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SummerArts: Jazz

Chicago Jazz Festival (Chicago, IL)

Various venues

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(August 30-September 2, 2012) When Duke Ellington died in 1974, a group of musicians gathered in Grant Park to commemorate the incredible musician’s life. Thousands of jazz lovers came out to celebrate and the festival was a resounding success. Several other jazz festivals at different venues in Chicago followed and the city eventually proposed a conglomerate event that combined these festivals into what has become the Chicago Jazz Festival, the largest open-admission jazz festival in the world.

Held over three days at the end of August, the festival draws hundreds of thousands of fans and the elite of the jazz world, most recently Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, and Kurt Elling. It’s advisable to book hotels and amenities well in advance, as the festival attracts huge crowds from all over the world.

Chicago Jazz Festival (Chicago, IL) Information

  • Venues: Part of the festival includes a Chicago jazz-club tour at various venues around the city. Main venues are in Millennium and Grant parks (200–300 E. Jackson)
  • Public Transportation: Poor
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Performances/Programs: Approximate 30 performances are given during the festival, which takes place each September
  • Ticket Prices: Admission is free.