Live the Spirit Residency and the Englewood Jazz Festival are deeply rooted in and reflect the rich cultural heritage of the Englewood community. Our mission is to increase the musical resources of the community and connect the past to the present through programs and partnerships with artists and arts organizations committed to music, mentoring, and inter-generational knowledge exchange. For fourteen years, we have presented original music to a community that is directly linked to the musicians who write and perform it at home and around the globe.

Live the Spirit Residency is defined by its commitment to furthering the musical resources of the Englewood community. Our public programing in both the jazz festival and jazz education are provided free of charge, ensuring maximum participation and access. Furthermore, the organization’s commitment to the Englewood community is maintained through an ongoing commissioning program which enables new musical works that represent the past, present, and future of Chicago’s African American community. As Live the Spirit Residency grows during the coming years, we remain deeply rooted in and reflective of the rich cultural heritage of the Englewood community. We look forward to continued success as we increase the musical resources of the community and connect the past to the present through programs and partnerships with artists and arts organizations committed to music, mentoring, and inter-generational knowledge exchange. For fourteen years, we have presented original jazz music to a community that is directly linked to the musicians who write and perform it at home and around the globe. Indeed, during the next three years we seek to build on this legacy of success and artistic excellence by developing new partnerships which allow us to reach new audiences and more directly serve the youth of Englewood.

Our musical interventions continually aspire to reflect the evolving collective cultural memory of the American jazz aesthetic and a refusal to remain silent in the face of a unfolding crisis. The transformative power of jazz is for us a tool, responding to the very real challenges and triumphs of the present moment. We are committed to empowering youth through musical experiences and cultivating their conflict resolution capabilities, recognizing that music making offers youth a vital alternative to gang activity. We believe that a musical instrument in the hands of a young person becomes a weapon for positive change and we actively commission new works for the Live the Spirit Residency Ensemble, as musical composition becomes a tool for bringing into being the world we seek to inhabit.