Angel Bat Dawid, Isaiah Collier Perform New Commissions at Hyde Park Fest

A strong community feeling permeated The Hyde Park Jazz Festival, which ran Sept. 28-29 across twelve different locations on Chicago’s South Side.

When vocalist Maggie Brown, daughter of Oscar Brown Jr., asked an audience if they remembered jazz at the Alley—an outdoor music festival that was held in an alley at 50th and Langley back in the ’60s and ’70s, but recently was resurrected—several hands shot up.

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Photos: The Hyde Park Jazz Festival

Chicago Reader

by Philip Montoro & Michael Jackson

This past weekend the 13th annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival brought 36 performances by local, national, and international artists to more than a dozen venues and stages in and around Hyde Park. Saturday's programming included two new works commissioned from Chicago composers in partnership with the U. of C.'s Logan Center for the Arts: Angel Bat Dawid's Requiem for Jazz and Isaiah Collier's The Story of 400 Years, both of which employed large mixed-discipline ensembles to address the history of jazz, the history of slavery, and the African American experience. Percussionists Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph, who founded the influential Mandingo Griot Society with Gambian kora player Foday Musa Soso in the late 1970s, performed as the duo Karuna. And pianist Sylvie Courvoisier played in a duo with guitarist and brand-new MacArthur fellow Mary Halvorson.

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Dawid’s ‘Requiem’ filled with promise

Hyde Park Herald

by Aaron Cohen

As Angel Bat Dawid conducted her newly commissioned orchestral “Requiem For Jazz,” on Saturday at the Logan Center Performance Hall, she ended with the declaration, “Everyone on this stage is the promise.” She was referring to the musicians in her ensemble and for their assurance that they will keep the music’s legacy alive. One could say the same thing about the entire Hyde Park Jazz Festival.

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Olivia JunellComment
Hyde Park Jazz Festival: Your guide to the premieres, stars and innovators in Chicago this weekend

Chicago Tribune

by Howard Reich

This city overflows with music festivals, from the raucous to the serene.

But none feels quite like the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, an event that embraces and celebrates its singular neighborhood.

The 13th annual event will present shows from 1 p.m. to midnight Saturday and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday in various indoor and outdoor venues. All performances are free.

Here are my suggestions for the most promising events.

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Angel Elmore believes in the power of sound to heal and be an engine for change and education — and you should too

Chicago Tribune

by Britt Julious

How could jazz be dead, Elmore argued, if it is the music born out of the still-present joy and suffering of her people?

Those facets are built into the very fabric of jazz, along with every other black musical art form. What does it mean when others try to lay claim to the destiny of something that never belonged to them in the first place? Those are the questions she aims to answer. “I am really, really challenging the entire city of Chicago at this amazing jazz festival. This is the best opportunity for me to put it out to the entire city, and for us to have this conversation,” said Elmore. “This is the best thing I’ve composed in my life. I went deep with it.”

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Olivia JunellComment
This Weekend’s Hyde Park Jazz Festival ‘Has No Common Theme’ — Besides Good Music And Thoughtful Discussion, Of Course

Block Club Chicago

by Maxwell Evans

HYDE PARK — The two-day Hyde Park Jazz Festival returns for its 13th edition this weekend, getting local, national and international jazz artists acquainted with the South Side’s rich musical history…

Activities kick off Saturday at the Logan Center, 915 E. 60th St., with “A Requiem for Jazz,” a piece from composer Angel Bat Dawid that was commissioned for the festival. The 12-part “funeral mass service” for jazz will celebrate the “resurrection of a new era of great black music.”

It’s one of two commissioned pieces set to debut at the festival, alongside saxophonist Isaiah Collier’s exploration of the African Diaspora.

“We’re commissioning the next generation of artists in thinking about the future of the music,” Dumbleton said.

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Olivia JunellComment
Angel Bat Dawid’s Requiem for Jazz Isn’t for Grieving

Chicago Magazine

by Mark Guarino

In just a few years, Angel Bat Dawid has emerged as one of the most compelling figures in Chicago’s free jazz scene. The clarinetist–composer has performed in ensembles led by Ben LaMar Gay, Damon Locks, and Roscoe Mitchell, and founded a collective called the Participatory Music Coalition. Earlier this year, the Chicago label International Anthem released her acclaimed debut The Oracle.

At this weekend’s Hyde Park Jazz Festival, she will debut Requiem for Jazz, a 12-part multidisciplinary performance that will include an instrumental ensemble, vocalists, visual projections, and dancers.

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Olivia JunellComment
Polish Festival Jazztopad Expands Further Into America

JazzTimes

The Polish festival Jazztopad, which turns 16 in November, is extending its reach into the United States, marking its fifth year of events in New York and its first in Chicago, where the Iraqi-American trumpeter Amir ElSaffar will present a new chamber-music piece, Ahwaal (the title translates roughly as “states of consciousness”), on Sept. 28 as part of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. 

ElSaffar will perform the piece, which was commissioned by Jazztopad, with clarinetist Waclaw Zimpel, bassist Ksawery Wójciński, and the Lutosławski Quartet. 

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Olivia JunellComment
Back Alley Jazz Festival Brings Music To The Street And A Neighborhood Together

SOUTH SHORE — A Chicago tradition continued to evolve Saturday as jazz reverberated through the 7300 block of South Paxton Street — from the middle of the street, not from the alleys.

South Shore residents and people from around Chicago gathered for Back Alley Jazz Festival, which is reviving a tradition on the South Side that started in the ‘60s. 

This year, musicians didn’t perform in residents’ garages like they did last year and in the ‘70s. 

The jazz fans on hand like Eve Clemmer said they liked the new layout.

