Calendar

 
Wed, Jan 18 - 9pm - $10
Cornmeal has never been a band to shy away from reinvention and after over a decade, theyare proving just that as the band sets out with a newly reformed lineup, a fresh energeticsound and heads back into the studio to finish their long awaited first studio album afteralmost 6 years. A nationally recognized live music institution, Cornmeal is heavily influencedby American roots and folk music and seamlessly blends lightning fast tempos andimpeccable harmonies into an unrivaled live performance that continues to expand uponthe ve-piece acoustic-electric groups’ vast musical repertoire. While steeped in the traditionof the past, Cornmeal continues to forge a path all their own, pushing the boundaries ofbluegrass, Americana and folk for a whole new generation of music lovers. With a growingfan base and ever-evolving sound, Cornmeal challenges the recipe of bluegrass and liveperformance.
Mad Bread is a string band for the 21st century, playing a unique mixture of bluegrass, rock, folk and blues. The band blends traditional instruments with modern songwriting, creating innovative, genre-bending music that defies classification. At a concert, you'll hear them move effortlessly from boot-stompin' bluegrass jams, to psychedelic folk ballads, to Chicago-style blues-rock with stops everywhere in between.
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Thu, Jan 19 - 8pm - $7
Brought together by their love for New Orleans brass music, the members of the High-Hat Second Line have dedicated themselves to bringing the soul and traditional sound of this iconic genre to Chicago. While each of the versatile musicians of this 5 piece ensemble have distinguished themselves on the local scene by performing in various formations, they chose to use this minimalist setting to strip the New Orleans sound to its core voices while feeding it with subtle outside references and a modern funk twist. From modern Brass Band culture to the Hot Jazz era of Louis Armstrong, from traditional Gospel to Mardi Gras Indian influences, High-Hat Second Line blends all specificities of this rich genre. Their performances pay tribute to its complex and diverse, inherently festive and uplifting heritage. High-Hat Second Line is the must see New Orleans band in Chicago.
When singer/guitarist Sean O’Neill and drummer Chris Russell played their final show with Chicago’s legendary Groove Diggers, they swore a blood oath to never share the stage again. Thankfully for all involved, the statute of limitations finally ran out, and they’ve returned as one half of Chicago’s Blind Trust. To round out the group, they traveled to the moors of Scotland to recruit expert bass player Gus Noble (John Ballantyne’s Crazy Heart, The Sunspots), and begged relocated Bay Area keyboard master Chris Frumkin to join and give the band music lessons. The result is Blind Trust, whose trademark musical approach combines strong musicianship, catchy melodies, acerbic songwriting, and rollicking on-stage energy. Their debut release is expected later in 2016.
St. Mojo is a new Americana / Alt. Country band based out of Chicago. The group combines honest lyrics with a unique take on American Roots Music. Comparisons have been made to Holly Williams, Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton. The band’s debut EP, “Sacramental Wine”, is a true labor of love. It was recorded and produced by St. Mojo’s singer and songwriter, Michael Jacob. It features the steel guitar-playing of the legendary, GRAMMY AWARD winning, Robby Turner and was mixed by Mark Petaccia (Jason Isbell, Jack White, Buddy Guy, etc...). "...a wonderfully rootsy, bluesy sound that’s at once evocative and hook-filled."- Peter Hay (Twin Vision LLC).
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Fri, Jan 20 - 7pm - $20
“IDR’s music reflects the process of the immigrants memory’s distortion from second generation on. This is what happens by living in the New Yorker cultural melting pot with a strong traditional background; IDR’s music is at the same time far from the original source – for geographic, chronological and cultural reasons – and full of tradition’s elements. IDR’s music is impossible to fit in any conventional standard.” MC & JP“IDR (Italian Doc Remix) premiered at ISSUE PROJECT ROOM in NYC back in 2004. After connecting with the finest of New York’s Downtown Improvisers, Marco Cappelli organized an all-star ensemble to produce what has become one of my favorite projects. Since its premiere performance, IDR has perfected its instrumentation, interpretation and personal language, viewing the project as a complete expression rather than a series of individual pieces. This music is about connection: the connection to one’s culture as well as the merging of styles of different cultures and centuries. It’s about a commitment to culture that Marco felt in Italy and to the music of a particular place and time in New York. Percussionist Jim Pugliese felt the urgency of this mix and encouraged Cappelli’s sorcery. There is alchemy here, a magical blend that emerges as Marco mixes rare ingredients, rearranges and transmutes traditional melodies into spontaneous, musical gold. Marco’s “canons” and “ostinatos” break down the structure of traditional sonic worlds and entwine them in fresh detail, bringing them into harmonious accord.” Suzanne Fiol (Founder of ISSUE Project Room – Brooklyn)
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Fri, Jan 20 - 9pm - $10
Bumpus and their powerful brand of soul music channels the uplifting energyof Sly & the Family Stone, the funk of James Brown, and the reflective cool of Marvin Gaye. Led by singers James Johnston, Ava Fain and Tina Howell, they bring together big, funky beats, deep bass, lush JB horns, and a heavy organ sound that results in a high-octane, musical funk frenzy. Bumpus has shared the stage with many of their heroes. Artists such as Dr. John, War, The Roots, Jurassic 5, Maceo Parker, and Fred Wesley. The band has performed at the prestigious Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival alongside Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, and Widespread Panic. Their fourth and most recent album, All the People, won rave reviews and they’re currently hard at work on their fifth album, Step Sure or Step Aside. Bumpus continues to tour throughout the country, while performing at various venues in Chicago and the Midwest.
