We quote from the MacArthur Foundation Fellows recognition when Mr. Robinson was awarded a Genius Grant. “Reginald R. Robinson is a musician and composer who chose an unusual path for his musical career: classical ragtime music. An early 20th century American musical form characterized by a syncopated melody, ragtime was advocated by composers such as Scott Joplin as a uniquely American music that would change and evolve with the succeeding years. Introduced to ragtime through an elementary school presentation, Robinson taught himself to play the piano and to read music and began researching the genre. He has remained dedicated to the form ever since. A gifted pianist, he evokes the range of passion and liveliness contained within the classic ragtime compositions of the early 1900s. He has explored in detail the great works of Scott Joplin, Eubie Blake, and other classical ragtime composers and has composed dozens of harmonically daring, structurally complex works. In addition to his composition and performance, Robinson has studied the history of ragtime music thoroughly; he discovered and recorded a previously unknown Joplin fragment found in the archives of Fisk University. This singular musician has devoted himself to preserving the traditions of classical ragtime while taking this vintage music into contemporary directions.
Reginald R. Robinson was captivated by the sound of ragtime at the age of 13. In 1992, he recorded his first demo and was immediately signed by Delmark Records. Click on the image here to see Robinson’s latest offerings. He has performed in Europe and across the U.S. at such venues as the Chicago Jazz Festival, Ravinia, and the Gilmore Keyboard Festival.”
A reception will be held following the program. Admission charge is $20. This concert is part of the Chi-Town Jazz Festival Supporting Hunger Relief in Chicago, which benefits food pantries across the city. All proceeds for this event will benefit the Hyde Park Food Pantry.
Bruce Barth @ pianoForte Chicago. Very Special! Very Limited!
Jazz pianist and composer Bruce Barth has been sharing his music with listeners the world over for more than two decades. Deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, his music reflects both the depth and breadth of his life and musical experiences. In addition to traveling widely performing his own music, he has also performed with revered jazz masters, as well as collaborated with leading musicians of his own generation. And most notably, his performances feature material from his large book of very powerful and imaginative original compositions, written in a voice that is both deeply personal and expressive.
Bruce has performed on over one hundred recordings and movie soundtracks, including ten as a leader. He is equally at home playing solo piano (American Landscape on Satchmo Jazz Records), leading an all-star septet (East and West on MaxJazz), and composing for a variety of ensembles.
Throughout his professional life, Bruce has had extended collaborations with Tony Bennett, Steve Wilson, Terell Stafford, Luciana Souza, and Karrin Allyson and David Sanchez. And he has performed with James Moody, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Art Farmer, Victor Lewis, John Patitucci, Lewis Nash, and the Mingus Big Band.
Bruce served two years on the panel for the U.S. State Department “Jazz Ambassadors” program, choosing jazz bands to represent the United States overseas. He is also a Grammy nominated producer, with more than twenty CDs to his credit.
Finally, Bruce is a dedicated teacher, with more than ten years on the jazz faculty of Temple University in Philadelphia. He has also taught at Berklee College of Music, Long Island University, and currently teaches private lessons to City College University and New School students. Bruce has participated in many workshops, clinics, and seminars in the U. S. and abroad; he also maintains a private teaching studio, with students from the U.S., South America, Europe, and Japan.
We’ll start the evening with the George Fludas Quartet.
Chicago drummer George Fludas was inspired to play drums by his father, who was also a drummer, and who exposed him to great jazz drummers such as Art Blakey, Max Roach, and “Philly” Joe Jones. He began freelancing with Chicago greats Von Freeman, Jodie Christian and Lin Halliday, as well as playing in groups with guitarist Bobby Broom, and saxophonists Ron Blake and Eric Alexander. He has subsequently played with many stellar musicians such as Ira Sullivan, Buddy Montgomery, Lou Donaldson, Frank Wess, Kenny Burrell, Betty Carter, Johnny Griffin, Roy Hargrove, Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones, Cedar Walton, Diana Krall, Benny Carter, Phil Woods, Junior Cook, Slide Hampton, Jesse Davis and Benny Green. He toured Europe and Japan extensively as a member of Ray Brown’s Trio, and with groups led by Hank Jones, Diana Krall, Monty Alexander, Cedar Walton and Joey DeFrancesco. Fludas lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons and performs regularly with local artists and visiting headliners at the Jazz Showcase, Andy’s Jazz Club and The Green Mill. He can be heard on numerous CDs as a sideman with Ray Brown, Eric Alexander, Monty Alexander, Kyle Asche, Geof Bradfield, Scott Burns, Bobby Broom, Lin Halliday and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra.
