Aug. 29, 2013 was officially Jack DeJohnette Day in Chicago, as decreed by the mayor and announced by a city official from the stage before the Windy City-born drummer’s opening performance at the 35th Chicago Jazz Festival. DeJohnette maintained his composure as the official read the proclamation. But when she handed the document to him, he got a bit weak-kneed.
“Oh, wow!” he said, rocking back and staring up at the sky. As huge an honor as it was for him to be named an NEA Jazz Master last year, you got the feeling this award from his hometown meant even more to him.