The Chi-Town Jazz Festival for Hunger Relief ended Saturday night, March 11, 2017, at Chicago’s Green Mill. All musicians donated their exceptional talents for the cause. In addition, the Festival Director, John Moulder, drew the winner’s name for next season’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra Jazz Series.
Tammy McCann and Jeremy Kahn in rehearsal, then performing a special recital of favorite Gershwin songs at PianoForte in Chicago during the 8th Annual Chi-Town Jazz Festival for Hunger Relief. Founder and Music Director John Moulder welcomed everyone and talked about the important mission of the Festival.
First up was singer Typhanie Monique sounding great and backed by Ryan Cohan on piano, Larry Kohut on bass, and Greg Artry on drums. Then Sarah Marie Young wove her singing magic helped by Steve Million on piano, Andrew Vogt on bass, and Greg Artry playing drums. Finally the Aaron McEvers Quintet closed out the evening. Winter’s owner, Scott Stegman, was MC and Nancy Meyerson from Care For Real spoke of Chi-Town Jazz Festival’s mission. It was a terrific night of jazz!
Here’s how the program looked at Joe & Wayne Segal’s Jazz Showcase on night two of the 2017 Chi-Town Jazz Festival for Hunger Relief. As usual, the Segal’s donated their venue for the event. The evening began with Blanche Blacke sounding strong and wonderful as always with Jim Ryan on piano, Stu Miller on bass, and John Moulder playing guitar. The ever young and creative Bobbie Lewis brought his trumpet to the stage accompanied by Pat Mallinger on sax, Stu Miller on bass, and Jeff Stately on drums. Finally Rob Clearfield on piano, Joshua Ramos on bass, Matt Gold playing guitar, and Makaya McCraven on drums brought the room to a new high as the night ended. Money raised went to hunger relief programs.
The Green Mill delivers a sophisticated yet informal, warm glowing atmosphere steeped in the heady sounds of the early ’30s and ’40s. Uniquely comfortable to all audiences from the sequined Saturday night date to the progressively dressed offbeat student, the magic of the Mill is that the audience commingles in its mutual respect for the wide variety of music performed there. By the way, the statue in the corner is Ceres. In ancient Roman religion, Ceres was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, but she is known to musicians and those in the know as Stella by Starlight.
First up is Ron Petrillo. Ron was introduced to Chicago jazz audiences while on tour with Ira Sullivan in 1988. His experiences while on tour with Ira Sullivan inspired him to move to Chicago in 1990. Shortly after arriving in Chicago he formed his current trio. He’s also played in groups with Chicago greats Von Freeman, Bobby Broom, Eric Alexander, Lin Halliday and Pharez Whitted. Ron has recorded for Blue Note Records with guitarist Fareed Haque, for the Criss Cross Jazz label with guitarist Bobby Broom, for SteepleChase Records with Ira Sullivan and Von Freeman, and for Origin Records with Scott Burns and Geof Bradfield. Ron is a jazz studies lecturer for DePaul University and for the Thelonious Monk Institute through Chicago’s Gallery 37 After School Matters program.
When Andy Baker and Steve Million team up they produce a vibe and sound that is classic jazz! Million has always been influenced by the music of Monk. Steve is currently the jazz chair of Merit School in the west loop downtown Chicago. He is also the director of the Merit School Honors Jazz Combo. And he still has time for gigs all over Chicagoland. Andy Baker is a trombonist, composer, arranger and educator originally from London, now living in Chicago.
As the drummer of choice for a vast array of incredible musicians, Jon Deitemyer embodies the warmth, sincerity, and diversity of the music that he creates. His approach to the instrument is eminently supportive: equally comfortable in a swinging piano trio or a hard-hitting fusion band. Patricia Barber raves “Jon Deitemyer is the drummer everyone wants right now,” and his resume only echoes the sentiment.
PianoForte is the perfect intimate venue to hear two Chicago treasures, Tammy McCann and Jeremy Kahn. Perfect acoustics and outstanding pianos. One set at 7:00 PM. What a way to start the weekend.
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!”
Jeremy Kahn sends this brief tongue in cheek bio to his ever growing, ever loving audience of fans. “Although I am mainly a jazz pianist, having played in jazz-type venues around the world, I also play on recordings that motivate you to consume your favorite products, and I also play in pit orchestras for some of your favorite theatrical extravaganzas. I’ve played with Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Joni Mitchell, Phil Woods, Teramasu Hino, Charlie Haden, Aretha Franklin, Barbara Cook, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and everyone in between. You will doubtlessly want to spend much of your copious free time exploring All Things Me. Thanks for your interest, and please tell your friends, neighbors, colleagues, and enemies. Virtually yours truly.” Consider yourselves told. Now come out and enjoy.
