NEWS published on 05 Feb 2018 • Department / Unit Radio Media

EBU proud to offer Chicago Jazz Festival for the first time

Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Chicago (photo credit: City of Chicago)

EBU Associate WFMT is offering for the first time ever three programmes to EBU radio organizations from the Chicago Jazz Festival (CJF), thanks to a special partnership with the City of Chicago, supported by Choose Chicago.

Chicago's unique jazz scene has long been a centre of innovation, from Louis and Lil Armstrong, King Oliver and Benny Goodman starting in the 1920s, to the socially aware iconoclast Sun Ra Arkestra in the mid-20th century, to today's vibrant and adventurous contemporary jazz scene. Part of the CJF's appeal is its setting in Millennium Park in Chicago's famous Loop, near Lake Michigan, with its primary stage the stunning outdoor Jay Pritzker Pavilion (pictured) designed by Frank Gehry.

The programmes from the 39th CJF are available in MUS (reference number JM 17/11/02/01-03) with each focusing on a different seminal artist:

Dr. Lonnie Smith: The 75-year-old organist is at the top of his game. As a solo artist, Smith has set himself apart with his sweeping orchestral approach, characterized by its rich harmonies, multiphonic effects and offbeat touches. He performs with first-rate guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Joe Dyson.

George Freeman: Celebrating his 90th birthday at the 2017 CJF, over a half-century after his appearances with Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins, Freeman’s ability to coax utterly unique sounds from his electric guitar is as impressive as ever. He is heard here with fellow guitarist Mike Allemana, organist Pete Benson and drummer Mike Schlick.

"Ellabration": When five stylish singers get together for a centennial celebration of the First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald, the results are unforgettable. Sheila Jordan is a bebopper at heart, and Charlie Parker’s solos are in her DNA. Dee Alexander is famous for her free jazz forays and tributes to James Brown and Jimi Hendrix. Frieda Lee charms audiences with her offerings from the Ella-Sarah-Billie songbook, while Spider Saloff, Chicago’s cabaret queen, serves up tunes with humour and theatricality. The sonorous baritone Paul Marinaro has been praised as one of today's top five male jazz singers. The vocalists were joined by Brad Williams on piano, bassist Eric Hochberg and drummer Mike Schlick.

Additional material (videos, photos and audio interviews) is available from the EuroradioHome/downloads/EURORADIO-MUSIC folder on the Geneva FTP server ( For a history of the CJF, click here. EBU broadcasters interested in attending the 2018 CJF (30 August-2 September) should contact Tony Macaluso ( 


Contact detail

Richard Cole
Senior Translator and Music Editor
+41 22 717 2693