2 Days. 17 Hours. 170+ musicians. 17 venues. 25,000+ jazz fans
When: Saturday and Sunday, September 29th and 30th. Saturday 1pm-11:30pm; Sunday 1pm-8pm.
Where: Saturday, September 29th: 2 Outdoor Stages Midway Plaisance (Woodlawn-Ellis); Smart Museum; DuSable Museum; Hyde Park Art Center; Little Black Pearl; Hyde Park Union Church; Hyde Park Bank; International House; Oriental Institute (2 rooms); Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House; Rockefeller Chapel, Logan Art Center (4 rooms). Sunday, September 30th: 2 Outdoor Stages Midway Plaisance.
Who: The Hyde Park Jazz Festival on Chicago’s Culture Coast is co-produced with the Hyde Park Jazz Society. The 6th annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival is made possible through the support of lead and founding sponsor, the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement. Other sponsors include the David and Reva Logan Center for the Arts, Southwest Airlines, the University of Chicago Medical Center, and many other corporations, organizations, individual donors and volunteers.
What: Free two-day festival featuring the finest in local jazz and national and international jazz artists; diverse performance venues; outdoor dance floor; food/beverage vendors and picnic areas; artisan vendors; and youth programming.
New for 2012: In celebration of our 6th year, the 2012 Hyde Park Jazz Festival will feature a second stage on the Midway Plaisance. The second stage, West Stage sponsored by the Logan Center for the Arts, will feature a dance floor for outdoor dancing. Midway Plaisance stages and vendor corridor are managed by Star Events. Performances will be in the new Logan Center for the Performing Arts, including Conversations & Interviews with musicians and others connected to the world of jazz.
In late 2006, Hyde Park cultural leaders convened with the Hyde Park Jazz Society to create an annual event that would bring new audiences into the many arts and cultural venues in Hyde Park and celebrate jazz’s great legacy and bright future on Chicago’s South Side. The University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement stepped up to assist this grassroots effort with both financial and staff support.
The inaugural Hyde Park Jazz Festival was held in September 2007, with the University of Chicago as the founding and lead sponsor. Almost 5,000 jazz fans enjoyed 12 hours of free, nonstop jazz played inside many museums, art galleries and architecturally significant venues in the greater Hyde Park area. A major outdoor stage was located on the Midway Plaisance on the University of Chicago campus. In 2008, that stage was named the James W. Wagner Stage for the founder of the Hyde Park Jazz Society.
In only five years, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival has established itself as one of the premier annual musical festivals in Chicago – named Best Neighborhood Music Festival by Chicago Magazine. This year the Jazz Fest expands to 18 hours over 2 days, presenting Chicago’s greatest jazz musicians to an anticipated crowd of more than 20,000 jazz lovers. The Festival event is made possible with the help of more than 300 dedicated volunteers and Festival Committee members, and through the support of numerous generous individual donors, foundations and sponsors.
Saturday performances can be heard throughout the Hyde Park neighborhood. Music will be performed in 13 different venues beginning at 1pm and continue nonstop throughout the day, concluding with a solo performance by saxophonist Miguel Zenon at Rockefeller Chapel at 11pm. Sunday, September 30th, all of the programming will be on the James W. Wagner and the new West Stage sponsored by the Logan Center for the Arts on the Midway Plaisance South between Woodlawn and Ellis Avenues from 1 – 8pm.
The 2012 Hyde Park Jazz Festival features hours of free live jazz on September 29 and 30. Saturday’s programming begin at 1pm and will run until 11:45pm. Sunday jazz on the James W. Wagner and the West Stage sponsored by the Logan Center for the Arts will run from 1:00 – 8:00pm. Download the complete PDF schedule here.
All performances are FREE and open to the public. Note that some venues have limited seating capacity. Seating will be available on a first come first served basis. (For those that want to help support the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, there are special Jazz Passes available for a contribution of $125 that will provide access to preferred seating at select Festival performances.)
Check out pictures from last year’s Jazz Festival on Flickr.
Dining & Entertainment
Great jazz and great food go together and in Hyde Park and at the Jazz Festival we have an abundance of both. The 2011 Jazz Fest saw an expansion of the food and beverage vendors on the Midway and many of the jazz venues also included dining options. And, as always, there is a wide variety of cuisines from throughout the Hyde Park neighborhood. Learn more about the many dining options in Hyde Park here.
The majority of the jazz festival venues are located in close proximity to each other. Festival attendees are encouraged to park and then walk to the venues of interest. The Midway Plaisance South served as the transportation hub for the festival. Parking is available in the Ellis Avenue Parking Garage, at the south-east corner of 55th street and Ellis Avenue.
In 2012 Festival shuttles will transport attendees to all venues free of charge before, during and after all performances. For more information on how to get to Hyde Park and where to park, visit the Transportation section of this web site.
We highly encourage festival goers to bike to the festival (from the Lake Shore Bike Path) or use public transportation to go to and from festival venues.
This event is organized and produced largely by volunteers. We need additional help on the day of the festival. If you would like to volunteer for the 2012 Hyde Park Jazz Festival please sign up here.
Children of all ages are welcome. There will be special FREE programming and activities for the young jazz lovers near the main stage on the Midway in between performances.
Access and special needs
For information regarding access to venues for people with disabilities, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hyde Park Jazz Festival will take place rain or shine. Please visit this website and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival Facebook page regularly for the most up-to-date information.