July 12, 2012
The 34th annual Chicago Jazz Festival doesn't begin until Aug. 30, but a 10-concert series leading up to it will expand the footprint of the event in unexpected ways.
Though listeners everywhere know that the fest unfolds in downtown Chicago every Labor Day weekend, the new Neighborhood Nights series lives up to its name by pushing outside the Loop. In addition, by starting this weekend -- with a miniature Latin Jazz Festival at the Humboldt Park Boathouse on Friday -- the series has been fashioned to build upon the main event.
"What we're trying to do is reach into neighborhoods all over the city, so there's a kind of citywide, community ownership of the Chicago Jazz Festival," says Lauren Deutsch, executive director of the nonprofit Jazz Institute of Chicago, which programs the event. "We're moving into the neighborhoods -- particularly neighborhoods that might not necessarily be known as hotbeds of jazz -- because we are so confident that this music has the ability to reach everyone."
Read the full Neighborhood Nights preview