Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago Jazz Festival

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The Chicago Jazz Festival is a popular and well-known four day free celebration of jazz at Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park in downtown Chicago. It is run by the Jazz Institute of Chicago during Labor Day weekend, integrating both world-famous and local artists. A wide variety of jazz music is played.

Before 1978, three different annual jazz festivals sponsored all were scheduled for August in Grant Park. Because of this, the Mayor's Office of Special Events decided to help join the three different festivals together into the Chicago Blues Festival with a week of free jazz performances. The newly created festival was famous for performances dedicated to Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, as well as many other performances by the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Famous performers include Miles Davis, Benny Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Anthony Braxton, Betty Carter, Lionel Hampton, Chico O'Farrill's big band, Jimmy Dawkins, Von Freeman, Johnny Frigo, Slide Hampton, Roy Haynes, and many others.

Complementary sets have often been scheduled simultaneously, such as at the DuSable Museum. Each year, many prominent Chicago musicians host late-night jam sessions beginning after the concerts are over and running late into the night, including David Boykin, Fred Anderson, Dana Hall, Karl E. H. Seigfried, and Keefe Jackson. The festival is part of a summer-long series of concerts and festivals, including Taste of Chicago and the Chicago Blues Festival.

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