Jazz Unites, the annual South Shore jazz festival almost didn’t happen due to lack of sponsorship.
“Over these past few years, support has faded as the economy has weakened drastically, and non-profits like Jazz Unites are the first to feel the pinch. As corporate donations and foundation grants lessen, so does the ability to stage such a huge undertaking as the Jazz fest,” said Fred Durham, a former Jazz Unites board member.
But thanks to a concerned group of citizens, led by Dr. Carol Adams, the Jazz community and a new set of sponsors rallied around Jazz Unites, the organization that hosts the event, people are excited that the 36th annual iconic summer on the lakefront in the South Shore community will happen.
Sponsors currently include Southwest Airlines, NBC 5 Chicago, South Shore Chamber, Inc., Black United Fund of Illinois, Bronzecomm, Statefarm, Parrot Cage Restaurant. Chicago Park District, The University of Chicago, The University of Chicago Medicine, Fifth Third Bank, WDCB 90.9, WHPK 88.5 FM
An extraordinary line-up of stellar musicians will be taking the stage. Headlining Saturday, August 4, 2012, will be the Jazz-funk great Norman Connors with trumpeter extraordinaire Tom Browne. The Drum Divas, Universal Alley Jazz, Dee Alexander, Renee Baker’s Chicago Modern Orchestra Project and Tammy McCann round out the rhythmic Saturday sets.
On Sunday, August 5, 2012, Pharoah Sanders, the Grammy Award–winning American jazz saxophonist will closeout the event. Ayodele, Angel d’Cuba, Charles Heath's Chicago Jazz All Stars, Ernest Dawkins’ New Horizons Ensemble and Universal Alley Jazz are all on deck to dazzle your ears with melodic sounds throughout the day.
The South Shore Cultural Center, the site of the two-day festival, welcomes back the neighborhood’s tradition of packing picnic baskets and coolers to enjoy a day at the park. Public transportation is the recommended route with the Metra’s South Shore and Bryn Mawr stops, CTA connecting bus routes 6, 26 and 71, festival-goers will be within eyesight or dropped-off right in-front of the venue.
Admission is $10 and no parking on the site. Shuttle services and advanced ticket sales are in discussion, please check website for up-to-date information, www.southshorejazzlives.com.