The South Shore JazzFest, an annual summertime rite at 71st Street and the lakefront since 1981, has been canceled.
The event had been scheduled to take place Aug. 3-4 outside the South Shore Cultural Center and was to have been renamed the Geraldine and Eddie de Haas JazzFest Heritage Music Weekend, after founder Geraldine de Haas and her husband, bassist Eddie de Haas.
But a lack of time to plan the event and some debt have forced the cancellation, said Clarence Williamson, who succeeded Geraldine de Haas as president of Jazz Unites, Inc., which created and produced the event.
“There were only three weeks left to produce a show,” said Williamson. “We just couldn't do it this year.”
In past seasons, the festival presented Dizzy Gillespie, Muddy Waters, Count Basie, Von Freeman, Dianne Reeves, Orbert Davis and other jazz luminaries.
The de Haases, facing various health issues, soon will be leaving Chicago for New Jersey, to be nearer to their children, performers Aisha and Darius de Haas. Geraldine de Haas, 78, and Eddie de Haas, 83, were feted earlier this month at the Jazz Showcase, where a large swath of the Chicago jazz community turned out to say good bye.
Regarding this year’s event, “I recommended that it didn’t happen,” said Geraldine de Haas. “They didn’t have the necessary (financial) support, (but) there are inroads for next year.”
Williamson said he hopes Jazz Unites will be able to present the South Shore fest next summer.