Jazz fest collecting stories

Staff Writer

The 7th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival will take place on Sept. 28 and Sept. 29. Featured as a part of this year’s live jazz performances will be an oral history booth.

Each year local and national artists come to the festival and give live shows at venues throughout Hyde Park. Some of this year’s music highlights include Israeli clarinet master Anat Cohen, who will perform a duet with Brazilian guitarist Douglas Lora at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel; Gerald Clayton, a distinctive pianist of the under-30 generation, who will front a trio at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts; and bands led by artists such as MacArthur Genius Grant winner Ken Vandermark, drummer-impresario Mike Reed, percussionist Dana Hall, multi-instrumentalist Douglas Ewart and vocalists Dee Alexander and Tammy McCann.

“We’re going to have a more diversified selection of artists performing such as pianist Willie Pickens and singer Maggie Brown, who are straight ahead traditional blues oriented jazz … [and] free jazz bands — or experimental bands — such as Ken Vandermark’s Midwest School; Frank Rosaly’s Green and Gold,” said jazz festival director Kate Dumbleton.

Dumbleton has also tried to adjust performance schedules so that similar attractions are in sequence, so listeners who want to hear all the experimental artists, for instance, can catch one after another in different settings.

Another festival highlight includes the oral history booth. The committee is focusing on getting jazz-based stories from across the South Side.

“So many great jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong came through the South Side,” Dumbleton said. “The number of trajectories of music that has come from the South Side is extraordinary.”

Dumbleton said this year the committee is piloting the oral history program and contacting different organizations to discuss ways to develop it into a bigger project.

For more information about the jazz fest, visit hydeparkjazzfestival.org.