January 18, 2013

New Look For 2013 Chicago Jazz Festival

August 29-September 1 In Millennium Park

DCASE    312.744.3316

35th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival Announces Hamid Drake

As Artist-in-Residence

The Chicago Jazz Festival has long been celebrated as the first of the lakefront music festivals, and as it marks its 35th year, the event will move to Millennium Park from festival grounds in Grant Park, August 29-September 1.  Performances will also happen in the Chicago Cultural Center. (78 E. Washington) The festival is presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. (DCASE) and programmed in partnership with the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

“The Chicago Jazz Festival highlights a genre that is such a part of Chicago’s musical heritage and it’s a great Labor Day Weekend tradition,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of DCASE.  “But over time, traditions can use a jolt of new and fresh ideas.  Millennium Park and the Pritzker Pavilion’s state-of-the-art sound system provide an idyllic setting to enjoy this festival and experience the intricacies of jazz music.”

The first evening of the Chicago Jazz Festival, Thursday, August 29, will once again coincide with the final evening of Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz.  Then on Friday, three stages will come alive with entertainment in Millennium Park (including the north and south ends of the Chase Promenade) as the festival begins that day at 2 p.m. and continues until 10 p.m.   Saturday and Sunday hours will also be extended from previous years, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and an additional stage will feature live performances, resulting in the festival providing the most hours of free jazz music than it has in recent years.

As is the tradition of the festival, the 2013 Artist in Residence is Chicago drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake.

Drake moved to the Chicago area with his parents in the early sixties, living on the same street as Fred Anderson who would mentor the pre-teen drummer.  By the early seventies, Drake joined Anderson’s band, playing with him on stage at the inauguralChicago Jazz Festival in 1979.  The worldwide demand for his talents regularly takes Drake away from home.  His Artist Residency affords Chicagoans the rare opportunity to hear him in several contexts over the course of one weekend, and his appearance at the Chicago Jazz Festival – 34 years after he first played this event – encompasses the festival’s entire history.

The stage that promotes the future of the genre by highlighting local high school and college jazz bands and ensembles, The Chicago Community Trust Young Jazz Lions Stage, will find its new home on the Harris Theater Rooftop on Saturday and Sunday.

Millennium Park and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion will also play host to the first night of the 30th Annual Chicago Blues Festival, Thursday, June 6, before the milestone event moves to Grant Park for three full days of music on five stages, June 7-9.

For continuing updates on the 35th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival, visit www.chicagojazzfestival.us, and become a fan on the Chicago Jazz Festival Facebook page. 

For updates on the 30th Chicago Blues Festival, visit www.chicagobluesfestival.us and become a fan on the Chicago Blues Festival Facebook page.  Follow both events on twitter @ChicagoDCASE.


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Note to media seeking credentials

The festival will have a two-tiered credential system in place at Millennium Park for photo journalists.   A separate photo credential will be given for all other stages; the Pritzker Pavilion photo credentials are limited.   Those not receiving photo credentials will still receive reserved seating; however, those journalists will be unable to photograph in front of the stage.  (Note: You must stay seated.) Journalists will be notified in advance.

Media requesting credentials to cover the 35th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival must submit requests in advance of the event, no later than two weeks prior to the start of the festival. (Submissions must be received by August 16 and include dates requested, press or photo and an email address to which information can be directed.)

Submit requests on media letterhead via fax at 312.744.8523 or regular mail: 

Prior to March 10
Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
121 N. LaSalle Street, Room 806
Chicago IL 60602


After March 10
Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
78 E. Washington Street, Room 410
Chicago IL 60602



Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.

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