Produced by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Jazz Festival has been a vital part of the Windy City’s cultural landscape since its formation in 1979. A free 4-day event held over Labor Day weekend, the festival moved from its longstanding location in Grant Park to the Chicago Cultural Center in Millennium Park.
This year’s edition featured performances by national headliners such as Dr. Lonnie Smith, Sheila Jordan with the Steve Kuhn Trio, Jon Faddis, Rebirth Brass Band, Mary Halvorson, Jason Moran, Matt Wilson, Allison Miller, Donny McCaslin and Dr. Michael White, as well as local heroes like Roscoe Mitchell, George Freeman, Dee Alexander, the Chicago Jazz Composers Collective, Willie Pickens, Ari Brown and Sparrow.
Moran presented a special performance of “In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall 1959” dedicated to the legendary pianist’s historic show. A show called 100 Years of Ella Fitzgerald celebrated her legacy and featured the Bradley William Trio, Jordan, Alexander, Frieda Lee, Spider Saloff and Paul Marinaro. Roscoe Mitchell’s Quartets celebrated 50 years of Nessa Records. One stage featured a succession of local high school jazz bands.
Photos are by Lauren Deutsch and c/o the City of Chicago.