood happening that builds on and celebrates Chicago’s history of the neighborhood jam, as inspired by the original Jazz in the Alley events.
In 2018 Back Alley Jazz will occur in and between four local garages on S. Paxton between 73rd and 74th. Teams of artists, designers, and musicians will transform the space of the garage with temporary installations and performances throughout the day. There will also be hands-on activities available for participants of all ages. Continue to check back here or sign up for the mailing list at the bottom of this page for more updates on schedule, partners, and other event details.
Back Alley Jazz Artists
SCHEDULE & ARTISTS
2pm OPENING PROCESSION
Featuring Back Alley Jazz Grand Marshall and original Jazz in the Alley co-organizer Jimmy Ellis.
7330 S. paxton
2:30-3:30pm - "Nomadic portals" performance
The afternoon performances open with Nomadic Portals. This music and dance program celebrates the Diasporic history of jazz through a celebration of the music’s African roots and of the ways in which jazz has become a part of African influenced folk musics and rituals around the world. Listeners are invited to play percussive instruments along with performers while under the shade of the “Big Tree”--a traditional African gathering space that provides shade to the community, and to hear a performance of Bomba music by one of Chicago’s best ensembles. This installation and performance is dedicated to the youth of the South Side for their protection, encouragement, and longevity.
Bomba con Buya musicians include: TEO LOPEZ, ROBERTO PEREZ, IVELISSE LOPEZ, LAUREN BROOKS, JONATHAN PACHECO, ARIF SMITH, and ANGEL FUENTES. African Dance & Music Institute performers include musicians IDRIS DANIEL; AKINJOBI DAVIS; MANGUE SYLLA; CLIFTON ROBINSON; and dancers JEREMY NOAH; AKILAH HILL; MARGARET RAINEY; DENISHA BURNS; NATASHA JELKS; PAMELA PENNEMON; JANEEN HARRELL; JUDY TYSON; and UCHE ONOMIYI.
Hosted by Gail Mangrum.
7337 S. Paxton
4:00-5:00pm - PERFORMANCE
The original Alley Jazz events featured friendly Sunday afternoon DJ battles. Saxophonist Jimmy Ellis suggested adding live music and soon the DJ’s were joined by musicians. In a nod to this history, jazz drummer Mikel Patrick Avery’s Quartet and DJ Rae Chardonnay have created a very special DJ and live band collaboration to which they will add the incomparable Sydney Chatman and her company, The Tofu Chitlin' Circuit, a theatrical company focusing on youth and young adult theatre for a new layer of collaborative energy to the history of alley jazz. The team will also celebrate the Lomax family, hosts of this site, and their passion for Chicago’s stepping dance form. Attendees are invited to select records of their liking and try their hand at stepping. Musicians include MIKEL PATRICK AVERY (drums); JOHN SUTTON (bass); ANTHONY BRUNO (tenor saxophone); and BEN LAMAR GAY (cornet).
Hosted by Dave & Dana Lomax
7326 S. Paxton
5:30-6:30pm - Performance
Jazz saxophonist and composer Greg Ward, artist/poet Preston Jackson, and tap dancer Jumaane Taylor will collaborate to present original music, poetry and choreography for this very special performance. The program is inspired by the history of the South Shore neighborhood, the DIY-nature of the improvised jazz jams sessions, and the beauty of site host Jonita Sharpe’s home. Preston Jackson’s paintings and sculptural works depicting the African American presence at the World’s Fair will be installed onsite as well. Visitors will be treated to a space that blends history, music, and movement into a one seamless composition. Musicians include GREG WARD (alto saxophone); JEREMIAH HUNT (bass); GREGORY ARTRY (drums); PRESTON JACKSON (poetry).
Hosted by Jonita Sharpe.
7343 S. Paxton
7:00-8:00pm - "Call and Response" Performance
Back Alley Jazz concludes with vocalist Maggie Brown’s ensemble performance. Maggie will draw from the practice known well by church-goers and jazz musicians alike—Call and Response—to invite participation from the audience. Spoken word and song will mix with portraits and images that celebrate the histories of black joy and the legacy of jazz. Seating will be in a “congo square” encircling the performers, making the audience a part of the performance itself. Musicians include MAGGIE BROWN (vocals); FRED JACKSON, JR. (alto saxophone); SHAWN WALLACE (keyboard); KENARI ALLISON (drums).
Hosted by Zenja Vaughn.
PARTICIPATORY ARTS ACTIVITIES
Between happenings guests are invited to hang out in the picnic area and enjoy food provided by Robinson’s Ribs, brush up on their South Shore jazz history in the “Learning Lab” curated by a group of SAIC students, participate in all-ages activities organized by the Hyde Park Art Center or interact with the installations at each of the sites.
Fill out the form below to join the mailing list or to get in touch with Olivia Junell, Back Alley Jazz Project Manager with any questions or suggestions.