Jazz Institute of Chicago Marks Milestone with Birthday Bash


Nicole Mitchell will take part in a virtual performance as part of the Jazz Institute of Chicago’s Birthday Bash, which runs June 28-30.

(Photo: Kristi Sutton Elias)

For 50 years, the Jazz Institute of Chicago has helped spark the city’s innovative music scene. And to celebrate that milestone, the nonprofit organization’s holding its Birthday Bash, a series of free events, June 28-30.

Among the festivities set to be held at various Southside spaces—Connect Gallery, The Promontory and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts—is a premiere of a new commissioned work; a performance by the Makaya McCraven Quintet on June 28; Joan Collaso performing as part of a tribute to Nina Simone on June 29; a collaborative effort on June 29 making use of video and prerecorded performances by Nicole Mitchell; a screening of the 1985 Ornette Coleman documenatry Ornette: Made In America on June 30; and a set by the Orbert Davis Sextet on June 30.

Discussions, sets by younger players and programming for families and children also are planned for the Birthday Bash.

“We are very much committed to celebrating our robust history while keeping our eye on the future,” said Heather Ireland Robinson, JIC executive director. “We continue to nurture and promote jazz citywide through education programs that support all aspects of a young artist’s career and musicianship, as well as free public programming in city parks, and of course programming the Chicago Jazz Festival. We believe in building bridges by creating programs in neighborhoods and presenting music where people of all ages live, work and play.”

For additional information about the events and JIC, visit the organization’s website. DB

  • 23_Village_Vanguard_Joey_Baron_by_Michael_Jackson_copy.jpg

    “Bill Stewart has nothing to prove,” Baron says. “I aspire to that ethic.”

  • 23_Charles_Lloyd_1_by_Dorothy_Darr.jpg

    “At this point in my life I’m still looking for the note,” Lloyd says. “But I’m a little nearer.”

  • McBride__Kahn_copy.jpg

    ​Christian McBride and writer Ashley Kahn meet for a DownBeat Blindfold Test hosted by New York University’s Jazz Studies program.

  • Samara_Joy_%C2%A92023_Mark_Sheldon-4639.jpg

    Samara Joy brought fans to their feet in the middle of her Newport set!

  • Christian_McBride_by_Ebru_Yildiz.jpeg

    ’You can’t simply book a festival with things that you like,” Christian McBride says of the Newport Jazz Festival. “You have a responsibility to present up-and-coming artists who people don’t know yet. And you have to get people in the seats.”