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Getting Around the 2017 Chicago Jazz Festival: Full Schedule, Map of the Grounds and more...

Jason Moran presents “In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall 1959” September 1st at the Chicago Jazz Festival. photo by Clay Patrick

The 2017 Chicago Jazz Festival is August 31-September 3 and is being held in Millennium Park along with a few shows at the Cultural Center on Thursday afternoon. We thought we would put together an easy-to-use guide so that you could get the information on where to go and who to see and the logistical items that most don’t know about until they arrive at the event.

If you have any other questions feel free to contact us here at and we’ll be happy to help.

Getting Around the Chicago Jazz Festival

The Chicago Jazz Festival will be utilizing the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E Washington St Chicago) in the afternoon for the first day of the festival and then starting on Thursday night through Sunday, the Millennium Park Campus will be the epicenter of the festival.

We have included a map of the Jazz Festival grounds so that you can easily find your way to the different stages and vendors. The question we are asked throughout the festival is, “How do you get to the Young Jazz Lion’s Stage?” If you look at the map, you will see that the Young Lions Stage is seen as “behind” the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. However, it is actually on the roof of the Harris Theater located on Randolph Street. Simply take the stairs or the elevator located on Randolph Street and you will be there.

The Chicago Jazz Magazine booth will once again host autograph sessions and sell artists’ CDs, LPs and DVDs throughout the weekend. The booth is located just west of the Pavilion and Great Lawn and east of Cloud Gate “The Bean.” Be sure to check as our autograph sessions are announced. Other vendors will be located on the pathway that surrounds the Great Lawn.

The 2017 Chicago Jazz Festival features four stages of music, an art fair and marketplace, booths from many of Chicago's jazz organizations and venues and much more.


There are many ways to get to Millennium Park and the Cultural Center, but the easiest and least expensive way is to take public transportation.

The Green, Red and Blue lines drop off within blocks of Millennium Park, making it an easy walk over to the festival grounds. Metra trains arrive at Ogilvie Station and Union Station (one mile from the park), while others (select Metra and the South Shore trains) arrive in the Millennium Park station just underneath the fest.


If you’re planning on driving to the festival and parking, take advantage of the Millennium Park parking lot located underneath the actual grounds. Entrance points are on Columbus, lower Water Street and Michigan Avenue. Although parking is very easy here, it is pricey, averaging over $30 per day for special events. If you visit their website ( they do have an early-bird special and advanced parking-discounted rates available. We would also recommend checking parking rates with websites such as and These allow you to search within a few blocks of the festival and offer greatly reduced parking options that are still safe and close to the festival. Sometimes you can even buy reduced rates in the Millennium Park garage through the site since they also have partnered with these companies.


Seating is provided on a first-come basis in the Jazz & Heritage, Von Freeman and Young Lion’s pavilions. In the past, the seating areas have also been covered, but may be subject to change.

General seating in the Pavilion and on the Great Lawn is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. In the seating bowl, you may save only one seat prior to the start of each show. Once that performance has started, you must relinquish your seat.

Sitting on the lawn during the festival is a wonderful way to listen and enjoy live jazz while gazing up at the city. While lawn chairs, picnic baskets and small tables are allowed, please don’t arrive with tents, oversized umbrellas, oversized blankets or plastic tarps, helium balloons, oversized flags, signs/banners, barbeque grills, open-flame candles. These are not allowed on the Great Lawn area.

Food and drinks

Refreshments, including food, beer and wine, are available for purchase from the concessions tent located to the east of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. In addition, concessions can be purchased throughout the Park, including from the carts located on the Chase Promenade and at the Park Grill and Café on the McCormick Tribune Plaza. Alcohol may only be consumed in the seating area and the Great Lawn during the concerts. Alcohol sales in the Millennium Park concession tent end one half hour prior to the end of the concert.