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Ella ParkerComment
Chicago stories will unfold at 13th Hyde Park Jazz Festival

Chicago Tribune

by Howard Reich

Why does groundbreaking jazz thrive in Chicago?

The great performers who live and tour here of course set the standard, but there’s another key factor at play: the audience.

Chicago listeners have been encountering jazz innovations for well over a century and long ago developed a taste for the avant-garde. Ragtime music first reached the wider public during the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893; jazz progenitor Jelly Roll Morton came here as early as 1910 and settled in during the Roaring Twenties; improvisational genius Louis Armstrong made his greatest, groundbreaking recordings in Chicago at the same time; the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) reinvented the music starting in 1965; and so forth.

Though these artists experienced varying degrees of financial reward (or deprivation), they found in Chicago a public willing to entertain revolutionary concepts.

And that happens to be an important theme of the 13th annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival, which will run Sept. 28-29 in venues throughout the historic neighborhood.

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Jazz Fest Director Kate Dumbleton honored

Hyde Park Herald

Hyde Park Jazz Festival Executive Director Kate Dumbleton (right) receives the “2019 Jazz Hero Award” from the Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) at the Logan Café, 915 E. 60th St. Grammy-award winning journalist, music critic and radio host Neil Tesser made the presentation during a break between sets of the Café’s Third Tuesday Jazz series on April 16, 2019. Jazz journalist Michael Jackson wrote of Dumbleton on the JJA Jazz Awards’s website: “The choice of … Kate Dumbleton as the JJA’s 2019 Chicago Jazz Hero is a no-brainer. She is chiefly revered in the jazzosphere for helping transform the neighborhood Hyde Park Jazz Festival into an event of national and international repute.”

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Festival Review: HYDE PARK

The New York City Jazz Record

By Mark Keresman

When it comes to jazz, Chicago is one of THE American cities, with a vibrant and varied local scene. It also has one of the nation’s great annual festivals, but there’s another, not as well known, deserving attention. The city’s Hyde Park section (home to the University of Chicago) hosts a two-day festival (Sep. 29th-30th) with varied talent of both local (The Chicago Yestet, DJ Sadie Woods, Kenwood Academy Jazz Band directed by Gerald Powell, Mike Reed, Maggie Brown) and national (Kris Davis, Ryan Cohan, Christian Sands) renown…Jazz fans throughout America and beyond: know this festival.

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Hyde Park Jazz Festival 2018

Hyde Park Herald

by Aaron Cohen

When drummer Mike Reed spoke at the Logan Center on Saturday about his new “The City Was Yellow: The Chicago Suite,” he encapsulated the Hyde Park Jazz Festival’s essential spirit. Reed’s recent work represents 30 years of the city’s jazz compositions and he said his goal was to share stories about people and places rather than delve into a singular musical style. The entire day showed how his words resonated throughout the event.

Now in its 12th year, the festival presents an invaluable mix of locally based musicians and national stars. Spread throughout Hyde Park, most of the free Saturday concerts were held on or near the University of Chicago campus. The audiences that lined the Midway and filled the Logan Center’s venues also reflected the diversity among the artists on its dozen stages.

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Olivia JunellComment
Artists at Hyde Park Jazz Festival Reflect Generational Connections

DownBeat Magazine

By Michael Jackson

In its 12th year, Chicago’s Hyde Park Jazz Festival presented an almost preposterous amount of quality music on Sept. 29, day one of the two-day event that hosted scores of programs in about a dozen disparate venues.

The day commenced at 1 p.m. with Brandee Younger in the screening room of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts as she delivered a talk: “Transcendence: A Glimpse Into The Life And Legacy Of Alice Coltrane.” Though Coltrane was a fellow harpist who enthralled Younger as a child when she first heard “Blue Nile,” she also showed a vintage clip of Coltrane playing piano in the manner of her mentor, Bud Powell. Following this detailed appreciation came New York-based writer Nate Chinen, reading excerpts from his latest work, Playing Changes: Jazz For The New Century.

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Midnight Coltrane

South Side Weekly

by Kyle Olesiuk

Ravi Coltrane is laughing at me. Or maybe with me? I can’t say for sure. However he’s laughing, I don’t feel too bad about it. I’ve asked a stupid question.

“How did you pick the band?” He looks around, at each of his bandmates: Brandee Younger, the electric harpist who wrote one of the pieces they performed (the rest were penned by Alice Coltrane); Johnathan Blake, the drummer famous for playing with Omer Avital; and Rashaan Carter, the bassist of Coltrane and Younger’s Alice Coltrane–centered group. You can imagine why he’s laughing. It’s been a long, cold day, and they’ve been working on this show for most of it.

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Olivia JunellComment
Hyde Park Jazz Festival review: Animating a neighborhood

Chicago Tribune

by Howard Reich

The 12th annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival was the reason, musicians performing in far-flung venues, from churches to concert halls to the great outdoors.

Music always resonates in Hyde Park, but over the weekend it was practically ubiquitous.

Following is one listener’s diary of some of Saturday’s events, which kicked off two days of stylistically wide-ranging jazz.

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Olivia JunellComment
This Weekend’s 2018 Hyde Park Jazz Fest Features Emerging Young Chicago Musicians

Block Club Chicago

by Lee Edwards

HYDE PARK — Returning for its 12th year, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival this weekend gives a platform to the city’s emerging, current and former jazz stars. 

The fest runs from 1 p.m.-midnight Saturday, and from 2-7 p.m. Sunday, with performances at several venues across the neighborhood, including two outdoor stages at Midway Plaisance Park, 1130 Midway Plaisance. 

Headliners at the free fest include Ravi Coltrane, Jason Moran and Dee Alexander. View the entire artist line-up and venues here

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Olivia JunellComment