The Chi-Town Jazz Festival – Our Mission

We solicit donations and Sponsoring support from both music lovers and all those individuals and companies who want to give back to the community by addressing  “food  insecurity,” which means helping  those who have little or no sources of food for themselves or their families. So, who do we help? Where does the money go? Read below and on the linked pages to learn about the nonprofits we are contributing to this year.

Hunger Relief For Who? – Part 4

Donate Sponsor Here for Chi-Town Jazz Festival
Click Here for Donation & Sponsor Options
Complete Schedule Here for the Chi-Town Jazz Festival
Click here for Performance Dates, Artists & Venues
Advance Ticket Info for Chi-Town Jazz Festival
Click here for info about advance tickets to all venues.

Sketch Of Nick for Chi-Town Jazz FestivalCare For Real

Care for Real was established in 1970 by Rev. William Johnson of the Epsicopal Church of the Atonement, Rabbi Herman Schaalman of Emanuel Congregation and other members of the Edgewater Clerical Rabbinical Association. This organization, which is now known as the Edgewater Community Religious Association (ECRA), wanted to provide emergency help to victims of fires in “Arson Alley,” the Kenmore-Winthrop corridor between Foster and Devon. It was intended to be a short-term solution to a specific problem. However, it soon became clear that there was a need in Edgewater for an ongoing safety net for neighbors in need. Today Care for Real is the safety net for the entire Edgewater community.

Care For Real With Client. Chi-Town Jazz FestivalToday, on average, CFR distributes almost 60,000 pounds of food each month. The nonprofit purchases most of their staple foods from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Local retailers, including Costco, 7-11, Aldi’s, Swedish Bakery, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, True Nature Foods and Panera Cares regularly donate produce and bakery goods. And the community supports Care for Real with individual donations and food drives sponsored by houses of worship, schools, businesses, block clubs and residential buildings.

Purchased food is selected for variety, nutrition and with respect for religious beliefs and ethnic preferences. For the homeless, CFR distributes specially packaged foods that do not require refrigerated storage, can openers or cooking. In addition, Care for Real provides special food baskets for Thanksgiving, Eid al-Fitr and Christmas to make those holidays brighter for our neighbors.

Care For Real Clothes Closet. Chi-Town Jazz FestivalCare for Real runs a clothes closet that distributes “gently used” donated clothing free of charge to clients. A special effort is made to have warm coats, hats, scarves and gloves available for needy neighborhood school children. Last year, approximately 300 children received the clothes they needed to make it through the winter. These children also received backpacks and school supplies at the start of the academic year.

CFR also provides children’s diapers and cleaning and personal-hygiene products as well as home health care items (canes, adult incontinence items, skin care, etc.) when they are available. For more information please visit Care For Real’s web site.

Hunger Relief For Who? – Part 3

Donate Sponsor Here for Chi-Town Jazz Festival
Click Here for Donation & Sponsor Options
Complete Schedule Here for the Chi-Town Jazz Festival
Click here for Performance Dates, Artists & Venues
Advance Ticket Info for Chi-Town Jazz Festival
Click here for info about advance tickets to all venues.
 

Catholic Charities recipient from Chi-Town Jazz Festival

Catholic Charities

Since our beginning the Chi-Town Jazz Festival has maintained the closest relationship with Catholic Charities. Catholic Charities believes that access to adequate, affordable and nutritious food is a basic human right. Freedom from hunger is a prerequisite for individuals and families to live productive, healthy and dignified lives. Read more about what they do here.

Hunger Relief For Who? – Part 2

Donate Sponsor Here for Chi-Town Jazz FestivalComplete Schedule Here for the Chi-Town Jazz FestivalAdvance Ticket Info for Chi-Town Jazz Festival
Piano Hand for Chi-Town Jazz FestivalHyde Park Kenwood Food Pantry

The Hyde Park Kenwood Food Pantry gives out groceries including fresh produce every Saturday from 10 AM to 1 PM at the Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 S. Woodlawn Ave.  A case manager is also available, and the pantry also gives away clothing and personal hygiene items as available. Serving the community since 1981, this Food Pantry is  part of the Hyde Park Kenwood Hunger Programs, a
501(c)3 organization with Hyde Park Union Church as the fiscal agent. They serve around five hundred individuals per month; roughly one third of our recipients are age 18 or younger, and nearly the same number are age 60 and above. Please visit their site for more info: http://hpuc.org/mission/hunger-programs/

