Jazz topic of discussion at HPHS

By Jeffrey Bishku-Aykul
Assistant to the Editor

Hyde Park Jazz Society board members Judith Stein and Almarie Wagner will present a talk entitled “Jazz in Hyde Park” at 7 p.m. today, at the Hyde Park Historical Society, 5529 S. Lake Park Ave.

The duo will share newspaper articles from years past about jazz in the area, discuss the music’s mid-century prominence in and recent return to the neighborhood and preview the upcoming Hyde Park Jazz Festival, according to Wagner, the vice president of the Hyde Park Jazz Society.

Almarie Wagner is the wife of the late Hyde Park Jazz Society founder Jim Wagner. She said that “because of urban renewal the jazz clubs were closed down, and jazz sort of disappeared from the South Side. [Jim’s] dream was to bring jazz back to Hyde Park.”

The Hyde Park Jazz Society was an outgrowth of another group Jim Wagner founded in 1998, the Committee to Restore Jazz to Hyde Park.

“[Jim’s] the one who got me involved in the beginnings, the formative days of this jazz society,” said Judith Stein, a secretary for the Hyde Park Jazz Society and co-founder of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, which first took place in September 2007.

For more information about the talk, visit hydeparkhistory.org or call 773-324-7325. The Hyde Park Jazz Festival will take place Saturday, Sept. 28, from 1 p.m. to midnight and Sunday, Sept. 29, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.