WBEZ | Chicago Jazz Festival http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-jazz-festival Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Jazz legend Jack DeJohnette returns to Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-08/jazz-legend-jack-dejohnette-returns-chicago-108558 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/2044758285_e3d7203cd0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-1a876bfa-ca8c-cebe-1f35-a6a8dcd283cb">Born on the South Side, educated at what was then called the Chicago Vocational High School, <a href="http://www.jackdejohnette.com/">Jack DeJohnette</a> went on to become one of the greatest drummers in jazz history.</p><p dir="ltr">Now he&rsquo;s back in his hometown, to kick off the <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_jazz_festival.html">35th Chicago Jazz Festival.</a></p><p dir="ltr">Thursday night DeJohnette will play alongside a group of Chicago musicians who helped form his sound: Muhal Richard Abrams, Larry Gray, Roscoe Mitchell and Henry Threadgill.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Special Legends Edition Chicago&rdquo; is the name of the concert, as well as a reference to a group/musicial project DeJohnette started back in the seventies.</p><p dir="ltr">But the gathering is also a nod to the <a href="http://aacmchicago.org/">Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians </a>or AACM. Abrams, Mitchell and Threadgill are members, and DeJohnette says the physical and experimental space they carved out in Chicago is what prepared him for &ldquo;the world stage of music.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">DeJohnette&rsquo;s presence on that stage is enormous. After moving to New York City in the 1960s, he played with most of the jazz giants: John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Stan Getz and more.</p><p dir="ltr">In addition to his own extensive discography, DeJohnette appears on two game-changing jazz albums: <em>Forest Flowers</em>, performed live at the 1966 Montreux Jazz Festival by the Charles Lloyd quartet, and <em>Bitches Brew</em>, the 1970 album by Miles Davis.</p><p dir="ltr">DeJohnette says though he wanted to &ldquo;be the best he could be,&rdquo; he never imagined he&rsquo;d wind up in the company of musicians he revered.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Even today I still pinch myself and say wow,&rdquo; DeJohnette said, &ldquo;I played with these people!&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">When I spoke with DeJohnette, he was on his way to a nine hour rehearsal for Thursday&rsquo;s show. If that sounds like a rough schedule, the drummer says he got used to long days in Chicago.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We used to play until four in the morning and then they used to have what they called the &lsquo;breakfast jam&rsquo;,&rdquo; DeJohnette recalled. &ldquo;Guys would get up at 6:30 or 7 a.m. and play until two, three in the afternoon. I was playing music non-stop.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">DeJohnette started out on the piano but made the switch to drumming in high school. He says it was Chicago musician Eddie Harris who convinced him to stick with it. Harris thought he was a &ldquo;natural&rdquo; on the drums.</p><p dir="ltr">In his time, DeJohnette says there were plenty of places to play jazz in the city, whether a fellow musician&rsquo;s house or the Jazz Showcase or Lincoln Center, the AACM space on 39th Street. And though his focus was on improvised music and composition, DeJohnette says he didn&rsquo;t limit himself.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I played blues, folk music and standards. I had quartets and quintets, backed up singers,&rdquo; DeJohnette said. &ldquo;So I had a broad spectrum of music I immersed myself in.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Last year DeJohnette was awarded the prestigous Jazz Masters Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. At the age of 71, he continues to play in his long-standing trio with Keith Jarrett and Gary Peacock, and record with emerging jazz musicians.</p><p dir="ltr">Likewise, DeJohnette thinks Chicago is still a vital place for jazz, pointing to the efforts of musicians like Mike Reed, who recently opened the performing venue Constellation.</p><p dir="ltr">And though it&rsquo;s been awhile since he&rsquo;s played with the musicians joining him at the festival, DeJohnette says it will all be fine.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;That&rsquo;s the beauty of music,&rdquo; DeJohnette said. &ldquo;You can talk and talk and talk about it. But when you sit down and play it, it&rsquo;s beyond description.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>&ldquo;Special Legends Edition Chicago&rdquo; takes place Aug. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park. The Chicago Jazz Festival runs through Sept. 2. </em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Be sure to join Richard Steele Aug. 30 at 2:30 p.m. as he helps inaugurate the Von Freeman Pavillion south of the Cloudgate sculpture.