Our second set will feature Eric Schneider & Friends. After graduating from the University of Illinois and four years of extensive touring with Earl Fatha’ Hines and two years with Count Basie and his Orchestra (recording with both), Eric returned to Chicago and embarked on a richly diverse career that blends studio work, concert performances and jazz festivals, both in and out of town. He’s in constant demand on clarinet and saxophone by small groups and big bands that need a soloist who possesses both erudition and passion. Along the way he’s worked with the who’s who of jazz. He walks in the footsteps of the giants while expressing a vision that is entirely his own.
The Frank Catalano Sextet will finish the evening. Downbeat said, “Frank Catalano is John Coltrane energy for the 21st century!!!” Now 37 years old, Catalano is the only known saxman to have performed with Miles Davis, Randy Brecker, Charles Earland, Elvin Jones, Stan Getz, Betty Carter, Von Freeman, Tito Puente, Tony Bennett, Les Claypool and Louis Bellson while still in high school! This led to his signing to Delmark Records at age 18 and a string of critically acclaimed recordings. Catalano has been heard by millions of people all over the world thanks in part to 3 Grammy-winning and 11 Grammy-nominated recordings with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child, and John Legend. He has also performed live on the Oprah Winfrey TV show with singer/composer Seal. As an entrepreneur, Frank has patented a devise that allows him to control his saxophone via midi components. Frank is a spokesperson/clinician/performing artist for companies such as Yamaha, Rico/D’Addario, and JodyJazz. He can be seen in their Print Ads worldwide. Catalano’s songs have been used in the ad campaigns of Motorola, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Budweiser as well as numerous TV and Film productions.
There will be no place like the Jazz Showcase for night #2 of this year’s Chi-Town Jazz Festival Supporting Hunger Relief in Chicago. We’ll start the evening with preeminent guitarist Bobby Broom who embodies the truism that it’s the player not the tune that makes for a memorable performance in jazz. He’s been an elite sideman with the likes of Sonny Rollins, Stanley Turrentine, and Dr. John among others. Broom always demonstrates a keen ear for rarely played material, a gift for composing evocative tunes, and an impressive facility with knotty rhythmic puzzles.
The second set belongs to Leandro Lopez Varady, master of the piano and keyboard as well as an exciting composer. He has traveled across the country and around the world playing jazz with so many notable groups. Currently Leandro is pianist for the Orbert Davis Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and teaches Piano and Latin Jazz Ensemble at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL.
Closing out the evening we are delighted to present Howard Levy and John Moulder playing with Larry Kohut, and Makaya McCraven.
Multiple Grammy- Award Winner Howard Levy is an acknowledged master of the diatonic harmonica, a superb pianist, innovative composer, recording artist, bandleader, teacher, producer, and Chicago area resident. His musical travels have taken him all over the geographical world and the musical map. Equally at home in Jazz, Classical music, Rock, Folk, Latin, and World Music, he brings a fresh lyrical approach to whatever he plays. This has made him a favorite with audiences worldwide, and a recording artist sought after by the likes of Kenny Loggins, Dolly Parton, Paquito D’Rivera, Styx, Donald Fagen, and Paul Simon. As a sideman, Howard has appeared on hundreds of CDs and played on many movie soundtracks.
John Moulder is a guitarist and composer whose music has evolved from an assimilation of various musical traditions. John’s compositions and playing are featured on his CDs entitled Awakening(Mo-Tonal Records 1993), Through the Open Door (Igmod/Mo-Tonal Records 1997), Spirit Talk(NAIM 2003), and Trinity(Origin 2006) and Bifrost(Origin 2009) both named one of the ten best jazz CDs of 2006 and 2009 respectively by the Chicago Tribune. On his most recent release entitledThe Eleventh Hour: Live at the Green Mill(Origin 2012), John collaborates with his long time musical companions, Paul Wertico, Larry Gray, Jim Trompeter and Geof Bradfield.
A Jazz Vespers Service on March 6 at First Presbyterian Evanston will kick-off this year’s Chi-Town Jazz Festival. We’ll feature veteran jazz saxaphonist, Jim Gailloreto, performing 2 original compositions both for Soprano Saxophone, Voice and Cello. The musicians will be Jill Kaeding (Cello), Cheryl Wilson (Voice) and Jim (Soprano Saxophone).