SOUL VISTAS is led by singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Curtis Anthony Bozif. Core members include Dan Budai on bass, whom Curt has worked with in previous projects, and Mike Curran on drums and percussion. Mike joined Curt and Dan in the spring on 2014. Over the years the band has gone through a handful of guitar players that include Kevin Wilson, Matt Alley, and Josh Miller. Nick Hansen has helped out on keys since the spring of 2015 and Alex Santilli first played percussion with SOUL VISTAS in the Fall of 2015. Much of Bozif's song writing is based on variations on blues templates, but the band draws from a variety of blues, R&B, hip-hop, soul, funk, fusion, and jazz music. Their first record is tentatively schedule for release in the summer/fall of 2016.
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Sat, Jan 21 - 9pm - $8adv/$10door
Cobalt & the Hired Guns is about love and guts, energy and enthusiasm – refusing to pretend they aren’t having fun.The repertoire for this band from Chicago has been described as Americana, Folk Punk, Pop, or just Good Ol’ Fashioned Rock n’ Roll. They’ve been compared to The Hold Steady, The Clash, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, The Fratellis, Frightened Rabbit, Backyard Tire Fire, and “Wilco on Xanax covering The Clash”Cobalt & the Hired Guns plays at venues and clubs all over Chicago, including the Metro, Schuba’s, Cubby Bear, Double Door, and Subterranean with bands such as State Radio, I Fight Dragons, Josh Ritter, Baby Teeth, Dashboard Confessional and Big D and the Kids’ Table to name just a few.Their first album, Jump the Fence, was released as a carbon neutral project in 2008.The second album, Everybody Wins! was released in June of 2012 to a much acclaimed homecoming show at the Metro. The record features punky Americana inspired songs with instrumentation including not only the typical band setup but also a full horn section, string section, keyboard, steel guitar, and Moog synthesizer.A follow up EP to the last album is currently being planned out with recording to begin in the fall of 2013.
In the fashion world, when something is the new ‘in’ thing that everyone loves and wants, it is often termed “The New Black”. Jeff Brown & company hope that bleeds over to the music industry as well. Fueled largely by whiskey and questionable romantic decisions, and featuring Jeff Brown on vocals and guitars, Eric Stafford on guitars, Michael “Vez” Narvaez on bass, and Marke Lester on drums and vocals, the group blends vocal harmony, catchy hooks, insightful lyrics, and a healthy heap of rock swagger.
A longtime performer at fundraisers, open mics and parties, Heidi Serwer began writing songs a few years ago, and the results were startling: instantly memorable melodies, keenly observed situations and a big-hearted approach to her characters and subjects. Heidi combined this innate songwriting knack with her sweet singing and nimble guitar playing to release her fresh-sounding debut album, Stranger, in 2014. Her five-song EP takes you from the heavenly harmonies of the gently rolling “Alone” through the Jayhawks-like crunch of “Hold On To You” to the hypnotic swirl of the closing “Who Am I,” with Serwer’s warm presence carrying you through. Heidi collaborates with a variety of friends and local musicians, and plans to record her sophomore album in early 2017.
