Akinmusire Debuts Poignant Multimedia Project at Chicago’s Hyde Park Jazz Festival

DownBeat

by Michael Jackson

Under the sharp curatorial ear of artistic director Kate Dumbleton, abetted by Hyde Park Jazz Society’s vivacious, indefatigable Judith Stein and a team of half a dozen effective women (plus nearly 300 volunteers), the ninth annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival proved once again to be a highlight in Chicago’s cultural calendar.

On Sept. 26–27, more than 40 jazz events in 14 locations energized the picturesque environs in and around the mile-long Midway Plaisance, six miles south of Chicago’s downtown Loop neighborhood.

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Jazz festival brings Hyde Park to its feet

The Columbia Chronicle

by Benjamin Kowalski

Attendees danced on the pavement of Midway Plaisance Sept. 27 as the Willie Pickens Quartet grooved through the jazz standard “Afro Blue” at the ninth annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival. 

Pianist Pickens said little throughout the performance, but his excited energy had the audience clapping along and dancing in the street by the final number. 

“I wanted [the audience] to take away that jazz is still alive, and jazz is music that can make you feel good,” Pickens said after hisband’s performance. 

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Community talent showcased at the annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival

The Chicago Maroon

by Rebecca Julie

For the ninth year in a row, University of Chicago students and the greater South Side community had the opportunity to hear incredible local artists at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival last weekend. Attracting huge crowds at venues throughout Hyde Park, this two-day festival featured nearly 40 artists spanning a wide variety of jazz genres including American jazz standards, Latin American jazz, and debuts of new compositions.

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Parading a singular sound

Chicago Tribune

by Howard Reich

The most inspiring moment in last weekend's Hyde Park Jazz Festival occurred as the event was winding down. With Saturday's attractions having come and gone, Chicago drummer and visual artist Mikel Patrick Avery on Sunday afternoon offered the world premiere of his "Parade," which opened as a New Orleans-style second line procession, evolved into a collective improvisation on the festival's west stage dance floor and concluded with the musicians parading off into the distance. During several moments, there was almost no distinction between performers and audience, the two groups interacting and intermingling, a communal jazz gathering if ever there were one.

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A glorious, jazzy day in Hyde Park

Chicago Tribune

by Howard Reich

Chicago's best jazz festival energized a city neighborhood over the weekend, drawing large crowds to an ancestral home of the music: the South Side.

Once again, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival — in its ninth year — showed how a great jazz soiree unfolds, with performances across the University of Chicago campus and beyond. Here's one listener's diary of Saturday concertgoing (the event ends Sunday):

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Hyde Park Jazz Festival

Chicago Reader

by Peter Margasak

The annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival takes another leap in quality this year, offering the strongest program of its nearly decade-long history. Especially since expanding from one to two days in 2011, the fest has been an excellent scope through which to view Chicago’s dynamic mainstream jazz scene—and this edition is no exception. Organist Chris Foreman performs with his quartet, pianist Laurence Hobgood plays a solo set, trumpeter Pharez Whitted’s group lays down soulful postbop, and local legend Willie Pickens gets behind the piano for a closing set on Sunday. Plus, now that it’s under the direction of Kate Dumbleton, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival has stretched its stylistic reach toward more adventurous sounds. 

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Don't miss these shows at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival

The best jazz festivals offer more great performances than you could possibly attend in their entirety, presented in environments well-matched to the music at hand.

By that definition, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival stands out among Chicago's jazz soirees, its ninth annual edition this year presenting three world premieres: by trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, cellist Tomeka Reid and drummer and visual artist Mikel Patrick Avery.

Following are some of the most promising events. All concerts are free, though some require that tickets will be acquired 30 minutes before the performance. For more information, visit www.hydeparkjazzfestival.org.

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Daring premiere from rising trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire

Each year, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival gains artistic stature, and the ninth annual edition shows just how formidable a force it is becoming.

The event, which runs Saturday and Sunday across the historic neighborhood, will feature three major world premieres, each commissioned by the fest and each devoted — in one way or another — to the art of telling a story through jazz.