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Alison Cuddy is WBEZ&rsquo;s Arts and Culture reporter and co-host of <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2">Changing Channels,</a> a podcast about the future of television. Follow her on<a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy"> Twitter</a>,<a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison?ref=tn_tnmn"> Facebook</a> and<a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport"> Instagram</a></em></p></p> Thu, 29 Aug 2013 09:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-08/jazz-legend-jack-dejohnette-returns-chicago-108558 Allen Toussaint to headline Chicago Jazz Festival http://www.wbez.org/culture/allen-toussaint-headline-chicago-jazz-festival-99004 <p><p>Allen Toussaint, Dianne Reeves and Roy Haynes will headline this year's Chicago Jazz Festival.</p><p>Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events announced the lineup on Wednesday. The free festival takes place on the Labor Day weekend, running Aug. 30 to Sept. 2. Haynes has worked with artists like Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. He performs Aug. 30 in Millennium Park.</p><p>Reeves will perform Sept. 1. She is a four-time Grammy winner, most recently for the soundtrack to <em>Good Night and Good Luck</em>.</p><p>Toussaint will close the festival Sunday, Sept. 2, with his <em>The Bright Mississippi</em> featuring Marc Ribot and Don Byron.</p></p> Thu, 10 May 2012 09:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/culture/allen-toussaint-headline-chicago-jazz-festival-99004 Despite setbacks, Chicago Jazz Festival delivers http://www.wbez.org/story/despite-setbacks-chicago-jazz-festival-delivers-91523 <p><div>City officials say Chicago's 33rd annual Jazz Festival was a success, despite some weekend rain and a shortened planning schedule. Cindy Gatziolis, spokeswoman for Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, estimated that 175,000 people turned out for the free performances over four days.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>"With last year, it's down slightly, just because we did have that rain Saturday afternoon," Gatziolis said. "I think it hurt a little bit on that day, but they came in droves yesterday."</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Gatziolis said this year's four-day music festival was also a feat of planning, because preparations began four months later than usual. The timeline was set back because former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley was considering privatizing the city's free music festivals and Taste of Chicago. Ultimately Daley rejected the single bid that came in to privatize the events.</div></p> Mon, 05 Sep 2011 18:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/despite-setbacks-chicago-jazz-festival-delivers-91523 Nope, they won’t have to remain free… and answers to other questions about privatizing the city music festivals http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/nope-they-won%E2%80%99t-have-remain-free%E2%80%A6-and-answers-other-questions-about-privatizing-c <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/tasteofchicagomap.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" style="width: 484px; height: 261px;" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-December/2010-12-13/map.jpg" /></p><p>Midday Monday, three days after the information was supposed to appear online, the Chicago Department of Procurement Services finally got around to <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dps/provdrs/contract/svcs/current_bid_opportunities.html">posting an addendum with 84 questions from promoters</a> considering whether to bid on the contract to privatize the big summer music festivals.</p><p>The 84 corresponding answers shed some light on what the Daley administration hopes to accomplish in its waning days by pawning off the Taste of Chicago, the Blues Festival, and five more formerly public music events&mdash;though by no means do they solve the primary riddle, &ldquo;Why now?&rdquo;</p><p>The (literally) million-dollar question is No. 15: &ldquo;<strong>Will the producer be allowed to charge admission to all or parts of the events?</strong>&rdquo;</p><p>The city&rsquo;s answer: &ldquo;Ideally, these festivals would remain free, but respondents should submit responses that include their recommendations on the economic model which can include an entrance fee.&rdquo;</p><p>We can read that as the city saying it sure would be nice if a promoter came up with a plan that could keep these festivals free, but we know that&rsquo;s as likely to happen as the mercury hitting 110 degrees today. Even Daley crony Megan McDonald, overseer of the privatization drive as executive director of the Mayor&rsquo;s Office of Special Events, has said as much <a href="../../../../../blog/jim-derogatis/are-political-power-struggle-and-sweetheart-deal-fueling-citys-push-privatize-sum">in her public statements</a>.</p><p>The economics simply don&rsquo;t make free admission possible for a private festival, as opposed to a city event, and that&rsquo;s obvious from the profit and loss statements and corporate sponsorship information that the city also released as part of this addendum. The numbers for all seven festivals over the last three years reveal that while they generate considerable revenue, only a few have made money. (Bear in mind the economic downturn; for comparison&rsquo;s sake, it would be fascinating to see the reports for the years preceding the recession.)