Highland Park Neighbors Magazine Articles


Enjoy Live Music Every Week at Jens Jensen Park!

Every Wednesday and Thursday, throughout the summer, the sounds of lively music and community members gathering emanate from Jens Jensen Park at the corner of St. Johns and Roger Williams in Highland Park. This now eight-year-old happening began as small Sunday morning jam sessions started by Highland Park resident Noah Plotkin at a coffee shop on that same corner. Needing more space to accommodate ever-growing audiences, the concert was moved to Jens Jensen Park where it eventually became a full lineup of musical performances at Food Truck Thursdays — an event enjoyed by Highland Park and Highwood residents of all ages.

The Meadow Ridge Ramblers performing at the Ravinia Farmers Market, 2022. Photo by Noah Plotkin.

The Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF) provides funding for the concerts through its Jens Jensen Legacy Fund, which was established in 1994 to honor Jens Jensen and his vision for the Park. “Jens Jensen was a landscape architect. He wanted his park to be enjoyed not only for its beauty, but also used to celebrate arts and culture, for social gatherings, music, and poetry readings. It thus seemed logical to our Board to provide funding for music in the Park as a way to honor his legacy and fulfill his vision,” said Laurie Levin, HPCF Vice-Chair. Three years ago, inspired by the success of Food Truck Thursdays, Noah and the HPCF collaborated to bring music to the Wednesday Ravinia Farmers Market as well.

Families gathering to enjoy Food Truck Thursday in Jens Jensen Park. Photo by Mark Hersch

Noah, born and raised in Highland Park, has always been passionate about music. He is a percussionist as well as a music director and has coordinated the music in the Park for the past eight years. “I love working with the HPCF. They’ve always seen my passion as something that is key for bringing neighborhoods and communities together to enjoy live music. Jens Jensen Park is an amazing space to host performances during Food Truck Thursdays and the Ravinia Farmer’s Market. With funding from the HPCF, the City of Highland Park, and the Ravinia District Special Service Area 17 property owners, we’re doing wonderful things for the community every Wednesday and Thursday,” he said.

Live music in Jens Jensen Park has made Highland Park more vibrant and engaging. “It’s a way of celebrating who we are and enjoying the cultural fruits of the talents that are in our midst,” said Laurie when reflecting on the importance of these events. For more information, visit enjoyhighlandpark.com/food-truck-thursdays and raviniafarmersmarket.com. For more information on Noah Plotkin, visit www.liferhythmsinc.com.