|Photo Credit: James Walker and JazzChicago.net|
Hyde Park Jazz Fest
Recognizing the place of Hyde Park in the history of jazz in Chicago, the Hyde Park Jazz Society is committed to the encouragement, promotion, and expansion of jazz performance in the Hyde Park/mid-South Side community, as well as to the education and expansion of the jazz listening audience and the development and support of jazz musicians.
The Hyde Park Jazz Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
In 1995, James W. Wagner formed the Committee to Restore Jazz to Hyde Park with the goal of returning Hyde Park to its glory days as a mecca for jazz musicians and fans. The committee enlisted the support of the past two presidents of the University of Chicago, Hugo Sonnenschein and Don Michael Randel, which resulted in the relocation of the Checkerboard Lounge to Harper Court in Hyde Park. The Committee to Restore Jazz to Hyde Park reconstituted itself as the Hyde Park Jazz Society in 2006 and successfully sponsored CheckerJAZZ, a Sunday night jazz series at the "New Checkerboard Lounge for Blues and Jazz," and supported performance by high school jazz musicians with a Sunday afternoon school series.
In June 2009, the relationship between the Hyde Park Jazz Society and the Checkerboard Lounge ended. The Sunday night jazz series moved to a new venue, ROOM 43, less than one mile north of its former location, were it thrived, winning praise from our audience and musicians alike.
In April 2011, as a result of licensing problems with the City of Chicago, the Hyde Park Jazz Society was forced to leave Room 43 until that time when the City would issue Room 43 a PPA license. The Sunday night jazz series took up residence in the L26 Restaurant in the South Loop Hotel in April 2011. After seven months, the HPJS moved once again--this time to the Marmon Grand. It was on January 8, 2012 when the Hyde Park Jazz Society finally returned to Room 43, with the licensing issues apparently resolved. There was one final scare in Fall 2012 when the City appealed the previous Court ruling. On November 14, 2012, Judge Novak denied the City's complaint, and the Hyde Park Jazz Society happily continues at Room 43.
In Fall 2013 the Hyde Park Jazz Society created "Second Tuesdays at Cafe Logan,” a free eight-concert series in partnership with the Logan Center for the Arts (915 E. 60th Street) on the campus of the University of Chicago. Meeting with great success, the series was moved to the third Tuesday of the academic year in Fall 2015, necessitating the name change to "Third Tuesdays at Cafe Logan,” where it continues today.
The Hyde Park Jazz Society and its partner, John Wright Music, began a program of honoring jazz musicians, promoters, and supporters who have made distinguished contributions to jazz in Chicago. These tributes occur periodically throughout the year and are presented at the break between the first and second sets during our Sunday JAZZ series. Follow our calendar for the next scheduled tribute, and see our list of previous honorees below (scroll down).
It was with great sorrow that the Board of the Hyde Park Jazz Society announced the passing of its founder, James W. Wagner, on Saturday, 10 January 2009. Through his relentless efforts and commitment, he fulfilled his dream of bringing jazz back to Hyde Park. We are grateful he lived long enough to see his dream come to fruition through our very successful Sunday evening jazz series and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. We will miss him, but will never forget him.
The Hyde Park Jazz Society has become a proud partner with the University of Chicago and the Hyde Park Alliance for Arts and Culture (HyPa) in presenting the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, the first of which was held on September 29, 2007 and featured 13 hours of free jazz!
The 2nd Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival (14 hours of free jazz) took place on Saturday, September 27, 2008.
The 3rd Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival (15 hours of free jazz) was another great success on Saturday, September 26, 2009.
The 4th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival (13 hours of free jazz) occurred on Saturday, September 25, 2010.
The 5th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival grew to two days and 20 hours of free jazz. It occurred on Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25, 2011. Its fundraising Gala was held on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at the Museum of Science and Industry featuring pianist/vocalist Freddy Cole.
The 6th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival - on Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30, 2012 - offered 17 hours of free jazz on 17 stages, adding a second stage with a dance floor on the Midway Plaisance. Its fundraising Gala was held on Friday, September 14, 2012 at the new Logan Center for the Arts with the Victor Garcia Septet performing.
The 7th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival - on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29, 2013 - offered 2 days/nights of free jazz on multiple stages in numerous venues throughout the greater Hyde Park neighborhood, including a stage dedicated to dance music with a dance floor on the Midway Plaisance. Its fundraising Benefit Reception & Concert were held on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at the new Logan Center for the Arts with the Etienne Charles Quintet performing.
The 8th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival - on Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, September 28, 2014 - offered 2 days/nights of free jazz on multiple stages in numerous venues throughout the greater Hyde Park neighborhood, including a stage dedicated to dance music with a dance floor on the Midway Plaisance. Its fundraising Benefit Reception & Concert were held on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at the new Promontory Restaurant and Music Venue featuring the WRW Trio (Steve Wilson, Renee Rosnes, Peter Washington).
In 2014 The Hyde Park Jazz Festival became an independent not-for-profit under its own name. The University of Chicago continues to be its primary partner and the Hyde Park Jazz Society continues as its co-producer.
The 9th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival will occur on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27, 2015 - offering 2 days/nights of free jazz on multiple stages in numerous venues throughout the greater Hyde Park neighborhood, including a stage dedicated to dance music with a dance floor on the Midway Plaisance. Its fundraising Benefit Reception & Concert will be held on Thursday, June 25, 2015 at the Promontory Restaurant and Music Venue.
James W. Wagner, Founder
|HISTORY OF TRIBUTE CONCERTS|
|Lorraine Walton||Wife of Chas. Walton||3/9/08|
|Virginia Watson||Wife of John Watson||3/9/08|
|Ruby Rogers||V.P. Jazz Institute of Chicago||3/9/08|
|Teri Seals||Wife of Sonny Seals||5/18/08|
|Barbara Young||Wife of Eldee Young||5/18/08|
|Geraldine DeHass||Founder Jazz Unites||5/18/08|
|Joyce Chapel||Wife of Eddie Chapel||7/27/08|
|Naomi Scales||Wife of Willie Scales||7/27/08|
|Marion Burton||Wife of Jimmy Burton||12/14/08|
|Maggie Brown||Daughter of Oscar Brown Jr.||12/14/08|
|Ezell Cooper||Music Shop Owner (Coop's)||4/12/09|
|Almarie Wagner||Wife of James Wagner Founder of HPJS||8/9/09|
|Bob Koester||Delmark Records/Founder Jazz Record Mart||10/4/09|
|Joe Segal||Founder Jazz Showcase||10/4/09|
|Richard Steele||Radio Personality - WBEZ||6/20/10|
|Gilbert Daspit||Radio Personality - WHPK||11/29/10|
|Lauren Deutsch||Exec. Director, Jazz Institute of Chicago||3/25/12|
Our E-Mail Address: contact the Hyde Park Jazz Society
Webmaster: Ken Scott