Miguel Zenon
  • Miguel Zenon

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival, founded in 2007, has never pretended to be comprehensive either geographically or stylistically (the majority of the performers play variations on postbop, which is “mainstream” to most ears), but it’s always presented what might be the best single-day opportunity to brush up Chicago’s jazz scene. The free multivenue event is consistently loaded with talent, but this year, under the hand of new director Kate Dumbleton, it’s even better. The fest now spans two days, with five sets on Sunday in addition to well over 30 on Saturday; the bill also includes some relatively musically adventurous acts, as well as a number of local groups that live and (usually) work outside the south-side scene (among them Sun Rooms and the Zach Brock Trio). There are also a few nonlocals on the schedule, including superb trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, who leads a quintet on Sunday afternoon at 1 PM, and remarkable Puerto Rican saxophonist Miguel Zenon, who plays a rare solo set on Saturday night at Rockefeller Chapel.