</p><p>The charts are tacked on at the end of this post, but to summarize: The smaller festivals (Gospel, Celtic, Country, Jazz, and Latin) all lost money in 2008, 2009, and 2010&mdash;a total of about $4.7 million, which isn&rsquo;t as much as it might seem, when you think about all of that music spread over 15 multi-day fests in three years.</p><p>The Blues Festival grossed $1.8 million and netted $218,000 in 2008; it grossed $1.1 million but lost $506,000 net in 2009, and it grossed $968,000 but lost $331,000 net in 2010. Taste of Chicago grossed $17 million and netted about $15 million in 2008; it grossed $14 million but lost almost $1.5 million in 2009, and it grossed $13 million and netted about $171,000 in 2010.</p><p>This would seem to indicate that at least two of the festivals are financially viable, with proper management, and that several of the others ought to be either abandoned or consolidated, or at least have their programming and operations audited by a committee of experts who know what they&rsquo;re doing. But the numbers hardly spell disaster as part of a $6.5 billion annual budget, any more than they equal salvation in the face of a $655 million deficit this year. And they don&rsquo;t necessarily scream, &ldquo;Privatize!&rdquo;</p><p>So, what are some of the other things that the city is seeking or willing to allow as it divests of its marquee musical events? According to the addendum:</p><ul><li>The events cannot take place in Millennium Park, but they don&rsquo;t have to stay in Grant Park. &ldquo;All venues will be considered.&rdquo;</li><li>The events cannot be combined.</li><li>Naming rights can be sold, &ldquo;as long as the name incorporates the current name of the event. For example, you could have the name &lsquo;Acme&rsquo;s Chicago Jazz Festival,&rsquo; but you could not have &lsquo;Acme Fest,&rsquo; or &lsquo;Acme&rsquo;s Jazz and Heritage Festival.&rsquo;&rdquo;</li><li>The city is not expecting revenue sharing from the events, but it is expecting &ldquo;Liquor License fees, Street Closure fees, Building Department Permit fees (for large tents, stages and structures), Itinerant Merchant license fee, [and] Food Vendor license fees,&rdquo; as well as reimbursement for city services.</li><li>As for those services, &ldquo;the Producer may submit a plan for the privatization for some services. However, public safety city services are not negotiable. Although your security plan may include private security services, the plan will be reviewed by the City to determine the level of augmentation by the Chicago Police Department and that will not be negotiable. Additionally, services provided by the Health Department, Fire Department, and Office of Emergency Management and Communications will not be negotiable.&rdquo;</li><li>The city reserves the right to negotiate permit and park rental fees, and to veto particular acts, vendors, or corporate sponsors without the promoters even having recourse to an appeals process.</li></ul><p><strong>And, given the fact that the festivals already are behind the eight ball in terms of being months late for booking talent in 2011, when will the city decide on a winning bidder?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Because of the complexity and large amount of variables with this RFP, a definite timeline cannot be set. However, the City acknowledges that it is in everyone&rsquo;s best interest to resolve all issues as quickly as possible, and will work quickly to expedite all aspects of this RFP.&rdquo;</p><p>Which is to say, &ldquo;Soon&mdash;but we ain&rsquo;t really saying.&rdquo;</p><p>Meanwhile, Procurement Services has changed the date that bids are due, from 4 p.m. on the day before the night before Christmas, to 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 27.</p><p><u><strong>Earlier reports in this blog about privatizing the city festivals:</strong></u></p><p><a href="../../../../../blog/jim-derogatis/city-festivals-chief-responds-blogs-reporting-push-privatization">Dec. 7: City festivals chief responds to this blog&rsquo;s reporting on the push for privatization</a></p><p><a href="../../../../../blog/jim-derogatis/are-political-power-struggle-and-sweetheart-deal-fueling-citys-push-privatize-sum">Dec. 6: Are a political power struggle and a sweetheart deal fueling the city's push to privatize the summer music festivals?</a></p><p><a href="../../../../../blog/jim-derogatis/psst-hey-buddy-wanna-buy-city-festival">Nov. 22: Psst! Hey, buddy: Wanna buy a city festival?</a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" style="width: 506px; height: 223px;" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-December/2010-12-13/2008.jpg" /><img alt="" style="width: 502px; height: 211px;" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-December/2010-12-13/2009.jpg" /><img alt="" style="width: 503px; height: 193px;" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-December/2010-12-13/2010.jpg" /><img title="" alt="" style="width: 446px; height: 497px;" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-December/2010-12-13/sponsorships.jpg" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 14 Dec 2010 12:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/nope-they-won%E2%80%99t-have-remain-free%E2%80%A6-and-answers-other-questions-about-privatizing-c Psst! Hey, buddy: Wanna buy a city festival? http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/psst-hey-buddy-wanna-buy-city-festival <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/taste-of-chicago.