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Hot Jazz, Cool Breeze

JazzFest Heritage Music Weekend is the pride of Chicago's South Side and the only black-run music festival in the country. With Lake Michigan on one side and the landmark South Shore Cultural Center on the other, there may not be a more perfect setting for a concert.

The festival was started in 1981 by jazz singer Geraldine de Haas, who wanted to bring Chicago jazz back to its roots on the city's South Side. After many of the city's musicians had migrated to better-paying clubs in downtown and on the North Side, de Haas found that the South Side's musical legacy was fading.

For more than two decades the festival has brought artists from all generations to the lakefront, bringing together a roster of classical and contemporary jazz musicians as well as players influenced by blues and Latin music. The show even opens with a Battle of the High School Bands, giving students a chance to strut their stuff. Tens of thousands of fans flock to the free and family-friendly show, soaking up the sun, sand and sounds.


South Shore Cultural Center 7059 South Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60649

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Discover what brings jazz fans back to the South Shore Cultural Center for Jazzfest Heritage Weekend.


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Trumpeter Wallace Roney.

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Pianist Geri Allen.


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