Chicago Jazz Festival: Neighborhood Nights Brings Jazz Performances Free of Charge, To Neighborhoods Across the City
The Chicago Jazz Festival, one of the most acclaimed and richly curated jazz festivals in the U.S., will be presenting performances outside of the festival grounds with the Chicago Jazz Festival: Neighborhood Nights concert series. Neighborhood Nights was conceived with an aim towards expanding the footprint of the Chicago Jazz Festival beyond downtown and partnering with community institutions.
To begin the series, on Friday July 17th and 18th, the 9th Annual Chicago Latin Jazz Festival will happen in Humboldt Park (1359 N. Sacramento Ave). Now in its third year as a two-day music and cultural arts and crafts attraction, the family friendly and free event will offer a full range of musical performances, instrument and mask-making workshops and more. Initially an event showcasing local Latin jazz talent, the Chicago Latin Jazz Festival now attracts some of the biggest names in Latin jazz from around the world.
On Friday night Local Chicago pianist Samuel Del Real will open the Festival with his Orchestra that focuses on Del Real’s arrangements of music from his native country Colombia. Chicago-based saxophonist Roy McGrath–originally from San Juan, PR–will continue Friday’s bill with a band featuring local Latin jazz masters Juan Pastor (who will lead his own group during the Chicago Jazz Festival), Victor Junito Rivera, Ian Stewart and Joaquin Garcia. NYC’s Papo Vazquez Mighty Pirates Troubadours, often heralded as one of the biggest and most prolific Latin Jazz groups, will headline the festival and close out Friday’s concert–a true testament to the talent that the Chicago Latin Jazz Festival now attracts.
(Friday’s Headliners: Papo Vazquez Mighty Pirates Troubadours)
An important aspect of the Chicago Latin Jazz Festival is its emphasis on being a family-oriented, open, community event and the Saturday afternoon concerts are part and parcel with that. The afternoon concerts will feature Laruni Hati Garifuna Group (from Belize), Chicago Mariachi Project, and Chicago Cuatro Orchestra a community music program, founded to preserve the history and usage of the cuatro, Puerto Rico’s national instrument.
On Saturday night, the prolific Chicago-based band, the Jose Valdes Orchestra, will begin the evening, followed by the Charangeo Orchestra. The closing set will feature popular the rising star trumpeter Victor Garcia leading an ensemble featuring legendary Chicago bluesman, Billy Branch alongside organist Dan Trudell and featuring alto player Greg Ward, amongst other local musicians.
(Trumpeter Victor Garcia)
The next Neighborhood Nights event on August 8th at Senn High School Auditorium, 5900 N. Glenwood Ave. will be a performance by Chicago saxophonist Ari Brown’s Quintet. Brown, a truly seminal fixture on the Chicago music scene since the late 1960s, is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and will help set the table for the celebration of the AACM’s 50th during the festival weekend in Millennium Park. Brown’s quintet features his brother Kirk Brown on piano, Yosef Ben Israel on bass, Dr. Cuz on percussion and Avreeayl Ra on drums.
(Saxophonist Ari Brown)
On August 8th, at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park, Chicago vocal legend Teddy Thomas will bring his sextet of musicians Mike Allemana (guitar), Roger Harris (piano), Matt Ferguson (bass), Greg Artry (drums) and a saxophonist Victor Goines.
(Vocalist Teddy Thomas)
Widely regarded as one of Chicago’s most innovative composers and performers bassist Matt Ulery will bring his band Loom to Logan Square Roundabout on August 22nd. Ulery is . Loom features some of Chicago’s most in-demand musicians: Marquis Hill (trumpet), Rob Clearfield (piano), Geof Bradfield (saxophone), Jon Deitmeyer (drums).
(Bassist and Composer Matt Ulery)
Full Neighborhood Nights Lineup:
Chicago Latin Jazz Festival – July 17th & 18th:
7PM – Samuel Del Real Orchestra,
Featuring Original Arrangements of Traditional Music
from His Native Colombia
8PM – Roy McGrath Quintet
Roy McGrath – sax, Juan Pastor – drums, Victor Junito Rivera – congas, Ian Stewart – bass, Joaquin Garcia – piano
9PM – Papo Vasquez’ Mighty Pirate Troubadours (from NYC)
1:30 PM – Laruni Hati Garifuna Group (from Belize)
2:30 PM – Chicago Mariachi Project
3:30 PM – Chicago Cuatro Orchestra
5:30 PM – Jose Valdes Orchestra
6:30 PM – Charangeo Orchestra
7:30 PM – Victor Garcia Ensemble with Bluesman Billy Branch
Greg Ward – sax, Rich Moore – tenor sax, Luke Malewic, trombone, Dan Trudell, organ, Scott Hesse – guitar, Charles Heath – drums, Billy Branch – harp and vocals
August 8 – Ari Brown – 5PM – 7PM
Senn High School
5900 W. Glenwood
Ari Brown – saxophone
Kirk Brown – piano
Yosef Ben Israel, bass
Dr Cuz – percussion
Avreeayl Ra – drums
August 15 – Teddy Thomas Sextet- 6pm – 8 pm
Garfield Park Conservatory
300 N. Central Park
Teddy Thomas – vocalist
Victor Goines – saxophone
Mike Allemana – guitar
Roger Harris – piano
Matt Ferguson – bass
Greg Artry – drums
August 22 – Matt Ulery’s Loom- 5pm – 7 PM
Logan Square Roundabout
3200 W. Logan Blvd.
Matt Ulery, bass
Rob Clearfield, piano
Jon Deitemyer, drums
Geof Bradfield, reeds
Marquis Hill, trumpet
The Chicago Jazz Festival is produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago. The festival is sponsored in part by ADA 25 Chicago, American Airlines, Aquafina, Chicago Jazz Magazine, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Tribune, CLTV-ChicagoLand’s Television, Communications Direct, Downbeat Magazine, LaGROU Distribution System, Metra, Pepsi, Stella Artois and WGN-TV.
For the latest information on the Chicago Jazz Festival, visit chicagojazzfestival.us, like us on Facebook (Chicago Jazz Festival), follow us on Instagram (@ChicagoDCASE, #ChiJazzFest) and follow us on Twitter (@ChicagoDCASE, @ChiJazzFest, #ChiJazzFest).
About Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs And Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.
About Jazz Institute of Chicago
Founded in 1969, the not for profit Jazz Institute of Chicago has programmed the Chicago Jazz Festival in partnership with the City of Chicago since the festival began in 1979. The organization’s mission to promote and nurture jazz in Chicago is carried out by providing jazz education for youth and adults, supporting the creation of new work by Chicago jazz musicians; growing the audience for jazz by presenting programs that are free and available for all and fostering a thriving jazz community.