Liz Chidester, originally from the mountains of Virginia, moved to Chicago by train in the winter of 2013. Since then, she has become involved in the Chicago music scene, performing in various venues, variety showcases, and festivals across Chicago. Liz released her debut album "People Pumping Pedals" in 2014 under the Chicago Acoustic Underground's label CAU Dog Records. She released the acoustic EP "Otter Hill" in 2015, and is currently working on an EP "Progress Into Simplicity" set to be released in summer 2016. Liz's music is featured on Pandora and Spotify, and can be purchased on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, or Bandcamp. Liz has also immersed herself into the Chicago theatre scene, recently understudying 'Mash' in Sideshow Theatre Company's STUPID F**KING BIRD at the Victory Gardens Theatre and 'June Carter Cash' in Mercury Theater's RING OF FIRE. She will be playing 'Laura' in Refuge Theatre Company's production of HIGH FIDELITY in the winter of 2016. Liz was nominated for Best Female Vocalist in the Chicago Music Awards 2015 and was a Midwest Finalist in NPR's NewSong Songwriting Compeition 2014. Before moving to Chicago, Liz was entertaining audiences at sea all over the Western Hemisphere on Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line as a variety band singer and host. Liz Chidester is classically trained singer, and a graduate of the School of Music at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.
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Sat, Jan 21 - 6pm - $7
Tue, Jan 24 - 8pm - $8
Friends of the Devil honors the timeless music of the Grateful Dead, played by the finest musicians in Chicago.
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Wed, Jan 25 - 9pm - $10
Cornmeal has never been a band to shy away from reinvention and after over a decade, theyare proving just that as the band sets out with a newly reformed lineup, a fresh energeticsound and heads back into the studio to finish their long awaited first studio album afteralmost 6 years. A nationally recognized live music institution, Cornmeal is heavily influencedby American roots and folk music and seamlessly blends lightning fast tempos andimpeccable harmonies into an unrivaled live performance that continues to expand uponthe ve-piece acoustic-electric groups’ vast musical repertoire. While steeped in the traditionof the past, Cornmeal continues to forge a path all their own, pushing the boundaries ofbluegrass, Americana and folk for a whole new generation of music lovers. With a growingfan base and ever-evolving sound, Cornmeal challenges the recipe of bluegrass and liveperformance.
Miles Over Mountains is an acoustic grassroots band based in Northern Illinois and comprised of former members of the group Huckleberry Green
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Thu, Jan 26 - 8pm - $8adv/$12door
Somewhere between a soul pop concert, South Side jazz club, slam poetry reading, and punk rock dive bar, lives the music of Cole DeGenova... As a pianist, vocalist, and composer Cole DeGenova has spent most of his life crafting his eclectic artistic voice, beginning his career at age 16 as a jazz pianist around his native Chicago. As a bandleader, he started his funky alternative soul group Cole DeGenova & The Peoples Republic at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where he released his first album JUST PEOPLE AGAIN in 2009. A few years later, DeGenova released his second album ANOTHER COUNTRY. Now based in Chicago and Los Angeles, he is both an in demand studio musician as well as a touring performer around the globe. He has worked with Lupe Fiasco, Brett Dennen, Chance the Rapper, Gallant, Latin Grammy winner Lucky Diaz, Meshell N'Degeocello, Paula Cole, James Carter, engineer Eddie Kramer, Hey Champ, Dave Shaw, as well as funk group The Heard and experimental jazz trio Hanging Hearts. DeGenova is also a co-founder and organizer for the Chicago artist collective The Gala. His third album THE RADIO HERO MIXTAPE was released spring of 2015. His song “Hollywood Girl” was chosen as a Finalist in the 2015 American Songwriting Awards.
Soulful, dynamic, and always ear-pleasing, singer/songwriter and vocalist, Layla Frankel has been delighting audiences with her music for as long as she can remember. Hailing from Chicago and the daughter of local children’s entertainer, Joel Frankel, Layla Frankel began singing and performing when she was just four years old. Destined to be a musician, she began to explore a wide variety of genres. Layla’s experiences singing in choirs as a child developed her voice and keen ear. She moved on to perform jazz, gospel, and rock in the Champaign-Urbana area and at the University of Illinois, where she further discovered her gift for harmonic composition, melodic phrasing, and lyricism. With her musically rich and diverse background, Layla’s songwriting is wholly her own, with no two songs sounding alike. Inspired by the music of Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, Amy Winehouse, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell and Jazz greats including Ella Fitzgerald and Nancy Wilson, Layla’s songs each carry their own stylistic flare, with captivating vocals at the forefront. Honest and compelling lyrics, mixed with moving melody lines and her warm, soulful alto voice make for a collection of irresistible genre-crossing pop songs. Layla performs around the Chicagoland area as a solo artist as well as within varying musical ensembles. Some of her current projects include The Stuart Rosenberg Band, Sunny Side Up, and Joel Frankel. Layla also teaches at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and works with the Chicago Children’s Choir.
