Jazz Festival returns to Hyde Park

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The Hyde Park Jazz Festival will feature nearly 30 free performances over Sept. 25-26.

An Ngo, City Life Editor

For a 15th year, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival will return to fill the neighborhood with music and highlight Chicago’s unique culture Sept. 25-26. 

Last year’s festival was held mostly online using livestreams and had a few pop-up events in the neighborhood. This year, every artist will be performing in person.

“I think this year that’s the biggest thing, get excited to just be together again fully,” Sam Lewis, festival co-executive director, said.  

With 29 live performances and two streamed performances over the two-day festival, listeners will have non-stop music to enjoy. Performers include Corey Wilkes, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Sharel Cassity and the Micah Collier Trio.

“The South Side is on the major come up, and not just Hyde Park either,” Mr. Lewis said. “Neighborhoods like Englewood are just really starting to really thrive, and I think it’s really going to change the narrative and make this a more inclusive city and make this more of a city that has opportunity north, south and west. I think that to me is the ultimate goal and I think the festival is a huge part of that.”

I think it’s really going to change the narrative and make this a more inclusive city and make this more of a city that has opportunity north, south and west.”

— Mr. Lewis

Venues include the Midway Plaisance, the Logan Center for the Arts, the Smart Museum, the Augustana Church and the DuSable Museum for African American History. Over 25 vendors will be stationed on the Midway as well as an information booth and festival shirts for sale.

“Outside, there are no hardcore requirements,” Mr. Lewis said. “We encourage everyone to be vaccinated and masked if they feel it necessary, but there are no restrictions, no vaccine mandates or anything like that this year, mainly because our festival footprint is not an enclosed space.”

The jazz festival has no partitions at outdoor spaces separating it from the rest of the neighborhood, meaning that there are no entrances where vaccination status can be checked. 

Masking is mandatory for performances at the Logan Center and require advance RSVP.

Free buses will run from 12 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, taking attendees in between venues.

The full schedule of performances is available on the Hyde Park Jazz Festival’s website.