SOUTH SHORE — A Chicago tradition continued to evolve Saturday as jazz reverberated through the 7300 block of South Paxton Street — from the middle of the street, not from the alleys.
South Shore residents and people from around Chicago gathered for Back Alley Jazz Festival, which is reviving a tradition on the South Side that started in the ‘60s.
This year, musicians didn’t perform in residents’ garages like they did last year and in the ‘70s.
The jazz fans on hand like Eve Clemmer said they liked the new layout.
“I kind of like this setup better. Get yourself a chair and you just enjoy the views. It’s just great,” said Clemmer, who remembers watching jazz in back alleys when she was a kid.
“It’s a part of my history. It’s a part of my community. It’s a good part. … Nobody’s hollering, nobody’s fighting. Everybody’s enjoying and that’s how this city should be.”
More than a music event, it is something that brings people together, fosters a sense of community and educates young folks about a vital piece of South Side history, said the organizers.