Hunger Relief For Who? – Part 1

Donate Sponsor Here for Chi-Town Jazz Festival

Complete Schedule Here for the Chi-Town Jazz Festival

Advance Ticket Info for Chi-Town Jazz Festival

Jazz Supports Hunger Relief - 1 at the Chi-Town Jazz FestivalTop Box Foods

Chi-Town Jazz Festival has supported hunger relief in the Chicagoland area for almost 8 years. We ask many of the city’s great jazz musicians to donate their talents to perform in several venues during a week in March. We ask the venues to offer their stages and donate their entrance fees. And we solicit donations and Sponsoring support from both music lovers and all those individuals and companies who want to give back to the community by addressing  “food  insecurity,” which means helping  those who have little or no sources of food for themselves or their families. So, who do we help? Where does the money go? In this and the next few posts we’ll tell you. Click here to learn about one of the nonprofits we’ve been working with for the past few years, Top Box Foods.

Chi-Town Jazz Festival Starts In 3 Weeks!

Complete Schedule Here for the Chi-Town Jazz Festival
Click here for Performance Dates, Artists & Venues
Advance Ticket Info for Chi-Town Jazz Festival
Click here for info about advance tickets to all venues.

Save The Dates Poster for Chi-Town Jazz Festival

This year’s Festival begins in just 3 weeks. We have a series of exciting nights of music and they are all performed for the best cause, supporting hunger relief in our area. Please plan to attend. Enjoy. And join our effort. Thanks. 

Donate Sponsor Here for Chi-Town Jazz Festival
Click Here for Donation & Sponsor Options
 
 

How We Spent Our Summer And Fall

As 2016 comes to an end we want to update you on the results of this year’s Chi-town Jazz Festival and give a taste of what’s to come in 2017.

Eileen Larum, Board Member of the Chi-Town Jazz Festival presents a check to Catholic Charities, received by Msgr. Boland and Father Wayne Watts at St. Vincent Center in Chicago.
Eileen Larum, Board Member of the Chi-Town Jazz Festival presents a check to Catholic Charities, received by Msgr. Boland and Father Wayne Watts at St. Vincent Center in Chicago.

The 2016 Chi-town Jazz Festival (CTJF) closed out another successful year raising more than $42,000 in 5 days of jazz performances at a variety of venues with the help of both generous Sponsors and attendance by jazz lovers of all ages from all over the city. That brings our total raised since year one to over $210,000. We are extremely grateful to all for their kindness and support. Our mission and goal remains the same as a new year begins and we gear up again to support hunger relief.

Chi-town Jazz Festival Board Member Maureen Kaucher presents a check to Janet Deckenbacher of the Hyde Park Food Pantry. The CTJF, now in it's 7th year, raises money for hunger relief in the Chicago area and distributes it to selected nonprofits. Other recipients included Care For Real in the Edgewater community and Catholic Charities.
Chi-town Jazz Festival Board Member Maureen Kaucher presents a check to Janet Deckenbacher of the Hyde Park Food Pantry. The CTJF, now in it’s 7th year, raises money for hunger relief in the Chicago area and distributes it to selected nonprofits. Other recipients included Care For Real in the Edgewater community and Catholic Charities.

Over the summer we presented checks to three nonprofits. CTJF Board Member Eileen Lerum presented a check to Monsignor Michael Boland and Father Wayne Watts for Catholic Charities Food Pantries. Board Member Maureen Kaucher delivered a check to Janet Deckenbacher for the Hyde Park Food Pantry. And Founder/Director John Moulder presented a check to Lyle Allen for Care for Real, Edgewater’s Food Pantry.

The CTJF Board has been planning for the coming Festival. Poster designs are being finalized, solicitation for Sponsors are being sent out, dates of the Festival are now set, venues are locked in, and

Suzanne Kelly, winner of the drawing for tickets to the entire 2016-17 Chicago's Symphony Center Jazz Series stops for a quick photo.
Suzanne Kelly, winner of the drawing for tickets to the entire 2016-17 Chicago’s Symphony Center Jazz Series stops for a quick photo.

jazz artists are lining up to play for the cause. We are pleased to report that the Chicago Symphony Center has generously donated two tickets – again – for a drawing to all of their 2017-2018 Jazz Series Concerts. This year’s winner, Suzanne Kelly, paused for a quick photo as she attended the first of seven concerts during this year’s Series.

We’ll be updating you on Facebook and here with details about where and when each evenings performances will take place. For now we just want to say, “Thank You Again.” Here’s wishing you all a healthy, happy, successful, and musical New Year.

 

Bruce Didn’t Kid Around!

