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.