The Jazz Showcase is the oldest historic jazz club in Chicago, founded in 1947 by Joe Segal, who was acknowledged a few years ago as an NEA Jazz Master for the work and support he has provided over the decades. Some of the greatest names in jazz have played there including McCoy Tyner, Count Basie, Milt Jackson, Jimmy Smith, Bill Evans, Sun Ra, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams and others. Today, the Jazz Showcase in downtown Chicago continues to bring in top international & Chicago homegrown musicians. Jazz Showcase presents live music 7 nights a week. Their famous 4 pm Sunday Matinee is geared towards families and offers free admission for kids 12 and under.
Blanche Blacke began singing onstage at the age of five, sitting in with jazz musicians at
the family club on Clark Street. At nineteen it was blues rock. As co-leader of Phil ‘n’ the Blanks, albums reached Top 10 on Cashbox charts, videos made rotation on MTV and crowds formed around the block for many years to see her perform. In Los Angeles, she founded alternative groups, Vibe Tribe and Paisley Blacke and played the Sunset Strip. Today Blanche is composing, singing and producing original jazz, especially her new CD “Out To Sea.”
Bobby Lewis has supported and played at Chi-Town Jazz Festivals for years. We are delighted that he is back performing for us again this year. Bobby’s career has spanned five decades from touring with Jack Teagarden, Tex Beneke and the Modernizes, and as conductor and featured soloist with Peggy Lee, to creating and leading several of his own groups in performance and Jazz Festivals all over the world. He has produced 12 CD recordings of his music and as a studio musician has played on more than 7500 recording sessions. Bobby’s love affair with music is still growing!
Makaya McCraven layers his extensive experience with hip hop bands, African dance bands, Hungarian folk music, and indie rock on top of a deep history of “straight ahead” jazz, improvisation, and the avantgarde with beats, sampling, and electronics as a form of unique self expression. In a new era of genre-bending music, Makaya McCraven pushes the boundaries of sound and rhythm to create categories of his own. Called “a sound visionary” (jazzinchicago.org) who is “not your everyday jazz drummer” (thewordisbond.com), McCraven is a beat scientist. Makaya’s breakthrough debut 2XLP, “In the Moment” (International Anthem, 2015) has garnered international attention, earning critical acclaim from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, BBC (Gilles Peterson’s “Album of the Week”), and NPR. “In the Moment” was one of DownBeat and Pop Matters’ Top Jazz Albums of 2015.