This week the Chicago Jazz Festival kicks off Thursday, September 2 for four days of riffs and improvisation in three locations. With funding provided by the Chicago Jazz Partnership, the Chicago Jazz Festival presented by Carefusion will feature free music events on Thursday, September 2 at Millennium Park and Friday, September 3 at the Cultural Center and an evening concert in Millennium Park, before moving to festival grounds in Grant Park on Saturday and Sunday.
One of many highlights during this four day event is the Friday evening 75th birthday celebration of Ramsey Lewis in Millennium Park. Lewis, a Chicago native born here May 27, 1935 has enjoyed a long career as a legendary jazz pianist and composer, topping musical charts in the sixties with hits such as “The In Crowd”, “Hang on Sloopy” and “Wade in the Water”. Winner of three Grammy Awards, the septuagenarian was invited to perform his recently premiered “Proclamation of Hope” at the White House by President Barack Obama.
Ramsey Lewis will take the Jay Pritzker Pavillion Stage at 8:30 pm. Opening perfromances start in Millennium Park at 4:00 pm with the Lincoln Park High School Jazz Ensemble and CPS Music Teachers Jazz Ensemble Noteworthy, followed by James Dapogny at 5:00 pm, Mike LeDonne Trio at 6:00, Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Orchestra at 7:10. Admission is FREE. For a full schedule visit www.chicagojazzfestival.us