When Jazz great Duke Ellington died in 1974, dozens of Chicago musicians gathered at the bandstand in Grant Park to honor his memory and legacy with an end of summer jam session, in what would become an annual event.
A few years later, a group of musicians organized the first John Coltrane Memorial, and gathered in Grant Park in August to play some jazz. Then in 1979, the Jazz Institute of Chicago began plans for an August concert in the park. Three different Jazz concerts in the park in August, gave birth to an idea for The Chicago Jazz Festival. Combining the talents, efforts and audiences of all three events into one big Jazz Party at the new Petrillo Music Shell. The idea was an instant success and has been every one of its 35 years.
Plan to be in Chicago for the 36th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival, August 28 – 31, at the Chicago Cultural Center in Millennium Park. Listen to the music, dance on the grass, picnic in the park. Get a full weekend of Jazz the way its meant to be…..Absolutely Free.