Pre-Jazz Festival Event - The Chicago Jazz Club Tour

August 30th –The Chicago Jazz Club Tour presented by the Jazz Institute of Chicago

From 6 p.m. – midnight, explore jazz in Chicago during the annual Jazz Club Tour. Hear music at a variety of participating clubs for one low price. The Jazz Club Tour includes trolley transportation and club admission. It’s a great way to meet up with other jazz lovers! You must be 21 or over to participate in this event.

2017 Participating Clubs (list is subject to change):

Andy’s Jazz Club – 11 E. Hubbard St.

City Life – 712 E. 83rd St.

Constellation – 3111 N. Western Ave.

Hungry Brain – 2319 W. Belmont

M Lounge – 1520 S. Wabash Ave.

Norman’s Bistro – 1001 E. 43rd St.

Old Town School of Folk Music – 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.

Red Peppers Lounge – 428 E. 87th St.

Reggie’s – 2105 S. State St.

Rosa’s – 3420 W. Armitage Ave.

Some Like it Black – 810 E. 43rd St.

The Green Mill – 4802 N. Broadway

The Jazz Showcase – 806 S. Plymouth Ct.

V75 – 125 W. 75th St.

Winter’s Jazz Club –465 N. McClurg Ct.

Where to go after the fest?

Following the Chicago Jazz Festival there are many different after-events happening throughout the city including the legendary clubs that present live music throughout the entire year.

Here are a Few Clubs to Visit Following the Festival:

The Jazz Showcase – 806 S. Plymouth Ct., Chicago (Famous After-Fest Sessions featuring Ira Sullivan and his quintet. Often times musicians that have performed on the main stage stop by and sit in.)

Winter’s Jazz Club – 465 N. McClurg Ct., Chicago (Just a short walk from the Fest and one of the most intimate clubs in the city for live music.)

Andy’s Jazz Club – 11 E. Hubbard, Chicago (Presenting live music for over 40 years and with a full menu and great sightlines to the stage. This is a perfect stop to relax and listen to music following the festival.)

Green Mill Jazz Club – 4802 N. Broadway St., Chicago (A legendary jazz club and hot spot in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. The club features national headliners and local talent with an atmosphere that brings you back to the 1920s.)

Jon Faddis Low Down Brass Band Sheila Jordan

39th Chicago Jazz Festival Performance Schedule

The most important part of the Chicago Jazz Festival is of course the artists that are performing at the fest. Here is the complete schedule for the 39th annual Chicago Jazz Festival.

Thursday, August 31

Chicago Cultural Center

GAR Rotunda

11:00 - 4:30 A Jazz Village featuring Chicago’s Jazz Community

Claudia Cassidy Theater

11:00 - 12:00 The Evolution of Afro-Cuban Jazz: A Talk with Ignacio Berroa

12:15 - 1:15 Thaddeus Tukes Quintet

1:45 - 2:45 Tim Stine Trio

3:150 - 4:15 Dave Rempis Quintet performing Jackie McLean’s Action

Randolph Square

12:00 - 1:00 Curtis Prince Band featuring Ari Brown

1:30 - 2:30 West End Jazz Band

3:00 - 4:00 Southport Records Celebrates 40 Years of Sparrow

Preston Bradley Hall

12:30 - 1:30 “What Is This Thing Called Jazz” with Willie Pickens

2:00 - 3:00 Young Chicago Authors

3:30 - 4:30 Chicago Jazz Composers Collective

Millennium Park

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

6:30 - 7:30 George Freeman 90th Birthday Celebration

8:00 - 9:30 Dizzy Gillespie’s Centennial Celebration with Jon Faddis & the Chicago Jazz Festival Big Band


Friday, September 1

Millennium Park

Von Freeman Pavilion (South Promenade)

12:00 - 12:55 Tim Fitzgerald’s Full House

1:10 - 2:05 Steve Gibons Gypsy Rhythm

2.20 - 3:15 Rob Denty / Tim Mulvenna Duo Plus

3:30 - 4:30 Slavic Soul Party!

Jazz and Heritage Pavilion (North Promenade)

12:30 1:30 Joe Policastro Trio

2:00 - 3:00 Reggie Thomas Quintet

3:30 - 4:30 Stu Katz Shearing Redux