Guide to the 2018 Chicago Jazz Festival

August 9th, 2018 by


Chicago Jazz Festival

The 40th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival is gearing up for its 2018 run. This has been a Labor Day weekend tradition in Chicago for decades, and this year’s edition is promising to be better than ever. The festival covers a five-day stretch, and is produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

Festival Information

Chicago Jazz Festival

When is it? The festival runs from Wednesday, August 29, through Sunday, September 2.

Where do all the festivities happen? The festival features numerous performances at different locations throughout Chicago. The main events occur at Jay Pritzker Pavilion, though other events take place at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Is there any cost? No! The festival is produced by DCASE and the Jazz Institute of Chicago free of charge.

The Chicago Jazz Festival has become known for its artistic creativity, promoting awareness and appreciation for all kinds of jazz through live performance. Weeks after Duke Ellington passed away in 1974, Chicago musicians came together for a festival to honor him. In 1978, they honored another jazz legend at the John Coltrane Memorial Concert in Grant Park. Decades later, the festival format still thrives, now as the Chicago Jazz Festival.

Festival Events

Chicago Jazz FestivalThe festival showcases free live performances from important Chicago artists, along with some of the biggest names in jazz from around the world.

The fun gets started on Wednesday, August 29, with the Orbert Davis Chicago Jazz Philharmonic playing from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM at Pritzker Pavilion. Other Pritzker Pavilion shows include Kurt Elling on Thursday, Dianne Reeves on Friday, Ramsey Lewis on Saturday, and Maceo Parker on Sunday.

At the Chicago Cultural Center, take in acts like Chicago Cellar Boys, Carmen Stokes, Stu Mindeman, and more.

Visit the 2018 Chicago Jazz Festival

Pay a visit to the 2018 Chicago Jazz Festival and enjoy the live performances and the atmosphere, too. It’s one of the best ways to spend Labor Day weekend right here in Chicago.




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