Students From France and Chicago Band Together For Jazz Concert At Cantigny Park

Free performance on March 22nd honors the legacy of African-American soldiers from Chicago who made history in World War I.

Wheaton, IL -- Student musicians from two high schools, one in France and one in Chicago, will join together at Cantigny Park on Thursday, March 22, to play a jazz concert honoring a Chicago-based African American military regiment that served under the French in World War I.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. at Le Jardin inside the Cantigny Visitors Center. It is free to attend, including parking, but advance registration is required due to limited seating. To register, go the or call (630) 260-8162.

Sixty students from Martin Luther King Jr. High School (King College Prep), Chicago, and the Gerard de Nerval school in Soissons, France, will perform. Students from Chicago Military Academy will present the colors.

The concert, open to the public, is dedicated to the 370th U. S. Infantry regiment from Chicago, one of the few African-American combat units to serve in World War I. The 370th, from the city's Bronzeville neighborhood, was organized in the 1870s as the Eighth Infantry of the Illinois National Guard (the "Fighting Eighth"). A documentary about the historic regiment, renowned for its valor, recently aired on PBS television.

The nonprofit Friends of the Victory Memorial has organized a full day at Cantigny Park for the students, including the evening convert. The Friends group is dedicated to maintaining the memory of the 370th and caring for the Victory Monument that stands in the regiment's honor at 35th and King Drive in Chicago.

Additional sponsors include the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park and the Illinois WWI Centennial Commission. 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I on November 11, 1918.

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