Story and Photos by James Walker, Jr., Copyright 2010
It's been stated my many that there's no better place to be in the summertime than in Chicago. Truer words have never been spoken. One can find food, fun and music each and every day in the Windy City during the months of June, July and August. Three such events are chronicled below with photos and review.
Lake Meadows Art Fair:
The 6th annual Lake Meadows Fair took place on June 19 and 20, 2010 at the Lake Meadows Plaza on the Southside of Chicago. In addition to the music, food and art, this year's affair honored historian Timuel Black, genealogist Tony Burroughs, and art collector Daniel Parker. Helen West directed this two day event with radio personalities Deborah Crable, Don Rashied, Cliff Kelly,Pam Morris sharing the M.C. duties.
Saturday's performances included vocalist Julia Huff and saxophonist Dudley Owens. On Sunday, gospel music was highlighted with The Celestials and Deacon Reuben Burton and the Victory Travelers. This year's featured performer again was vocalist Joan Collaso and her dynamic quartet of keyboardist Larry Hanks, bassist Ron Hall, guitarist Keith Henderson and drummer Vern Allison who closed out the affair with a sparkling performance honoring fathers on this their special Day.
Lake Park Summer Jazz:
This event occurs each Friday from noon to 2pm at the the Hyde Park Shopping Center at 55th and Lake Park on the Southside. The June 25th set featured vocalist Marguerite Mariama and her quartet. This song stylist was joined by keyboardist Roger Weaver, guitarist Micheal Ross, bassist Phillip Castleberry and drummer Kwami Steve Cobb. What an ideal setting in the Lake Park Courtyard for those with a few free hours for relaxation and music.
Tuesdays on the Terrace:
Museum of Contemporary Art(MCA) features jazz each Tuesday from 5:30 to 8:00pm on their beautiful terrace. Vocalist Maggie Brown's performance on July 6th was unfortunately cut short by a rain storm as she was completing her first of two sets.
The lovely Ms.Brown was complemented on the Terrace by keyboardist Shawn Wallace, bassist Nicholas Gee and drummer Mikel Avery. This set included touching stories about her father - Oscar Brown, Jr., and the legendary Abbey Lincoln, as well as songs by both. Maggie will honor Abbey later this summer at the Chicago Jazz Festival. In addition to the great music at Tuesdays on the Terrace, Wofgang Puck catering prepares a themed dinner buffet each week.
If you either live in the Chicago Area or are visiting our lovely City, don't miss out on the many jazz events throughout the summer. Many of these events are free of charge and a weekly listing of such activities can be found on this website.