17th Annual Englewood Jazz Festival – Sept 17

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LIVE THE SPIRIT Residency Big Band performing at the last years’ Jazz Festival.

Live the Spirit Residency recently announced the line-up for the 17th Annual Englewood Jazz Festival, Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 12:00 noon – 6:00 p.m. at Hamilton Park Cultural Center, 513 W. 72nd street. Three individuals will be presented the Spirit of Jazz Award — Darlene Blackburn, Lauren Deutsch and Norman Bolden. The Live the Spirit Award is presented to individuals who have been active in the jazz community and have made many contributions to music and culture throughout the years.

A Festival Pre-Party and CD Release Party will be held on Friday, September 16 at Andy’s Jazz Club, 11 E. Hubbard Street featuring the Young Masters Ensemble: Alexis Lombre (piano), James Wenzel (bass), Jeremiah Collier (drums), Pharez Whitted (trumpet) and Rajiv Halim (sax). The group will perform standards and original compositions and arrangements while promoting their inaugural CD produced by Live the Spirit Residency. Show times are 9:30 p.m. & 11:30 p.m. Admission is $15.

The Englewood Jazz Festival will be held rain or shine. In the event of rain, performances will move inside the field house. For more information, call 773-800-2738, email info@englewoodjazzfest.org or visit www.englewoodjazzfest.org. The jazz festival is free. Performers, in order of appearance, are:

Julia Huff — 12: 00 – 12:55 p.m.  

The Chicago-based chanteuse sacrificed a budding career as a hard news journalist to follow the path of singing. She was born to strut, with high favor and love power. She serves up a soulful buffet of songs that cater to the listening appetites of the “Soul Generation,” ranging from soothing and sultry love ballads to new interpretations and arrangements of songbook classics.

Rajiv Halim – 1:10 – 2:05 p.m.

For this Chicago-based saxophonist and composer from Chicago, the music of the late, great Charlie Parker was the beacon that sparked his love for improvisation and creative music. In 2015 he released his debut album of compositions written for his family members and paying tribute to his roots and the musical history that inspires him.

Young Masters Ensemble – 2:15 – 3:10 p.m.

Showcasing the creative achievements and original compositions of emerging artists in Live the Spirit Residency’s jazz education workshops, this ensemble features musical phenoms including pianist Alexis Lombre, bassist James Wenzel, and percussionist Jeremiah Collier. The ensemble will be celebrating the release of their debut album “Coming of Age.” They will be joined by guest artist Pharez Whitted on trumpet.

Donald Harrison, Jr. – 3:25 – 4:25 p.m.

Two things have surrounded saxophonist Donald Harrison, Jr. throughout his life—jazz and the Mardi Gras Indian tradition. The son of the Guardians of the Flames’ Big Chief Donald Harrison, Sr., who was also a knowledgeable jazz fan, he grew up with jazz music and Black Indian rhythms in the air. Harrison reigns supreme in both of these worlds. The saxophonist stands as a world-renowned jazz musician, recording artist and the “King of Nouveau Swing.”

Live the Spirit Residency Big Band – 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.


Under the artistic direction of Ernest Dawkins, the Residency Big Band was founded along with the festival in 2000. This year will feature a newly commissioned composition by Ernest Dawkins, 1917, celebrating the 100th anniversary of jazz being brought to European shores by James Reese Europe and the Harlem Hellfighters. This performance will showcase the energy and spirit of some of Chicago’s finest professional musicians, including alto saxophonist Rajiv Halim, baritone saxophonist Aaron Getsug, trombonist Steve Berry, bassist Junius Paul, drummer Isaiah Spencer, and many more.

The Englewood Jazz Festival is produced by Live The Spirit Residency, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization registered in the State of Illinois. The Festival is made possible through the generosity of the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Oppenheimer Family Foundation, the Cohn Family Foundation, Chicago Park District, Dawk Publishing, Delmark Records, and Chicago Creative Arts Online; and is sponsored by 17th Ward Alderman Latasha Thomas, and 6th Ward Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer and The Old Town School of Folk Music. This project is partially supported by a CityArts Program grant from the City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs.

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