Naperville Jazz Fest is back June 16 at Central Park
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media June 14, 2012 10:48AM
Updated: June 14, 2012 10:48AM
The Naperville Jazz Festival offers patrons a chance to hear a truly American form of music, mingle with other jazz aficionados while supporting a charitable cause.
The Naperville Jazz Festival, sponsored by Calamos Investments, is from 4 to 10 p.m. June 16 at the Naperville Community Concert Center in Central Park in downtown Naperville. Proceeds from the festival go to benefit Naperville’s Project H.E.L.P. (Healthy Environment for Little People.)
Regina Rogers, executive director for Project H.E.L.P., said that Jazz Fest was an idea from Walter Johnson, a Naperville Exchange Club member and current president. Naperville had a jazz festival that originally ran two days, and at one point was even three days long, she said.
In 2009, he approached Project HELP and asked if the group would like to take it on as a fundraiser. The following year, they hosted their first Jazz Fest.
“It’s a smaller size since we’re a smaller organization. It’s more manageable for us,” she said.
Project H.E.L.P. is an affiliate of the Naperville Exchange Club and was established in 1992. The group provides mentoring and educational support or families, she said. It’s a volunteer-based program.
“The volunteers work one-on-one with families in their homes to help them develop more effective parenting skills,” she said. “It’s a great program. It’s a nationally-based program accredited by the national Exchange Club.”
The Jazz Fest will feature up-and-coming and innovative artists in the world of jazz music.
“This year, we’re featuring saxophonist Mindi Abair and her friends, David Pack and Jeff Golub,” she said. “We also have the Deep Blue Organ Trio, ZZAJE, Joel Moore Quartet, and then we have the Van Dril Quintet, and they’re from Naperville North High School. They played in our VIP area last year and they were a big hit.”
The Van Dril Quintet will perform between acts.
The fest will have beer, wine and food from local restaurants for sale as well.
“It’s an opportunity for people to meet in a lovely area,” she said. “We’re really excited about it. It’s a great atmosphere for a jazz festival.”
Jazz is more than a musical form, it’s a cultural experience, she said.
“Jazz crosses all genres, gender and family status,” she said. “It’s a neat cultural experience. For us, the jazz crowd is a great group of people. The festival is a great experience.”