Preview: Sizzling and Mellow Are on the Menu for the 2022 Chicago Jazz Festival

The Chicago Jazz Festival is spoken of in the same breath as some venerable institutions like Newport, Montreux, and Telluride. In fact, Chicago is known as a proving ground for many of the greats in jazz history. The Chicago Jazz Festival 2022 is happening now! A lot of neighborhood venues have been building up to the downtown Chicago gathering. The big deal starts today, Thursday, September 1. My Third Coast colleague Bob Benenson and I will be there to cover the festival. We hope to see you there in this time of re-emergence back into our beautiful city. Highlights of the festival include Donald Harrison, Henry Threadgill and Zooid, Bill Frisell, William Parker and his quintet, Miguel Zenón, Linda May Han Oh, and Jazzmeia Horn, among many others Admission is free to all performances.

This year's festival is programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago, and produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, aka DCASE. The downtown venues are the Chicago Cultural Center, the Harris Theater, and of course Pritzker Pavillion in beautiful Millennium Park. The sponsors feature the South Side Jazz Coalition, The Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Goose Island, Downbeat, Chicago's Very Own WGN9, and WDCB Radio.

Chicago Jazz Festival poster.

The weather will be warm and sunny so come outside and listen to world-class music. There will be extra security at all locations and you can't bring liquor into the venues, but there are beverage and food stands to keep you hydrated and mellow. The Chicago Jazz Festival started as a tribute to Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and other masters of the genre. In 1979, the city Office of Special Events organized the first Chicago-sponsored event in Grant Park. Come listen to legend and future legends. For a schedule of performers, a map of locations, and more on the history of the festival, please visit the festival website or the DCASE website. Admission to all performances is free and no advanced reservations are required.

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Kathy D. Hey

Kathy D. Hey writes creative non-fiction essays. A lifelong Chicagoan, she is enjoying life with her husband, daughter and three dogs in the wilds of Edgewater. When she isn’t at her computer, she is in her garden growing vegetables and herbs for kitchen witchery.