John Lennon Songwriting Competition Finalist!Hailing from the swamps of Chicago, guitarist and songwriter B Forrest’s palette of audible paint contains the colours blues, folk, love, and soul. His debut album entitled “Back to Bodhi” (due out February 2015), was a seed turned tree at the end of last year. The album was recorded among some of Chicago’s finest musicians at The Coach House. It is through singing that the soul is freed from the flesh, so join him in praise, because Buddha believes in thee.
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Fri, Jan 27 - 7:30pm - $25
BANDS FOR BELL 14 -Come hear Bell School's Teachers, Staff and Parents Rock out to raise fund for Bell School.BANDS FOR BELL is an annual fundraising event where musicians from the Bell School Community perform to raise money for Bell School and its programs. Featuring the following Bands -Teacher's Pet Bread & Butter Air This Side of Caution Hurtin' Kind
Underneath all the hooks and well crafted melodies lay songs about life on life's terms. Love, hate, all of lifes victories and defeats. The Hurtin Kind play music for grown ups about the world as we see and experience it. It's a joyous noise , so c'mon along for the ride!
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Sat, Jan 28 - 9pm - $10
Founded in Minneapolis during the spring of 2012, BMB came together when two guitar players discovered each other's almost identical craigslist ads aimed at starting a funk band influenced by among other things, the sounds of Fela Kuti, K Frimpong, and King Sunny Ade. Over the next 3 years the band would relentlessly rehearse, fine tune, and develop their deeply powerful sound. What started as a funk band playing obscure covers eventually blossomed into a creative collective of musicians writing, arranging, and performing original music that builds on the sound of Nigerian Afrobeat by tastefully blending it with other styles. As time went on, the band cycled through players and material before arriving at what would become the permanent lineup and their signature sound. In 2013 Secret Stash Records released BMB’s debut single to critical acclaim within the collector and DJ communities. The bible of all things funky, Wax Poetics, declared the record to be “Heavy Nigerian Madness.” Flea Market Funk raved “This is some authentic music right here people, recorded in the United States. Inspired by the likes of The Funkees, The Black President, and Moussa Doumbia as much as James Brown and The Meters, this Twin Cities dozen (and sometimes more) is shoveling out their musical path with their unique sounds.” The entire pressing quickly sold out as Secret Stash shipped copies around the globe while BMB slang copies from the stage after shows throughout the Midwest. Two years later, after almost non-stop gigging and rehearsing, BMB finally tracked their debut album at Secret Stash’s new recording studio in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. Cut live in one room over the course of 3 days, the recordings jump out of the speakers with an energy reminiscent of the band’s celebrated live shows. About the process, guitarist Hans Kruger says, “This music needs to be recorded live. Everytime we play there are these little connections that are being made between a couple of the musicians. The bass and drums might lock into something that the horn players don’t consciously know about. But while that’s happening, the horn players might find their way to some new interpretation of their parts. You would lose some of that if you went in and tracked everything one at a time. There needs to be room for collective improvisation.” The incredible thing about recorded music is its ability to travel across time, space, and cultural boundaries. The story of Black Market Brass and their debut album, Cheat And Start A Fight, is a testament to that miraculous feat. Recorded in 2015 by the 12 piece instrumental band, it is heavily inspired by the sounds of West African popular and spiritual music from long ago.
With a sound born out of the combination of funk roots with jazz and electronic music, Genome has been impressing audiences with their tight sound and getting them on the dance floor with infectious grooves. Undeniable and unrelenting, Drew Littell, Patrick Dinnen, and Asif Wilson form a rhythm section that will not be stopped. Coupled with the stylings of multi-instrumentalist Xavier Galdon, saxophonist Kyle Madsen, and guitarist Igor Voltchenko, the lush sounds of Genome will have you partying all night long!
Gramps The Vamp is a 9 piece funk collective hell bent on helping you get down!
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Mon, Jan 30 - 7pm - $8
Subhi is a singer, songwriter, composer based in Chicago. Her debut album (out this summer) is a Hindi Pop-Jazz album in collaboration with renowned musicians from the Chicago Jazz scene including Joaquin Garcia (Piano), Ivan Taylor (Double Bass), Gustavo Cortinas (Drums) & Rajiv Halim (Saxophone). Born in New Delhi, Subhi moved to New York when she was 16 years old. Later, she moved to Chicago and kept actively traveling to Mumbai for work on several music projects. Being in Chicago, she wanted to embrace the city’s vibrant jazz into her music. She started working with local musicians and this collaboration helped her discover a unique style. Today, her music highlights her journey as an artist between two cultures & showcases a blend of her Indian roots and the prominent Jazz scene of Chicago. Subhi recently performed at the 'Eye On India' festival in Chicago and her songs have been featured on NPR and WGN TV. She began her career working as a music assistant on Monsoon Wedding Broadway show in New York. She went on to compose, write, and sing for Bollywood movies and leading Indian digital studios.
