The Hyde Park Jazz Festival celebrates its 10th Anniversary with three dozen performances and programs on 11 stages across the neighborhood this weekend. Many of the performances, to their credit, lack easy categorization, and truly exemplify the spirit of Jazz from the South Side of Chicago (multi-layered, collaborative, and connected to the community). A few highlights:
The South Side of Chicago has a rich history of Jazz music, and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival’s schedule represents keepers of that flame, like Maggie Brown (pictured, who is a daughter of the iconic Oscar Brown, Jr. and an electrifying vocalist in her own right); as well as younger creators such as the Thaddeus Tukes / Isaiah Collier Duo.
Stretching out the boundaries of traditional Jazz programming are a restaging of Supreme Love (a live music and tap dance performance set to John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme). In collaboration with dancers from M.A.D.D. Rhythms, musicians on the set include Isaiah Spencer on drums and Junius Paul on bass.
Also as part of the festival, Marvin Tate will present The Weight of Rage, which was initially presented at the Hyde Park Art Center earlier this year. The visual component is an exhibition of work developed in classes in the Prison and Neighborhood Arts Project at Stateville Prison. The show brings together work from incarcerated artists and teaching artists and writers (including Marvin Tate) in the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project (PNAP) at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, IL to explore the question, “how does the state identify you?” There will be a music performance by a sextet as part of Saturday’s presentation of The Weight of Rage, as well.
The Festival also announced a new partnership with the Hyde Park Art Center that commissioned visual artists to install site-specific artwork on Midway Plaisance.
Three main projects have been selected for this inaugural year: Juan Angel Chavez, “Gramaphone”; Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford and Faheem Majeed, “Floating Museum”; and Sabina Ott, “Mountain Variation.”
And, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival Story Share Project continues this year, in which visitors are invited to share stories about their relationship to Jazz (particularly Jazz on the South Side of Chicago). All stories are archived for the Hyde Park Jazz Society, and select stories will be made available via an dedicated web platform that is currently in production.
For more on the Hyde Park Jazz Festival (including a full calendar), click here.
Below is my audio recap of last week’s 100 Saxophones for Sun Ra. It originally aired on the radio program Reclaimed Soul on Vocalo, 89.5fm and 90.7fm here in Chicago. For more about the event click here.
Chicago Free Jazz composer and saxophonist David Boykin invites you to participate in 100 Saxophones for Sun Ra. David is currently a Resident Artist at the University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life/Center for the Study of Race Politics and Culture.
David has put out an open call for 100 saxophonists to participate in a musical tribute to Sun Ra in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of his birth. 100 saxophonists will convene and perform “Happy Birthday” at 12 noon in Washington Park (on Chicago’s South Side) on Thursday May 22, 2014, his 100th birthday.
According to the open call:
“This is a historic opportunity to share our collective energy in honor of this musician whose musical, political and spiritual philosophy has been impactful and transformative to so many. His legacy continues because of the ways in which his musical innovation has been central to the free jazz movement in Chicago and beyond.
[David] chose this space and place because of its significance to [Sun Ra]. Along with other musicians, artists and activists he gathered in the park to play and to teach. In celebration of this work we invite you to participate in this gathering of saxophonists of all ages.”
RSVPs should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Free bus transportation is available for student groups that wish to participate. Please contact Dominique L. Boyd for bus arrangements at email@example.com
Sun Ra(born Herman Poole Blount, May 22, 1914 – May 30, 1993) was a prolific jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher known for his “cosmic philosophy,” musical compositions and performances. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He is a 1979 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.
Darkjive has been on Summer Vacation, but always digging deeper… I’ve been really into swinging sixties jazz from Chicago, like “Coming to Atlantis” a hip mover produced by Monk Higgins and credited to Freddie “The Creeper” Robinson (on Lead Guitar). The Flip of this 45, called “Before Six” is wonderful, as well.
During the late 1960’s, there was, of course, lots of overlap between soul and jazz scenes in Chicago, and many instrumentals charted on Soul-formated radio (like “Burning Spear” by the Soulful Strings [a pet project of Charles Stepney and Richard Evans at Cadet], and “Soulful Strut” by Young-Holt Unlimited).
Below is from one of my treasured Dorothy Ashby albums (arranged by Richard Evans), “Come Live With Me” (originally featured in the film, Valley of the Dolls). Many of my favorite cuts, not surprisingly, are not on youtube. After all, the revolution wasn’t televised.
Tonight, a group of musicians will gather at The Hideout to celebrate the life and music of Charles Mingus, and to benefit the Les Turner ALS Foundation. Mingus, an American musical hero who died of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), is one of the greatest figures in jazz history. His bass playing, compositions and philosophy have transcended his genre and left indelible marks on music history.
Justin Dillard — solo piano
Sue Mingus talks about the Jazz Workshop, Inc., and she reads an excerpt from her memoir “Tonight at Noon” (via Skype).
MAPtet performs music by Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Eric Dolphy
Rich Corpolongo — saxophones
Saalik Ziyad — vocals
Paul Hartsaw — tenor saxophone
Dan Godston — trumpet
Nick Moran — baritone saxophone and bass clarinet
Norman Palm — trombone
Jon Godston — soprano saxophone
Jerry Coleman — drums
Alex Wing — upright bass
Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance at The Hideout website, and you can make a donation to MAP3 by clicking on http://www.lesturnerals.org/communityevents.htm. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a raffle to win items donated by The Jazz Institute of Chicago, The Old Town School of Folk Music, The Jazz Workshop Inc., Myopic Books, Dusty Groove, Chicago Independent Radio Project, Reckless Records, and others.