HYDE PARK — The Hyde Park Jazz Festival kicks off Saturday with a dense 33 performances at 11 venues across the neighborhood.
The seventh annual festival brings back many perennial favorites like Dee Alexander and Willie Pickens, and also introduces some younger acts, such as Tomeka Reid.
Reid, a cellist in residency at the University of Chicago’s Arts Incubator in Washington Park, will perform at the International House, 1414 E. 59th St., at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
But like many of the performers, Reid will be playing with multiple ensembles, so if the Ken Vandermark Ensemble at the Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., seems more appealing, festival goers can still catch Reid.
The festival does have two stages on the Midway Plaisance, but the bulk of the performances are at Hyde Park landmarks opening their doors to jazz for the weekend.
The Douglas Ewart Trio will perform at the Robie House, the house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that serves as a museum most of the year. James Falzone will perform among the mummies at the Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th St.
Other local landmarks opening their space to jazz include the Hyde Park Bank, Little Black Pearl, the Smart Museum, Rockefeller Chapel and five other venues.
The weekend opens with a panel discussion on Sun Ra with former collaborators of Ra’s, historians and documentarians. The festival closes with a performance by the Dee Alexander Quartet, a perennial favorite at the fest, at the main Wagner Stage on the Midway.
All performances are free, but space is limited at some venues.
The full schedule is available online at hydeparkjazzfestival.org.