Hyde Park Jazz Fest starts Saturday

Dee Alexander Quartet -Jasmine Kwong

Contributing Writer

The 12th annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival will fill the neighborhood this weekend with an eclectic musical cornucopia from 36 outstanding jazz artists performing across 13 different stages on Saturday and Sunday.

This year’s fest promises to be an unforgettable mix of some of the most sought after names in jazz music, including dynamic up-and-coming artists and diverse performances that offer something for every jazz taste.

Featured performances include Chicagoan, Dee Alexander who will present her new project: “What Color is Love? The Music of Terry Callier” highlighting musicians Tomeka Reid (cello), Junius Paul (bass), Ernie Adams (drums) and Scott Hesse (guitar).

Another special project will be the Chicago premiere of Mike Reed’s “The City Was Yellow: The Chicago Suite.” Reed’s original arrangements of notable Chicago jazz composers such as Ari Brown, Ed Wilkerson, Fred Anderson and more are featured.

Among other featured performers are jazz composer, arranger and percussionist Thaddeus Tukes who has performed with Branford Marsalis; Christian Sands, who began playing the piano at 4 years old; and Allison Miller leading her band Boom Tic Boom.

As always, jazz afficonados will be spread-out through the Hyde Park area, at The Midway Plaisance, Wagner Stage at the Midway, Logan Center Performance Hall, Oriental Institute, Augustana Lutheran Church and even the Hyde Park Bank, Little Black Pearl and Smart Museum to name a few of the locations.

Grammy nominated jazz saxophonist Ravi Coltrane will team with harpist Brandee Younger in a Saturday night performance at the Rockefeller Chapel focusing on the music of his mother, Alice Coltrane.

Pianist Jason Moran will close the festival with a solo performance celebrating the music of Willie Pickens and Muhal Richard Abrams, who both died earlier this year. This is a special addition to the program, and it is the only performance that carries an entrance fee ($15).

Co-produced with the Hyde Park Jazz Society, the other performances of the festival are free through the support of lead and founding sponsor the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement. For more information on performances, food and drinks, schedule and locations of the stages, log onto www.hydeparkjazzfestival.org.