Erwin Helfer, a Chicago boogie woogie innovator and master, has been playing and performing for over forty years. For many years, Erwin accompanied Mama Yancey, the wife of Chicago blues piano patriarch Jimmy “Papa” Yancey. He was also mentored and influenced by Cripple Clarence Lofton, Speckled Red, and Sunnyland Slim. Erwin has the chops, the feel, and the drive of the masters but he also pushes the “classic” blues piano music forward in a totally new direction. His music is graceful, spirited, and at times beautifully dissonant. Erwin’s classical music training allows him to hear and interpret the simple, percussive blues and boogie piano style like no one else. Friday, March 10th, 7:30 PM, First Unitarian Church of Chicago, 5650 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, IL 60637 firstuchicago.org
JazzTimes magazine describes vocalist Typhanie Monique as a “modern-day Sarah Vaughan with iridescent traces of Lena Horne.” Music lovers in her hometown of Chicago and throughout the Midwest know her as that region’s local favorite—warm, soulful and charismatic. She has studied privately with legendary vocalists Bobby McFerrin, Shelia Jordan and the late Mark Murphy, and considers herself a lifelong student of the art of singing. An in-demand educator and vocal coach, Monique served on the adjudication panel of the 2015 Thelonious Monk Vocal Jazz Competition. Typhanie’s long-awaited album CALL IT MAGIC reflects her focused passion as a vocalist and her hard-won maturity as a human being. Over the course of 10 tracks, Typhanie reveals her vocal depth and versatility as she transports listeners down the rough roads of love, struggle, heartbreak, acceptance and rebirth. “Monique has never lacked for stage presence or vocal audacity. … One of these days, the rest of the world is going to discover her.” —Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
Sarah Marie Young is an award winning singer, songwriter and musician. She was a semi-finalist in the 2010 Thelonious Monk Competition and the winner of the 2011 Montreux Voice Competition judged by Quincy Jones, from which she recorded her first full length album “Too Many Februaries” at Balik Farm Studios in Switzerland and performed it at The Montreux Jazz Festival in 2012. After being signed by the dutch label Snip Records in 2014, Sarah Marie Young released and toured Europe with her second album, “Little Candy Heart”. Sarah’s latest album, “Recess” was self-produced and released in April 2016. Based in Chicago, Sarah continues to perform locally as well as internationally.
Detroit born saxophonist, arranger, composer and bandleader Aaron McEvers settled in Chicago in 1999. At home playing alto, tenor, soprano saxophone and flute, Aaron has performed throughout the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. He is the founder of M13, for which he composes or arranges all the music. He is also a member of Chris Siebold’s PSYCLES, The Chicago Groove Collective, Maggie Speaks, Out of Control, The Swing Shift Orchestra and composer John Elmquist’s Hard Art Groop. An active educator, he teaches music theory and jazz saxophone at the Merit School of Music, and private lessons in Chicago. He also writes commercial music for TV spots and continues to write for other organizations and individual performers in Chicago and abroad.
Andy’s Jazz Club & Restaurant is one of Chicago’s most-respected jazz establishments. It offers casually sophisticated dining with a musical menu of Chicago’s Top Jazz Artists. Under 21 yr. old guests are welcome to all 5pm & 7pm shows. Dinner reservations are necessary for all parties with under 21 yr. old guests with an arrival no later than 6:45pm. Non-dining groups are seated on a first-come, first-served basis. All 9:30pm & 11:30pm shows are strictly 21 yrs. +.
Start the evening with Glenbrook South Jazz Ensembles under the direction of Greg Wojcik. Wojcik, has been the director of bands at the school for the past 38 years. His young musicians have taken part in our Chi-Town Jazz Festival for the past several years, always delivering a high degree of skills and understanding for the charts they play. It is always a treat to hear them.
Eric Schneider started playing piano when he was three; was improvising by age eight; switched first to clarinet, then to sax by age fifteen after hearing Charlie Parker. After college he toured with Earl Fatha’ Hines for four years, then on to Count Basie Orchestra for six years touring the world. He was influenced during that time by contact with Ella, Dizzy, Benny, Sarah, and Tony among others. The many calls for his services on clarinet have rekindled his love affair with the instrument, and he is now in constant demand on clarinet and saxophone. Schneider represents the true spirit of jazz: walking in the footsteps of the giants while expressing a vision that is entirely his own. His career and music represent a multitude of facets––constantly growing and responding to the challenge of remaining true to the great traditions of the genre while continuing to evolve as an artist.
Tenor Madness is an up and coming Chicago band mixing funk, Latin and world music with jazz. They showcase unique, original compositions and intriguing covers. Band members include Casey Fitzpatrick (tenor sax), Rytas Vygantas (tenor sax), Shawn Salmon (guitar), Paul Musser (bass), and Peter Mack (drums). Their latest album is “Convergence.”
