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HotHouse Celebrates their 35th year with the "Pocket Jazz Festival" July 23rd

The Pocket Jazz Festival is a one-day event that will feature live music, dance, and visual art. The festival will also be streamed internationally on the HotHouse Global streaming platform. The Pocket Jazz Festival is produced by HotHouse founder and Executive Director Marguerite Horberg and is sponsored in part by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The festival will take place on Saturday, July 23, from 3-7 PM in the yard adjacent to 3953 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL. HotHouse is in talks to purchase this property to build a new brick-and-mortar location for HotHouse.

The Pocket Jazz Festival features performances by some of Chicago’s finest jazz musicians along with feature dance performances by Chicago-based dancers, visual art from local artists, and food from Chicago-based vendors. The Pocket Jazz Festival is a family-friendly event that is free and open to the public but registration is encouraged via Eventbrite.

Full Schedule for the “Pocket Jazz Festival

For more information, please visit or call (312) 349-5234.


3:00 p.m.

  • Art Making with Mikael DiFiore: To honor Bronzeville’s legacy as a hub of Black culture. Concert attendees will have opportunities to create wearable art (jewelry) that they will be able to take home after the event.

  • Mikael DiFiore is a visual and conceptual artist based in Chicago. Alongside a personal career in painting, sculpture, and fashion design, Mikael has led dozens of events such as gallery shows, open mic poetry, music festivals, fashion shows, and vending pop-ups. With the intent of fueling Chicago's art community, Mikael has a strong focus on youth artists and providing the resources, exposure, and funds to drive their art career further.

IO W.A.Z with special guest Ronnie Malley
IO W.A.Z with special guest Ronnie Malley

4:00 p.m.

  • TRIO W.A.Z with special guest Ronnie Malley: Trio W.A.Z. has performed together for more than twenty years, making it one of Chicago's longest-standing experimental music trios. Edward Wilkerson, Jr. is one of the great saxophone and clarinet players on the Chicago scene. Tatsu Aoki is a prolific artist, composer, musician, educator, consummate bassist, and Shamisen Lute player. Michael Zerang is a percussionist who focuses extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater, experimental theater, and international musical forms. Each brings their distinctive disposition to the trio, where their unique skills braid and interplay, forming an incomparable synthesis of musical actuality.

  • Ronnie Malley is a multi-instrumentalist musician, theatrical performer, producer, and educator. He has collaborated with artists internationally, composed and consulted for many cultural music projects in film and theater, appeared as a guest artist on several works, and is executive director of Intercultural Music Production in Chicago.

Fred Jackson Quintet
Fred Jackson Quintet

5:30 p.m.

  • Fred Jackson Quintet: The Erudition Project was originally developed for the sole purpose of autodidact conversations and as a vehicle for my compositions. An erudite is a seeker of knowledge, searching for the truth in the matter. All the musicians in the group have been on their own personal explorations of life and music. The aim is to create a soundscape often associated with films. We paint auditory pictures. The great Ornette Coleman once said, “The first thing you play is the territory and the next thing you play is the adventure.” This is the focus of the group’s collaborative efforts to improvise “by any means necessary.”

6:00 p.m.

  • Presentation of Lifetime Achievement Award, Jazz Journalists Association A section of the program is dedicated to music critic and co-founder of Burnt Sugar Arkestra Chamber, Greg Tate. The Jazz Journalists Association will honor Tate posthumously with a Lifetime Achievement Award. There will also be spoken word tributes by Chicago favorites Marvin Tate and Keith Kelly to honor Tate, who passed away in November 2021.

6:30 p.m.

  • Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber: Founded by Village Voice icon Gregory Stephen Tate (1957-2021) and now led by Dayton Ohio monster groove bassist Jared Michael Nickerson, Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber is an NYC-territory band, a neo-tribal thang, a community hang, a society music guild aspiring to the condition of all that is molten, glacial, racial, spacial, oceanic, mythic, antiphonal and telepathic! In 2022, BSAC continues to give tribute to their sonic Sensei, Maestro Lawrence Butch Morris (1947-2013) for showing them “THE WAY” of Conducted Improvisation allowing them to “never playing anything the same way once,” and to GT for creating the caramelized spaceship allowing BSAC access to a many-splendored and darkly energetic celestial realm of cosmic noise & riddim!


Tara Betts (Host): Tara Betts is the author of the poetry collections Refuse to Disappear, Break the Habit, and Arc & Hue. Betts was also commissioned to write the Illinois Bicentennial poem by Illinois Humanities. In addition to her work as a teaching artist and mentor for young poets, she has taught at Rutgers University, University of Illinois-Chicago, DePaul University, Northwestern University, and at Stateville Prison via Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project. She is the Inaugural Poet for The People Practitioner Fellow at the University of Chicago. Tara is also the Poetry Editor at The Langston Hughes Review and the founder of the nonprofit organization The Whirlwind Learning Center on Chicago’s South Side.


A nonprofit, arts presenting organization formed in 1987 in Chicago, HotHouse ( has been one of the premier cultural institutions in the U.S. In March 2020, HotHouse developed an online streaming initiative to serve the NGO small business and cultural industries adversely affected during this health and economic crisis. The HotHouseGlobal channel facilitates a variety of multi-art and community-based content and a worldwide network in the social justice and cultural sector. Since March, more than 14 million people have tuned in to HotHouseGlobal.


Executive Director, Producer, and Curator Horberg founded HotHouse in 1987 and has been at the forefront of creating countless internationally recognized festivals, public programs, and international exchange projects. She has been awarded Best of Chicago, Chicagoan of the Year, and many other top honors for her work as a leader in groundbreaking cultural work.

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