Since 1979, a four-day Jazz Festival in Chicago has been considered to be a beloved Labor Day Weekend tradition. Known for its artistic creativity, this stunning event promotes awareness for jazz music through quality live performances. All this with free admission! The festival's aim is to educate and encourage a jazz audience of all ages as well as to showcase Chicago's vast jazz talent.
It all started with three independent jazz festivals—one to honor Duke Ellington, the other one to honor John Coltrane, and the third one by Jazz Institute of Chicago—all taking place in Grant Park. In 1979 they united under one name and turned into a week of free jazz performances.
Chicago Jazz Fest attracts crowds of 30,000 annually. Over the years, it hosted such famous performers as Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, BB King, and many others. After the concerts, jam sessions come around, running from dusk till dawn and hosting numerous remarkable Chicago jazz musicians.
Since 2017, free celebration of jazz was moved to Millennium Park with several performance pavilions along with the Chicago Cultural Center.