Saying goodbye to Geraldine and Eddie de Haas, with music

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Why did she want to bring the music back to her neighborhood after having succeeded so brilliantly in spotlighting it downtown?

"It was time to expose the music to the young people" where they lived, says de Haas. "The legacy left by a lot of African-American musicians – they needed to know about it. That was one of my missions in Chicago."

Hence de Haas titled her new festival "Jazz Comes Home" and drew thousands from the South, North and West Sides to the South Shore Cultural Center, an idyllic outdoor setting at 71st Street and the lakefront.

In recent years, the event has struggled, with de Haas unable to devote as much attention to it as she had in the past, when she and her husband were in better health. Early last year, the festival was scheduled to be shut down, but it was saved in the eleventh hour by Carol Adams, president and CEO of the DuSable Museum of African American History, cultural commissioner Michelle Boone and others. Even so, an admission charge was instituted, diminishing audience turnout.

De Haas fervently hopes that both the event and organization she created to present the festival and so many other concerts – Jazz Unites, Inc. – can continue after she has left town.

"There's a group of people who want to keep this legacy going," says de Haas. Her supporters want the festival to "continue to be on the South Side, continue to be free.

"My fingers are crossed, because I hope they can continue to do it."

Certainly Chicago owes de Haas' legacy that much.

Also worth hearing

Jason Adasiewicz: The Chicago vibist is re-imagining the way the instrument is played, in both viscerally exciting and intellectually provocative ways. He'll lead his much celebrated Sun Rooms, with drummer Mike Reed and bassist Devin Hoff. 9 p.m. Friday at the Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N. Broadway; $12; 773-878-5552 or

Eric Alexander-Harold Mabern Quartet: Dynamic saxophonist Alexander and esteemed pianist Mabern have been collaborating for years, and it shows. 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4, 8 and 10 p.m. Sunday; at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct.; $20-$35; 312-360-0234 or

Matthew Shipp: A singular pianist whose concepts embrace jazz, avant-garde and contemporary classical techniques, Shipp will lead a trio with bassist Mike Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey. 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Constellation, 3111 N. Western Ave.; $12-$15;

To read more from Howard Reich on jazz, go to

Twitter @howardreich

Geraldine and Eddie de Haas tribute

When: Starting 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct.

Admission: $20; 312-360-0234 or

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