Message from Montie

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Chicago's Hyde Park Jazz Festival brings the melody this Saturday

Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at

There are three things I automatically do (in this order) when I'm frustrated or sad: clean, go to aerobics class or listen to jazz. However, I've also been accused of being obsessive compulsive, health conscious (I'm a
vegetarian too) and a music lover, so nobody really knows my mood when I do any of the above. And while cleaning or aerobics classes give me a temporary boost, jazz music usually keeps me in an easygoing mood all day. I played the alto saxophone and piano in my elementary and high school years so music has always been dear to me, although I suck at playing those instruments nowadays. But when the chance arose to volunteer for the Hyde Park Jazz Festival this Saturday, Sept. 26, I immediately signed up.

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival is from 11 am to 2 am with 15 hours of free jazz music. There will be indoor and outdoor concerts at the Court Theatre, the DuSable Museum, the Experimental Station, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Hyde Park Bank, The Hyde Park Union Church, the International House, Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center, Midway Plaisance (James W. Wagner Center Stage), the Oriental Institute Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and the Smart Museum of Art. Not only is the music free, but the entire event is free outside of paying for your own food, but those who buy a jazz pass for $125 won't have to wait in line and will have designated seating. Then there's the "Give a Buck (or More) for Jazz" donations.


I have a love/hate relationship with Hyde Park. I love the culture, the networking opportunities, the events and a couple restaurants. But I get lost without fail every time I go, so for those who are direction challenged like me, it's probably a good idea to get a good parking spot in any of the University of Chicago parking lots (free to the public) and just stroll around. I hear there's street parking as well, but considering I've never been to this event before but have been in Hyde Park enough to know parking isn't always easy, get familiar with the Hyde Park Jazz Festival venue map and the parking map. Keep your eye out for the Ellis Avenue Parking Garage on the corner of 55th and Ellis Avenue because they'll be expecting Hyde Park Jazz Festival attendees.


Get ready for music by 40 different jazz musicians and artists, including: Ernie Adams, Dee Alexander, Tatsu Aoki, Sumito "Ariyo" Ariyoshi, Bobby Broom, Ari Brown, Maggie Brown, Alan Burroughs, Ken Chaney's Awakening, Chicago Sax in the City, Ryan Cohan, Richie Cole, Orbert Davis, Ernest Dawkins, Miguel De La Cerna, Diane Delin, Jimmy Ellis, Von Freeman, Jon Faddis, Garaj Mahal, Brad Goode, Everett Greene, Julia Huff, Henry Johnson, Kenwood Academy "Jazz at the Wood," Marguerite Mariama, Tammy McCann, Kevin Nabors, Yoko Noge, Willie Pickens, Edwin Sanchez, James Sanders and Conjunto Latin Jazz Band, U-High School Jazz Band, James Wagner All-Stars, Ed Wilkerson, Corey Wilkes, Samuel "Savoirfaire" Williams, Skinny Williams, John Wright and Richard Steele.


If you see me walking around in a bright yellow volunteer shirt, feel free to say hello. Enjoy the show!



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