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-20/taste-of-chicago.jpg" alt="" title="" style="width: 447px; height: 273px;" /></p><p>Mayor Daley has been talking for some time about privatizing the Taste of Chicago and other major city music festivals in Grant and Millennium parks. Now, with little fanfare, the administration has issued a request for proposals to pawn off its biggest musical celebrations, with responding bids due by 4 p.m. on Dec. 23&mdash;a time when reporters and the public are likely to be paying little attention.</p><p>According to city documents, Chicago spent $2.75 million policing and cleaning up the free festivals last year, with $2.3 million for Taste of Chicago alone. In late October, Special Events Director Megan McDonald <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/2841666,taste-cuts-possible-102710.article">told a City Council hearing grappling with the budget crisis</a> that major cuts would be necessary if the city continued to run the festivals in-house.</p> <p>&quot;We can only do what we have the funding to do and what we&rsquo;re able to raise money to accomplish,&rdquo; McDonald said. Yet the lame-duck Daley administration continued to drag its feet on issuing its invitation to privatize the festivals, which should already be in the process of booking talent and vendors for 2011, and which should have their lineups finalized by March.</p><p>According to its <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dps/provdrs/contract/svcs/current_bid_opportunities.html">solicitation document</a>, the city is seeking &quot;event producers who are willing to produce orderly festivals of the highest standards consistent with the reputation of a world-class city, and which are consistent with the concept of providing family-focused events with budget-friendly food and beverages for sale.&rdquo;</p><p>It adds: &ldquo;The City does not require that the Events be produced exactly as the City has produced them, but if respondent wishes to propose deviations from the events as they are currently planned&hellip; that plan should be spelled out in the proposal.&rdquo;</p><p>In other words: Promoters don&rsquo;t <i style="">have </i>to keep these shindigs free, as the city has, for the approximately six million people who enjoy them every summer.</p><p>Up for rent, just like the parking meters that the mayor unloaded, are the <strong>Chicago Blues Festival</strong> (June 11-13), the <strong>Taste of Chicago</strong> (June 27&ndash;July 4), and the <strong>Chicago Jazz Festival</strong> (September 4-5), all in Grant Park, and the <strong>Chicago Celtic Festival</strong> (May 8-9), the <strong>Chicago Gospel Music Festival</strong> (June 5-6), the <strong>VIVA Chicago Latin Music Festival</strong> (September 17-18), and the <strong>Chicago Country Music Festival</strong> (October 8-9), all in Millennium Park.</p><p>Respondents can submit proposals for just the Grant Park concerts, just the Millennium Park concerts, or both. The terms of the winning contract, should the city award one: three years, with two one-year extensions possible, just like the deal the Park District made with giant national promoters Live Nation to run the concert venue on Northerly Island. (And that, too, is scheduled to go out to bid again this year, though there is not yet any documentation about that process available.)</p> <p>This of course means that the Daley administration will saddle the new mayor, whoever that may be, with any deal that it awards for the entirety of his or her first term&mdash;just one more gift that it&rsquo;s leaving the city of Chicago and Daley's successor on the way out.</p> <p>Left wonderfully vague in the 96-page document outlining the city&rsquo;s request: How much it hopes to earn from privatizing its marquee summer events. It&rsquo;s more like, &ldquo;Hey, make us an offer... please?&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;&ldquo;A goal of the City is to incur no costs for any event, whether in the way of payments to the Producer or in the way of payment of City services to support the events,&rdquo; the solicitation document notes. In another section outlining how the proposals will be evaluated, it adds: &ldquo;The City will consider financial models deemed advantageous to the City.&rdquo;</p> <p>Um, sure, right. Just like the sweetheart deal that Daley made with Lollapalooza, courtesy in part of its lobbyist and attorney, his nephew? <a href="http://www.wbez.org/jderogatis/2010/10/is-chicago-earning-all-that-it-should-from-lollapalooza/38601">See this blog on&nbsp;Oct. 4:&nbsp;&quot;Is the city earning all that it should from Lollapalooza?&quot;</a></p> <p>Continuing to run the festivals in-house isn&rsquo;t necessarily a good idea. From the point of view of the serious music fan, saying that the bookings at most of them have been moribund for the last 15 years is paying them a compliment that hardly is deserved, especially when it comes to Taste of Chicago and the Blues Festival.