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Celebrate Jazz During the 27th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago Jazz Festival Chicago Jazz Festival Bryan Thompson

Jazz up the Labor Day Weekend with three full days of free music in Grant Park, which includes special tributes to four jazz legends, preceded by the ticketed concert at the Symphony Center on Thursday, September 1. The City of Chicago, Jazz Institute of Chicago and U.S. Cellular proudly announce the 2005 Chicago Jazz Festival, September 1-4, 2005.

The Chicago Jazz Festival opens at 7:30 p.m. with the Symphony Center concert on Thursday, which celebrates the 70th anniversary of Down Beat magazine with a unique performance featuring three generations of world-renowned jazz musicians: pianist John Medeski, Louis Hayes and the Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band, and The Zawinul Syndicate with Joe Zawinul. This compilation of world-renowned musicians kicks-off the weekend’s celebration.

The festival moves to Grant Park on Friday, opening at 11 a.m. Music begins at noon on the Hewitt Jazz on Jackson stage and will feature, among others, Artist in Residence Slide Hampton. As highly regarded for his writing as his playing, Hampton is a jazz trombonist icon who performs with local Chicago musicians on all three stages, including a performance with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble on the Petrillo Music Shell Sunday evening.

The Jazz and Heritage Family Stage opens at 12:30 p.m. on Friday with a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians with students from the organization. The Jazz and Heritage Stage combines history and information about the genre with the element of live music.

Then at 5 p.m., music lights up the night at the Petrillo Music Shell with the Denny Zeitlin Trio with Buster Williams and Matt Wilson: "Remembering Charlie Weeks." This Trio’s performance honors Weeks as Zeitlin’s childhood friend, the late president of the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Then, the Grammy® nominated 21-piece Angel Melendez & 911 MAMBO Orchestra will take to the stage moving people to dance with their salsa flair. The group will be coming off their performance at Viva! Chicago, which takes place Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28.

The evening ends with the Roy Haynes Quartet, a tribute to living legend Roy Haynes as he celebrates his 80th Birthday. For more than 50 years, Haynes has been an innovative drummer, shaping some of the greatest recordings in jazz. His accomplishments include residencies with Jazz greats including Sarah Vaughan, Lester Young, John Coltrane and many more. Haynes performs along with his youthful 20-something band, proving his influence for generations past and those to come.

Saturday evening begins at the Petrillo Music Shell with "A Salute to Eddie Johnson" featuring Eric Schneider and Friends. Johnson, a Chicago native, began his musical career at age 10, and became well known in the jazz scene with his tenor saxophone. At 8:30 p.m. the trio of Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield and Larry Goldings will honor drummer Tony Williams. Goldings is considered by many to be one of today’s premiere jazz organists, pianists and composers while Scofield has a reputation as a peerless jazz guitarist of groove and jam-oriented music. The trio is anchored by Chicagoan De Johnette, widely recognized as one of jazz music’s greatest drummers, promising a combination of world-class music that will celebrate the inspiration and creativity of Williams with a show sure to be a highlight of the weekend’s performances.

On Sunday, the Petrillo Music Shell performances begin at 5 p.m. with "Homage to King Oliver." Le Petit Jazzband from France pays tribute to this cornet player who played much of his career in Chicago. King Oliver,

known as one of the most important musicians and bandleaders in New Orleans Jazz, mentored Louis Armstrong. The event ends with "Jamming for Bird: a Charlie Parker 85th Birthday Event" featuring the Charles McPherson Quartet, plus special guests Frank Morgan and Donald Harrison. One of the most influential improvising soloists in jazz, and a central figure in the development of bebop, Parker has inspired numerous jazz performers and composers.

In addition to the music, the Chicago Jazz Festival features an art fair located in the rose garden just south of Jackson. The fair offers a variety of handmade crafts and artwork.

Jackson Boulevard is also the locale where Jazz fans can enjoy refreshments from local vendors or relax in the wine garden.

The Chicago Jazz Festival opens each day at 11 a.m. Performance hours are:

Hewitt Jazz on Jackson Stage 12 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

Jazz & Heritage Family Stage 12:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

Petrillo Music Shell 5 p.m. 9:30 p.m.

For more information on the Chicago Jazz Festival, and a complete talent line-up, call the Mayor's Office of Special Events Hotline at (312) 744-3370, TTY (312) 744-2964 or visit the Mayor's Office of Special Events on the Internet at

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Chicago Jazz Festival
  • Press Release Date: 9/1/2005
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