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8th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Fest Continues to Reach the Community

Lee Edwards | 9/24/2014, 4:15 p.m.
The 8th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Fest, a free two-day festival featuring local, national, and international jazz artists, is now ...
Vocalist Tammy McCann performs during the Chicago Jazz Orchestra in 2013. In 2007, the University of Chicago, the Hyde Park Jazz Society, and several community stakeholders and supporters organized the first Hyde Park Jazz Fest.

The 8th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Fest, a free two-day festival featuring local, national, and international jazz artists, is now a community staple that honors the history of jazz on Chicago’s south side of and will take place at several different venues spanning the Hyde Park community Sept. 27 and 28.

In 2007, the University of Chicago, the Hyde Park Jazz Society, and several community stakeholders and supporters organized the very first Hyde Park Jazz Fest where over 5,000 people enjoyed live jazz performances. Since that time, the event that is continuously growing. Last year’s fest yielded roughly 15,000 people that attended according to the event's officials.

“The University [of Chicago] and cultural institutions were looking for a way to bring people to Hyde Park and to [become] better known in the Chicago area,” said Almarie Wagner, vice president of the Hyde Park Jazz Society and treasure of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival board. “They, knowing about our Jazz Society, thought about having some sort of jazz event and working with the Jazz Society they began to create a plan. We’ve been working very closely with the Jazz Festival, we the Jazz Society, since the origin of the idea. We work very strongly with the music programming for the festival.”

Founded nearly 10 years ago by the late Jim Wagner, The Hyde Park Jazz Society is committed to the encouragement, promotion, and expansion of jazz performance in the Hyde Park/mid-south side community, as well as to the education and expansion of the jazz listening audience and the development and support of jazz musicians.

“We have partnerships year round that help provide education and appreciation---upcoming we are hosting a Listening Session with the African American violist, Regina Carter, in partnership with the University of Chicago Presents,” said Hyde Park Jazz Fest, Artistic Director, Kate Dumbleton. “Listening to music is one of the greatest educations a person could have.”

Although admission to the Fest is free, organizers are asking for a five dollars donation.

For additional information about the Hyde Park Jazz Fest visit http://hydeparkjazzfestival.org/. To learn more about the Hyde Park Jazz Society visit http://www.hydeparkjazzsociety.com/index.html.