The Free Admission Chicago Jazz Festival Returns this Labor Day Weekend

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The 39th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival (Aug. 31- Sept. 3) will hold court  in Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center. A favorite Labor Day weekend tradition, the festival showcases free live performances by important Chicago artists alongside some of the greatest names from around the world on multiple stages.  The free-admission Chicago Jazz Festival is produced by DCASE and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

Pianist and MacArthur Fellow, Jason Moran will lead a special centennial celebration performance for Thelonius Monk with a presentation of In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall 1959. His tribute to Thelonious Monk is one of three centennial celebrations at the festival in 2017 that were previously announced, including a homage to bebop pioneer Dizzy Gillespie led by his most famous protégé and Chicago favorite Jon Faddis and a celebration of the singular vocalist Ella Fitzgerald.

2017 Chicago Jazz Festival Lineup:

 

Thursday, August 31
Chicago Cultural Center, GAR Rotunda
  • 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.: A Jazz Village featuring Chicago’s Jazz Community
Claudia Cassidy Theater
  • 11 a.m. – Noon : The Evolution of Afro-Cuban Jazz: A Talk with Ignacio Berroa
  • 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.: Thaddeus Tukes Quintet
  • 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.: Tim StineTrio
  • 3:15 – 4:15 p.m.: Dave Rempis Quintet performing Jackie McLean’s Action
Randolph Square
  • Noon – 1 p.m.: Curtis Prince Band featuring Ari Brown
  • 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.: West End Jazz Band
  • 3 – 4 p.m.: Southport Records Celebrates 40 Years of Sparrow
Preston Bradley Hall
  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.: “What Is This Thing Called Jazz” with Willie Pickens and Miguel de la Cerna
  • 2 – 3 p.m.: Young Chicago Authors
  • 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.: Chicago Jazz Composers Collective
Millennium Park
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.: George Freeman 90th Birthday Celebration
8 – 9:30 p.m.: Dizzy Gillespie’s Centennial Celebration with Jon Faddis and the Chicago Jazz Festival Big Band
Friday, September 1
Millennium Park
Von Freeman Pavilion (South Promenade)
  • Noon – 12:55 p.m.: Tim Fitzgerald’s Full House
  • 1:10 – 2:05 p.m.: Steve Gibons Gypsy Rhythm
  • 2.20 – 3:15 p.m.: Rob Denty / Tim Mulvenna Duo Plus
  • 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.: Slavic Soul Party!
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion (North Promenade)
  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.: Joe Policastro Trio
  • 2 – 3 p.m. : Reggie Thomas Quintet
  • 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.:  Stu Katz Shearing Redux
 Jay Pritzker Pavilion
  • 5 – 5:50 p.m.: dana hall’s spring
  • 6 – 6:55 p.m.: Donny McCaslin Group
  • 7:10 – 8:10 p.m.: Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio
  • 8:30 – 9:30 p.m.: Jason Moran presents In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall 1959
Saturday, September 2
Millennium Park
Roof Top Jazz:  Young Jazz Lions (Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace)
  • 11:30 a.m. a.m. – Noon: Morgan Park High School Jazz Combo
  • 12:15 – 12:45 p.m.: Jones College Prep Jazz Combo
  • 1 – 1:30 p.m.: Whitney Young High School Jazz Combo
  • 2  – 2:40 p.m.: Kelly High School Jazz Ensemble
  • 2:55 – 3:35 p.m.: Kenwood Academy High School Jazz Ensemble
  • 3:50 – 4:30 p.m.: Roosevelt University Jazz Ensemble plays A Love Supreme
Von Freeman Pavilion (South Promenade)
  • Noon – 12:55 p.m.: Charles Heath Quartet
  • 1:10 – 2:05 p.m.: Gustavo Cortiñas Snapshot
  • 2:20 – 3:15 p.m.: Hearts & Minds
  • 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.: Mary Halvorson Octet
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion (North Promenade)
  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.: Typhanie Monique
  • 2 – 3 p.m.: Shawn Maxwell’s New Tomorrow
  • 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.: Low Down Brass Band
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
  • 5 – 5:50 p.m.: Dr. Michael White Quartet
  • 6 – 6:55 p.m.: BassDrumBone
  • 7:10 – 8:10 p.m.: Allison Miller Boom Tic Boom
  • 8:30 – 9:30 p.m.: Ellabration! 100 Years of Ella Fitzgerald featuring the Brad William Trio, Sheila Jordan, Dee Alexander, Frieda Lee, Spider Saloff, and Paul Mariano
Sunday, September 3
Millennium Park
Roof Top Jazz: NextGenJazz (Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace)
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Jenna Przbysz Collective
  • 12:30 -1:15 p.m.: Trilogy (Kevin King, Jeremy Warren, Jada Stroud)
  • 1:30 – 2:15 p.m.: Infrared Quintet led by Kenthaney Redmond
  • 2:30 -3:15 p.m.: Possibilities Trio (Tim Bennett, Dan Stein, Peter Manheim)
  • 3:30 4:15 p.m.: Chosen Few led by Isaiah Collier
Von Freeman Pavilion (South Promenade)
  • Noon – 12:55 p.m.: Rooms Trio
  • 1:10 – 2:05 p.m.: The Jonathan Doyle Swingtet
  • 2:20 – 3:15 p.m.: Josh Berman Quartet
  • 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.: Louis Moholo-Moholo: Five Blokes
Jazz and Heritage Pavilion (North Promenade)
  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.: Michele Thomas
  • 2 – 3 p.m.: JoAnn Daugherty
  • 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.: Johnny Blas Afro Libre Orquesta
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
  • 5 – 5:50 p.m.: Roscoe Mitchell’s Quartets Celebrating 50 years of Nessa Records
  • 6 – 6:55 p.m.: Sheila Jordan featuring Steve Kuhn’s Trio
  • 7:10 – 8:10 p.m.: Matt Wilson’s Honey and Salt
  • 8:30 – 9:30 p.m.: Rebirth Brass Band

Chicago Jazz Fest Info

Admission to the Chicago Jazz Festival is free, and hours for Thursday, Aug. 31, are noon–4:30 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center and 6:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. in Millennium Park. On Friday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Sept. 3, the festival will be in Millennium Park, 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m.


Written By Amber Holst

Amber Holst is Vice President & Editorial Director at Concierge Preferred. A native Chicagoan, she’ll happily bend your ear about why Top Notch burgers are a must (as is an Original Rainbow Cone) and can often be found procuring milk candy in Chinatown after dim sum with her partner in crime or rooting on her beloved Green Bay Packers (yes, that’s right) at Will’s Northwoods Inn. Lover of cured meats, prosecco, and good old fashioned “slashies” she considers herself fortunate to be able to promote her hometown for a living. Fun fact? She can play the accordion.

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