The composition ‘Song of Psalms’ is inspired by three Psalms suggested by Rev. Ray Hylton, Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Evanston. This new music’s style is not classical or jazz, but something in the middle. The work is special to Jim because it is a collaboration with his son, Coleman Gailloreto. The group will also perform a recent composition “As of Yet”, written for the same instrumentation. The vocals are wordless.
Song of Psalms (Lyrics by Coleman Gailloreto)
Psalms of Lament: 42:9-10
Psalms of Hope: 33: 18-22
Psalms of Thanksgiving: 9: 1-2
As of Yet
After a brief intermission we’ll hear from the exciting Tammy McCann. Tammy McCann has been named “Best Jazz Vocal Performance” for several years by the Chicago Tribune!!! Tammy is an internationally recognized Jazz Vocalist who’s powerful, sultry, and emotionally charged voice paints pictures and tells stories by merging Classical vocal technique and Gospel esthetic with Jazz to create a sound that is completely her own. Chicago Tribune’s Arts Critic, Howard Reich says McCann has, “A voice that soars in all registers, at all tempos, on all occasions… a voice that inspires wonder!”
Learn more about Jim Gailloreto here.
Learn more about Tammy McCann here.
Chicago jazz guitarist and Founder/Director of the Chi-Town Jazz Festival, John Moulder, was welcomed by the WDCB studios on Monday, February 22, to talk with WDCB’s Barry Winograd about the 7th annual Chi-Town Jazz Festival, which raises funds for hunger relief in Chicago. WDCB has been a strong media supporter of our Festival from the beginning. Thanks again folks, for your help and for the great variety of music you play.
Symphony Center was just about packed as the evening began with Willie Pickens on piano, Larry Gray on bass and Greg Artry playing drums.
Then came the eagerly anticipated always exciting Christian McBride Trio with McBride on bass, Christian Sands on piano, and Carl Allen on drums. This group became a Mack Avenue Super Band with the addition of Gary Burton playing vibes, Tia Fuller on sax, and Sean Jones on trumpet.
The evening was part of Symphony Center Presents Jazz Series’ 2015-16 season. SCP graciously allowed our Chi-Town Jazz Festival Founder/Director, John Moulder to briefly call attention to our Festival beginning on 3/6, its mission of supporting hunger relief in Chicago, and reminding all that tickets were available in the lobby as well as at all Festival venues for a drawing to win a pair of passes to the entire SCP Jazz Series for 2016-17. We were truly gratified for the warm response to our message and call for support.
The head of the state’s largest social service organization says the state’s ongoing budget impasse has now reached a crisis level that could impact the lives of hundreds of thousands vulnerable citizens. Paris Schutz has the exclusive story.
If your lucky ticket had been drawn last March at the end of our 2015 Chi-Town Jazz Festival you would still be enjoying two passes to the entire Chicago Symphony Orchestra Symphony Center Presents (SCP) Jazz Series for the 2015-16 season. You would have experienced master musicians including McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, Joshua Redman and The Bad Plus, and Gregory Porter to name just a few. Still to come are Stefan Harris, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Marquis Hill, Dee Alexander, Anne Hampton Callaway, Rene Marie, and Wynton Marsalis with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. We don’t know what the line-up will be for the SCP 2016-17 season, but we do know that the SCP has generously donated two season passes again for their upcoming season in support of our mission to support hunger relief.
Tickets for our drawing will be available beginning 2/19 at Symphony Center when Christian McBride takes the stage with his outstanding band that includes Gary Burton, Christian Sands, Ulysses Owens Jr., Tia Fuller, and Sean Jones. Also on the bill will be long time favorite Willie Pickens with Larry Gray and Greg Artry. The $25 tickets to next year’s season series will also be available every night of the Chi-Town Jazz Festival at every venue we play. We’ll have our drawing on March 12, the last night, at the Green Mill. Winner need not be present. Last year’s winner is loving the series. Good luck to YOU for the coming season.
This year the Chi-Town Jazz Festival has chosen Care for Real again as one of the recipients of our fundraising efforts. Care for Real was established in 1970 by Rev. William Johnson of the Epsicopal Church of the Atonement, Rabbi Herman Schaalman of Emanuel Congregation and other members of the Edgewater Clerical Rabbinical Association. This organization, which is now known as the Edgewater Community Religious Association (ECRA), wanted to provide emergency help to victims of fires in “Arson Alley,” the Kenmore-Winthrop corridor between Foster and Devon. It was intended to be a short-term solution to a specific problem. However, it soon became clear that there was a need in Edgewater for an ongoing safety net for neighbors in need. Today Care for Real is the safety net for the entire Edgewater community.