We were wrapping up so many pieces of the 7th Annual Chi-Town Jazz Festival for Hunger Relief today and came across Howard Reich’s review of Bruce Barth playing for us at pianoForte. It was so generous of Bruce to come in from New York to support our efforts. If you were there you’ll likely agree with Howard’s comments. If you weren’t – you missed a good gig and that should be a lesson to you to make sure you catch at least some of next year’s programs. Here’s Howard:

Bruce Barth’s silvery pianism brightens Chi-Town Jazz Festival

March 12, 2016

Bruce Barth Performs at PianoForte for Chi-Town Jazz Festival Supporting Hunger Relief in Chicago.
Bruce Barth Performs at PianoForte for Chi-Town Jazz Festival for Hunger Relief.

If there’s a more intimate, embracing and acoustically inviting space in Chicago to hear a piano recital than PianoForte Studios, on South Michigan Avenue, we have yet to encounter it.

Increasingly used by classical and jazz musicians, the concert hall at PianoForte once again showed its value on Friday evening, when pianist Bruce Barth played a solo set during the closing weekend of the seventh annual Chi-Town Jazz Festival. As always at PianoForte, a first-class instrument was at the soloist’s fingertips.

Barth’s appearance was significant not only because of the quality of the room and the piano but also because of the stature of the performer and the reason for his appearance. All the artists and venue owners donate their wares for the Chi-Town Jazz Festival, with all funds going toward hunger relief. In 2015 the event raised $46,000, bringing its total to $178,000 before this year’s edition commenced.

That a distinguished pianist such as Barth would travel to Chicago to contribute to the festival and champion its cause says a great deal about the rising stature of the event and its future prospects. The Rev. John Moulder — who’s also a top-flight Chicago jazz guitarist — conceived the festival and, against considerable odds, proved that it could work.

So when he took to the stage at PianoForte to welcome the crowd, his presence served to remind listeners not only of the importance of the occasion but also of the sacred side of jazz. A music that emerged, in part, in New Orleans’ Storyville vice district more than a century ago also carries profound influences of the church, and Moulder’s festival subtly illuminates that point.

Barth’s performance proved as serious and introspective as Moulder’s opening comments, the pianist utterly unconcerned with technical ostentation or much of anything that put the focus on himself. Instead, his was a deeply musical performance, Barth emphasizing the scores at hand rather than the wherewithal required to play and transform them.

Some of his most intriguing work emerged in a suite of compositions by contemporary composers that Barth said he hopes will become “new standards.” Realistically speaking, these works may not be poised to attain the acclaim of music by Gershwin, Ellington and Arlen, but their significance was obvious.

In Donald Brown’s “A Dance for Marie-Do,” Barth conveyed a relentless but unhurried forward drive, capturing the joyous spirit of the tune and embellishing it with delicate, right-hand filigree. In Eri Yamamoto’s “Memory Dance,” Barth’s slow-and-easy tempo enabled him to create distinct layers of gauzy sound. And in Steve Wilson’s “A Joyful Noise (For JW),” Barth maintained a silvery tone in a perpetual-motion romp that might have led lesser pianists to indulge in bombast.

Barth’s own compositions also figured prominently in this recital, especially in an opening collection of three works. The dreamy introduction and lush chords he played in “Yama,” the ethereal passages he produced high up in the keyboard in “Peaceful Place” and the displaced rhythmic accents he articulated in “Wilsonian Alto” (all from his “Live at Smalls” trio album) spoke to the substantive nature of his pianism.

There were traditional jazz standards here, too, with Barth meticulously reworking Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo” and expanding upon the complex harmonies and structural idiosyncrasies of Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life.”

With the exception of the Charlie Parker tour de force “Steeplechase,” in which Barth threw off fast-flying unison lines in both hands, the program avoided bravura playing in favor of deeply felt music-making.

Considering the noble purpose of the Chi-Town Jazz Festival, that approach struck quite the right note.

Howard Reich is a Tribune critic.

The Chi-Town Jazz Festival concludes with Reginald Robinson performing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at First Unitarian Church of Chicago, 5650 S. Woodlawn Ave.; $20 general, $10 students. And Tammy McCann at 8 p.m., Steve Million and Sarah Marie Young Quintet at 9:30 p.m. and John Moulder and Friends at 11 p.m. Saturday at the Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N. Broadway; $20 general, $10 students. For more information, go to www.chitownjazzfestival.org.

hreich@tribpub.com

Twitter @howardreich

Supporting Hunger Relief in Chicago for Eight Years