</p> <p>On the other hand, against all odds and with a minimum of resources, there are city officials who&rsquo;ve done tremendous things with music of late, chief among them Michael Orlove at the Department of Cultural Affairs. (Note that the World Music Festival he&rsquo;s helped build into a premiere global event is not on the list of events for sale.) And the new mayor might have a different set of priorities&mdash;and much better taste&mdash;when it comes to programming the city music fests.</p> <p>The city held a pre-proposal conference Thursday afternoon, but amazingly, none of the Chicago media covered it or reported which interested promoters attended. (Don&rsquo;t blame this blogger: He was teaching his Careers in Writing class at Columbia College, ironically enough.) But given the scope of what&rsquo;s required to run any of these festivals&mdash;including at least $15 million worth of insurance and a bank account big enough to pay major artists&rsquo; advances and fund all of the city services&mdash;it&rsquo;s not hard to peg the major contenders.</p> <p>1. <strong>The Texas cowboys of C3 Presents</strong>.</p> <p>The &ldquo;three Charlies&rdquo; will almost certainly throw their 10-gallon hats in the ring. The long-term deal that the mayor&rsquo;s nephew helped the Austin-based promoters strike with the Park District for Lollapalooza specifically prohibits any similar festival from taking place in Grant Park as long as that contract is in effect, through 2018. But it also specifically exempts the soon-to-be-formerly city-run festivals. The company already acts as if it owns Grant Park&mdash;it also threw the election-night shindig for President Obama there, as well as several events during the disastrous Olympics bid&mdash;and winning this deal would make that an actual fact. Its ties to the Daley administration are beyond cozy, and it&rsquo;s in just as solidly with at least one mayoral candidate: Rahm Emanuel, whose brother, Hollywood superagent Ari, quietly owns 50 percent of Lollapalooza.</p> <p>2. <strong>The newly merged monopolistic giant Ticketmaster/Live Nation.</strong></p> <p>The local office of the concert industry&rsquo;s Death Star remains hamstrung by the giant albatross of the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, the sort of expensive summer shed that the industry abandoned a decade ago. Business has not exactly been booming at the Charter One Pavilion that it threw up on Northerly Island, but the company needs to stay in the summer concert game and compete with Lollapalooza and myriad street fairs. Top executives still regret having been edged out of the contract to promote more varied music and cultural events at Soldier Field; that deal went to C3 three years ago, though they have done very little with it. And while Ticketmaster/Live Nation has some political clout&mdash;it was represented in its unsuccessful bid to win the Uptown Theatre by mayoral pal turned candidate Gary Chico&mdash;he has been taking shots at Daley&rsquo;s Board of Education lately, and the blood connection beats the old buddy every time anyway.</p> <p>3. <strong>Chicago-based Jam Productions.</strong></p> <p>Through the &rsquo;80s and into the&rsquo;90s, the local concert promotion firm started by Chicagoans Jerry Mickelson and Arny Granat booked the Taste of Chicago and occasional stages at the other festivals for the city, and that was the last time when the lineups were consistently good, with memorable acts ranging from Barry White to the Replacements. Their relations with the current administration have been contentious at best for the last decade; the Daley administration clearly favored C3 and Live Nation. But &nbsp;having paved the way for Lollapalooza with successful concerts such as Radiohead at Hutchinson Field, Jam would love to get back into Grant Park&mdash;and stick it to their bigger, badder, better-funded competitors C3 and Ticketmaster/Live Nation in the process.</p><p>Asked via email if Jam would respond to the request for proposals, Mickelson wrote,&ldquo;We are looking at it but have not made any decision at this point in time.&rdquo; The same question was posed to C3&rsquo;s top Charlie, Charlie Jones, and Ticketmaster/Live Nation&rsquo;s Midwest honcho, Mark Campana, but neither responded.</p> <p>As for other interested parties, the second biggest national concert promoter Anschutz Entertainment might consider making a bid, though with the exception of a handful of generally dreadful national pop superstars, its annual presence in the local concert market has been minimal. And after that, it&rsquo;s anybody&rsquo;s guess.</p> <p>You say you booked a few shows at college or the local VFW Hall and might want to get into the game? <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dps/provdrs/contract/svcs/current_bid_opportunities.html">As noted earlier, the documentation can be found online here.</a> Or just start by filling out the first page of the paperwork below and sending it to the Bid and Bond Room, Room 301, City Hall, 121 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60602. And remember: You have to do it by 4 p.m. on the day before the night before Christmas!</p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-indent: 0.5in; line-height: 200%; text-align: center;"><img src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-20/Form.jpg" alt="" title="" style="width: 377px; height: 486px;" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 22 Nov 2010 12:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/psst-hey-buddy-wanna-buy-city-festival