Clients can come to Care for Real once a month for staple food items…rice, beans, peanut butter, etc. Plus, they can come up to four times a week for the fresh produce and bread that is so generously donated by neighborhood groceries and bakeries. Yet the average CFR client “shops” for staples at the pantry just seven times a year. CFR is their safety net during especially hard times.
On average, CFR distributes almost 60,000 pounds of food each month. We purchase most of our staple foods from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Local retailers, including Costco, 7-11, Aldi’s, Swedish Bakery, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, True Nature Foods and Panera Cares, regularly donate produce and bakery goods. And the community supports Care for Real with individual donations and food drives sponsored by houses of worship, schools, businesses, block clubs and residential buildings.
Our great winter jazz event, The Chi-Town Jazz Festival Supporting Hunger Relief in Chicago, started with over 60 Sponsors, volunteers, and friends attending a kick-off event in corporate offices high above the madding crowd in downtown Chicago. Composer, pianist, and Jazz Department Chair at Merit School, Steve Million, brought a quintet of exceptional young musicians to play favorite jazz standards during the evening. We reviewed last year’s successful mission which brought the total of money raised for hunger relief during our Festival’s lifetime to over $132,000. We watched brief videos and heard reports that summarize the work of nonprofit recipients who benefit from our efforts. The view and food were spectacular, our corporate hosts were gracious, volunteers signed up to help out at the various venues where the Festival will take place, and we recognized the continued generosity of a long-time, continuing Whole Note Sponsor.
We are just getting started. There will be raffles, T-Shirts, and some of the best jazz performances anywhere in the country. Hear one of Tony Bennett’s favorite pianists, Bruce Barth and MacArthur Award recipient, Reginald Robinson to name just two of the exceptional musical artists who are donating their time and talent for the cause.
This year, as we have in the past, we’ll be serving dinner for hungry guests at one of the centers in Chicago. Here is a link to how it looked last year, provided by Ellen Kobe from Northwestern University’s Medill School
The Festival operates through the generosity of many people—musicians who share their talents, our all-volunteer staff who donate their time, Chicago’s most loved jazz venues that donate their space, and leading Chicago institutions that donate tickets and other services—that all come together to raise funds to help those who hunger in Chicago. Your donations will help feed those who hunger through the works of Catholic Charities, Care for Real, and Top Box Foods.
Back by popular demand, we will be raffling off a pair of tickets for the next Symphony Center Presents Jazz Series at Chicago’s historic Orchestra Hall which includes almost a dozen evenings featuring today’s most acclaimed and innovative jazz artists. Raffle tickets will only be available at the performances. And, again, proceeds will help provide hunger relief in Chicago.
We started Sunday at noon with “Double Monk” featuring Steve Million and Jeremy Kahn. The event was hosted by The pianoForte Foundation in their recital hall on South Michigan Avenue.
First Presbyterian Evanston hosted our first Jazz Vespers Service. The event featured Chicago’s top big band, The Chicago Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Jeff Lindbergh. Repertoire included selections from the Duke Ellington Concert of Sacred Music and the liturgical music of composer Paul Ferguson. Artists included Tammy Mc Cann, Alison Vernon (soprano) and Alex York (Baritone). Tammy had already performed at the Jazz Showcase the previous Wednesday. We were delighted and grateful to receive her generous gift of voice at Vespers.
Glenbrook South Jazz
The Festival made its final move of the day to Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn. We began the evening with the Glenbrook South Jazz Lab Band, the Glenbrook South Jazz Singers, “Scat That,” and the Glenbrook South Jazz Ensemble.
The Ian Torres Big Band
The night continued as the all-star Ian Torres Big Band took the stage featuring vocals by the fabulous Leslie Beukelman.
The Stephanie Browning Quartet
We finished the evening and the Festival with Stephanie Browning and her Quartet. We can’t say it better than the Chicago Tribune’s Arts & Entertainment columnist Howard Reich, “”This level of musical imagination, tonal control and interpretive savvy rarely meet in the work of a single artist.”
The second night of this year’s Festival was hosted at Andy’s Jazz Club & Restaurant. The place was packed (due to the great groups playing, the perfect sound system, and delicious food). The Justefan Band started the evening mixing Latin, modern jazz, classical selections, and spontaneous compositions in honor of our sixth year. They were followed by returning artist Eric Schneider and Friends. Solid! Finally, Chicago Jazz Orchestra’s Bill Overton brought his Quartet in to finish the night. A fantastic time was had by all. We continue to attract large crowds to this year’s Festival thanks to the exceptional programming done by our Founder/Director, John Moulder. Come experience the vibe yourself at one of the remaining performances. Tomorrow night, Friday, we’ll be at The Green Mill. Expect a packed house, late evening, and solid jazz. See you there.
