Hyde Park Jazz Festival | Music Sidebar | Chicago Reader

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Hyde Park Jazz Festival

Saturday's jazz marathon features an impressive cast of local players, including Ernest Dawkins, Nicole Mitchell, Willie Pickens, Dana Hall, Robert Irving III, and Dee Alexander.


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Spread across 13 indoor and outdoor venues on Saturday, September 25, the fourth annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival features a lineup packed with top-shelf local players. The music begins at 1 PM with the University of Chicago X-Tet at the James W. Wagner Stage (on Midway Plaisance between Ellis and Woodlawn) and the U-High Lab Tet at the DuSable Museum of African American History. Highlights from the daylong schedule include the Bethany Pickens Trio (Robie House, 2:30 and 3:30 PM), the Robert Irving III Quintet (International House, 3 PM), the Ernest Dawkins Organ Trio (Hyde Park Art Center, 3:30 PM), flutist Nicole Mitchell & the Black Earth Ensemble (Experimental Station, 4 PM), the Willie Pickens Trio (Hyde Park Union Church, 5:30 PM), the Orbert Davis Quintet (Hyde Park Union Church, 7 PM), Dana Hall's Spring (Rockefeller Chapel, 11:30 PM), and New York salsa dura band La Excelencia, who also play the World Music Festival at 3 PM (International House, 9 PM). Vocalist Dee Alexander closes the fest by hosting a midnight jam session at the International House. All shows are free and all-ages, but donations are accepted; those who give $125 or more will earn a "Jazz Pass" good for preferred seating at certain venues. Though many of the venues are within a short walk of one another, a free shuttle service will serve all of them throughout the event. A prefestival gala at the South Shore Cultural Center on Thursday, September 23, features a performance by Dee Alexander at 7 PM; it begins at 6 PM with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and tickets are $150. For more info, see Jazz listings by day, call 773-324-8614, or visit hydeparkjazzfestival.org 

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