Among them, the most eagerly anticipated premiere will be the work of the superb trumpeter-bandleader Ambrose Akinmusire, who already is enjoying a remarkable year, having won a $275,000 Doris Duke Artist Award and a commission from the Kennedy Center for a piece he'll premiere in 2016.

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2015 Hyde Park Jazz Festival: New Commissioned Work and Other Highlights

Chicago Artist Resource

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival began as an experiment. Nine years ago, some passionate jazz fans in the Hyde Park community created and rallied behind the idea of a jazz festival to be presented in different settings across the neighborhood. The concept was to animate a variety of spaces—community centers, businesses, museums, churches, art centers, schools, and the outdoors with jazz to celebrate and build community. Not a bad concept! With some seed support from the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement, the community members gave it a whirl and in September 2006 the Hyde Park Jazz Festival was launched. The experiment was a home run, drawing more than 5,000 attendees the first year.

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Parade performance set for Hyde Park Jazz Festival

The hype for the 9th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival is starting to settle in the community, but you haven’t seen anything yet.

Mikel Patrick Avery is planning a performance piece that is sure to blow the crowds away while staying true to the music that makes up Chicago: good ‘ol fashioned jazz.

“If there was a celebratory music that was specific to Chicago, what would it sound like, look like, feel like?” he said, describing his Hyde Park Jazz Fest performance.

Avery will be performing on Sunday, Sept. 27 from 3-4 p.m. that will of course feature jazz from the interdisciplinary artist, but will also incorporate much more than that.

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Jazz Legend Willie Pickens to perform at annual festival

The last weekend of September will see thousands of jazz fans flocking to Hyde Park for the ninth annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival. Chicago’s finest jazz musicians will decorate the stages of various Hyde Park venues over the course of the free, two-day event. Perhaps the most anticipated concert of the festival, however, comes from a musician who has been a staple of the Hyde Park community since 1958—Willie Pickens.

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Tomeka Reid 'Hear in Now' on WHPK 9/27

Tomeka Reid and her "Hear & Now" trio will perform live on WHPK 88.5 FM September 27th at 9AM. Howard Mandel, president of the "Jazz Journalists Association" will be the guest DJ. This will be an exciting program concurrent with the Hyde Park Jazz Festival.

Tune in at 88.5 FM or stream it online here.

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Midwest travel: Jazz up your weekend at Hyde Park Jazz Fest

The Hyde Park Jazz Fest features nearly 40 performances at 14 venues throughout the historic South Side neighborhood. Local artists Tomeka Reid and Mikel Patrick Avery have composed original pieces for the fest, and Avery will lead a full-scale parade down the Festival Midway. Ambrose Akinmusire's project, banyan, is a 60-minute composition with an original video installation. Other standout acts include Regina Carter, Xavier Davis, Henry Threadgill and David Virelles, among others. 

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Hyde Park Jazz Fest welcomes 35 bands to 14 stages

AXS

by Jacqueline Runice

The Obama family’s old stomping grounds play host to more than 35 bands playing on 14 stages. That's over 18 hours of moving grooves, melancholy meditations and improvised glee during the 9th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival, September 26-27. Hundreds of fine jazz musicians including world-class headliners and local emerging artists converge upon some creative and unexpected indoor and outdoor cultural venues in the south side neighborhood.

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Hyde Park Jazz Fest Announces 2015 Lineup

Chicago Tribune

by Howard Reich

Several major attractions have been added to the ninth annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival, running Sept. 26 and 27 in several locations.

Pianist Laurence Hobgood will play a solo set; trumpeter Russ Johnson will lead a new group, convened for the festival; Prashant Bhargava's "Radhe Rahde: Rites of Holi" will be screened in homage to the Chicago born-and-raised filmmaker, who died in May at age 42.

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Threadgill, Akinmusire, Carter to play Hyde Park Jazz Fest

Chicago Tribune

by Howard Reich

What will the ninth annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival bring to the city’s stages?

Rare duos featuring visionary Henry Threadgill with rising young pianist David Virelles and MacArthur Fellowship winner Regina Carter with pianist Xavier Davis.

World premieres by innovative trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and admired Chicago musicians Tomeka Reid and Mikel Patrick Avery.

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