What a great way to start this year’s Festival! Tammy McCann and Mike Allemana opened the program with an intimate variety of old and new songs. Then SHE, whose members include Juli Wood, Audrey Morrison, Kelly Brand, Sarah Allen plus special guest Katie Ernst took the stage with original compositions from all the members and songs by Bobbi Wilson. Finally, Geof Bradfield, Ryan Cohan, Dennis Carrol, and George Fludas wove one intricate selection after another. In between sets we briefly reminded our audience about the reason for the Festival with messages from Care for Real and Catholic Charities. The winner of the drawing for dinner at Gibson’s and Limo service to the Jazz Showcase, Megan Chen, arrived in time to pose with Tammy and Mike. And veteran Chicago newsman Derrick Blakley stopped by to hear the sounds and pose with CTJF Founder/Director John Moulder. If you didn’t make the scene there is still time to see and hear more music. Tonight we play at Andy’s Jazz Club and Restaurant beginning at 6:00. See you there.
Well, it’s about time! We’ve been planning since last August. Lined up venues and musicians to donate their time, talents and stages to help us raise money to provide hunger relief in Chicago. This is our 6th year! We’ve raised more money every year and this year our goal is the biggest yet. Come out to hear some great jazz tonight, Thursday, Friday, or any of three time on Sunday and help us reach our goal. Here’s the schedule. See you at the Festival.
Chi-Town Jazz Festival volunteers and supporters prepared and served dinner to about 130 guests at the evening supper program hosted by Catholic Charities in Chicago last night, March 3, 2015. In addition, Chi-Town Jazz Festival Founder/Director and Catholic priest, Father John Moulder, along with jazz mandolin player Don Stiernberg and Stewart Miller on bass treated Catholic Charities homeless supper guests to an hour-long evening jazz concert. The special concert was a preview of shows that will be performed throughout Chicago from March 4 – 8 as part of the 6th Annual Chi-Town Jazz Festival to raise funds for hunger-relief programs in the Chicago area, including for Catholic Charities network of 9 food pantries.
We couldn’t be more proud of Marquis Hill and, really, of all the musicians who join us, many coming back every year, to help in our efforts to fight hunger. This year’s artists cover such a wide range of styles and influences. Come see for yourself. We start this Wednesday at the Jazz Showcase in downtown Chicago. First set begins at 7:00PM. Be ready for a swingin’ good time!
Responding to popular demand, we are pleased to offer advance ticket sales for Jazz Vespers in Evanston on 3/7, Double Monk at pianoForte on 3/8, and FitzGerald’s on 3/8. Click here, then choose from the “Suggested Event” listings on the right side of the page.
Dinner Reservations at Andy’s Jazz Club & Restaurant
If you are planning to dine at Andy’s this Thursday, 3/5, during the Chi-Town Jazz Festival it is suggested that you make reservations. 312-642-6805, Andy’s Jazz Club.
One of our consistently generous supporters has offered to match donations submitted by February 28, 2015. You may DOUBLE the value of your donation at no extra cost to you by making your donation today through our secure online link! This applies to all donations up to a grand total of $3500!
Howard Reich said, “…The multi-dimensionality of the settings – from club to church to recital hall – underscores the imaginativeness of the enterprise.
Because the venture is entirely philanthropic, none of the administrators gets paid, either, with Moulder spending months each year organizing the event in tandem with 10 volunteers, plus additional docents during each performance.” More…
Writing about the Festival’s Founder/Director, John Moulder, Howard writes, “…Perhaps only a figure with Moulder’s unique, dual credentials as musician and pastor could have persuaded so many to give so much of themselves. As jazz guitarist, Moulder commands the respect of anyone who values high-powered virtuosity and edgy jazz improvisation. As a Catholic priest, he clearly brings a certain credibility to the idea of giving to those in need.
“First of all, Moulder’s a stand-up guy,” Green Mill owner Dave Jemilo told me last year, in explaining why he said “yes” when Moulder reached out to him for the first festival.
“If he says something, you know it’s going to be what he’s saying. We’re lucky to do this (music business) for a living, so why not be nice once in awhile? It’s not like there’s some big middlemen all over. Moulder’s the guy, and I trust him 100 percent.””