Brent Kimbrough & Company is a fusion of smartly-arranged jazz classics, soul-searching originals, groove-laden Chicago blues, funk and high-intensity Latin music. Founded by Chicago-native guitarist, singer, composer and bandleader, Brent Kimbrough, “K&Co” is a consortium of some of the area’s finest musical talent. In over a dozen years, the band has appeared throughout Chicago, nationally, Europe and Asia.
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.
The 8th Annual Chi-Town Jazz Festival for Hunger Relief begins Sunday, 3/5/17, at First Presbyterian Church in Evanston. Performers include Steve Rashid, John Moulder, Don Stiernberg, and the Bourné Family Singers.
Steve Rashid is an Emmy winning composer, a performer, producer and recording engineer. He holds a B.A. in Music and Philosophy from Ripon College and a Masters Degree in Music Composition from Northwestern University. He has composed and performed in many musical contexts and in many styles throughout his career. In 1991 Rashid founded his studio, Woodside Avenue Music Productions, through which he has produced and recorded his own music as well as projects for hundreds of other artists and labels, spanning jazz, folk, classical, bluegrass, gospel, country and pop music.
John Moulder is a guitarist and composer whose music has evolved from an assimilation of various musical traditions. John has been a member of the Paul Wertico Trio for fifteen years. John is also a member of the Larry Gray Trio and is featured on his recordings on the Chicago Sessions label. Televised feature stories on John and his work have aired on Artbeat (WTTW) and Chicago Tonight (WTTW).He has played nationally and internationally at numerous festivals, clubs and concert halls and has performed with artists such as Eddie Harris, Bob Mintzer, Paul McCandless, Lyle Mays, Paul Wertico, Gary Burton, Niels Orsted Pederson, Arild Anderson, Bendik Hofseth, Kurt Elling and Terry Callier. John received his Masters degree in music from Northwestern University. As an educator, he is currently a faculty member at Northwestern University, Benedictine University and the College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. He has lectured, taught master classes and conducted clinics at universities, high schools, music institutes and other settings.
Don Stiernberg recently began his fifth decade as a working musician. Along the way he has been involved in many musical activities: performing, writing, recording, and producing. He is regarded as a leading exponent of jazz mandolin style and a respected teacher. Born and still based in Chicago, the mandolin found Don as he grew up “out in the woods” in the nearly-rural suburb of Wauconda, IL. His parents sent Don to study with Jethro Burns, famous comedian (Homer and Jethro)and the greatest mandolinist of his time. From the very first lesson, Burns was more than a teacher. He was role model, hero, mentor, and friend. The most recent of his nine recording projects is “Good Numbers”, a collection of standards and jazz tunes played by his working band, The Don Stiernberg Trio. Also released in 2016 were three online video instructional courses for Soundslice.com. The trio has performed coast to coast as well as in Germany and Brazil. Don also conveys his love of the mandolin and music at events around the US. and in Brazil.
Said to have the “voices of angels,” The Bournés are a music group including five sisters, three brothers, and their mother. This family of singers/songwriters, musicians, and arrangers have been performing together as a family for many years all over Chicagoland and the Midwest. Venues include the Auditorium Theatre’s main stage and Katten-Landau Studio at Roosevelt University, the Beverly Arts Center, appearances on Good Day Chicago, conferences, rallies, and numerous other community celebrations and fundraisers. The Bournés are natives of Chicago, currently residing in a nearby south suburb. Multi-talented not only as music artists, but as dancers, visual artists, producers, designers, speakers and educators as well, they hope to reach all who hear them with their message of love and the importance of family.
Many thanks to Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich for his article about the history and story of this year’s Festival which starts this Sunday, 3/5. Here are a few paragraphs. For the complete article click here.
“Initially, the idea was that we were in very difficult economic times with the (financial) downturn,” adds Moulder.
“So I don’t know if there was a number of years that I was considering doing this. But I certainly wanted this to assist people during that particularly difficult time period.
“Although it doesn’t seem that has let up entirely. There always seems to be a need, so we’re trying our best to keep things going.”
Remarkably, Moulder has done this without staff or salaries. The importance of the cause and the credibility of the event’s founder inspired musicians and club owners to do their part. By just the second year of the festival, Moulder was bringing in out-of-town musicians who had heard of his unusual jazz offering and volunteered to be involved.”
“What’s Moulder’s objective this time around?
“Probably the same as previous years,” he says. “Pack the houses.””
Jazz! Hard swinging, bluesy, bebop, cool, free. That describes the musical styles of seventeen – that’s 17 – different groups of jazz musicians playing at this year’s Chi-Town Jazz Festival, all volunteering their time and talents to raise awareness and money for hunger relief. Make some time, make a plan, come out and hear exciting performances for this worthy cause. Click the links on the left to see our complete schedule, to purchase advance tickets, and to donate – maybe even Sponsor – the time. Thanks!