Kings of the Lobby is a jazz-funk band based in Chicago founded by saxophonist Chris Madsen.
THE UNKNOWN NEW is equal parts instrumental folk group and jazz chamber ensemble – featuring music by Chicago-based composer, Paul Mutzabaugh (electric bass). Contributing to this texturally lush sound are Rich Stitzel (percussion), Jon Deitemyer (drums), Chris Siebold (lap steel & electric guitar), Jim Tashjian (acoustic guitar), and Andrew Ecklund (electric guitar). The Unknown New has two records to their name: "Sunken Garden" (2015) & "Thieves" (2016). More information can be found at www.paulmutzabaugh.com/theunknownnew.
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Tue, Jan 31 - 8pm - $7
Rising out of the miserable Chicago tundra, Uncouth is the sludgy, doomy metal band that demands your attention. Thunderous riffs collide with a rumbling percussion assault. Combined with beautiful melodies, these songs will invade your brain for days. The band recently released their debut EP, Born of Night, with plans to enter the studio to record their debut LP in 2017. With a live stage presence that equals their destructive sound, Uncouth is one band you do not want to miss. Uncouth is: Tim Coghlan: Drums; Jon Graef: Guitar; Karl Grzeszczak: Guitar; James Jankovec: Bass; Skitz M Jones: Vocals.
Most often in this life our struggles, our failures, and our downfalls become our greatest assets later on. Throughout the twists and turns of it all, Jay (drums) Steve-0(guitar) Cheney(guitar) managed to find their newly joined vocalist, Jesse K right when things were looking the worst for the group, bringing on new life and a new era for RED VIOLENT. After almost 2 years of curve balls with the bands sound almost complete, they hit it off fast at at the tail end of 2010. Without even having yet made much of a name for themselves, or having a bass player, began sharing stages with such acts as Ice Nine Kills, Motionless in White, Black veil Brides and Skeletonwitch among many others. The bands first Ep "Faith in Chaos" with new vocalist Jesse is in the final stages of mixing due out at the end of March. The bands unique sound defined as a birth child from Lamb of God and Nothingface and their live show give a revival and change compared to most metal out there. A bassist by the name of brendan kelly was found and stuck since his arrival through out the heartache of loosing members and disputes. With the exit of Red Violent's vocalist and drummer, the band sat in the shadows writing and searching for about a year untill the drummer position was finally filled by Dave Cieck and the vocalist position by Ben Carlson. With the band full force they spent months working and writing , recording and planning on how the re-established red violent would make their comeback. with the release of the Ep resurrect-dead finished set they planned their first show only to have it unfortunately shut down by the police before they could play Oct 20 2012 marks the return to the stage and a new dawn for all those who have followed us.
Born from The Great Old Ones in the depths of R'lyeh, this serves as a conduit to the Elder Things. From far beyond the stars, these pipers of Azathoth serve to entrance the masses with the drone of Nyalrathotep. A frequency in tune with the universe. A Plague of Carcosa.
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Wed, Feb 1 - 7pm - $25
The Chicago Tribune: “I have seen the future of rock 'n' roll, and its name is Tributosaurus.”Tributosaurus strives to do for rock and roll what a symphony orchestra does for classical; treat the music with the respect it deserves, and deliver it to a listener’s ear in glorious detail. They accomplish this goal by utilizing the finest musicians Chicagoland has to offer, and by cutting no corners. If a Stevie Wonder tune has 6 horns, 3 keyboards, and 4 strings, then that’s what you get on stage. If a Santana song needs 3 guitars and 4 percussionists, so be it. Every month, one band is given the treatment, now totaling more than 90 over the first 9 years of the project. The members of Tributosaurus are musical anthropologists, as songs are excavated, dissected, and reconstituted to replicate the original with proper reverence. They aren’t really a tribute band, but are every tribute band. There are no costumes and there is no make-up, because with Tributosaurus, the music is the star.The band is comprised of five core members (Dan Leali, Curt Morrison, Chris Neville, Jon Paul, and Matt Spiegel), who are joined by artists with credits too numerous to mention. Tributosaurus has sold out shows all over Chicago, and their gigs are an event. Fans commune with the musicians, paying homage to songs that made us all fall in love with music in the first place.
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Thu, Feb 2 - 9:30pm - No Cover
free
After 25 years, The Big C Jamboree, will be ending in May 2017. A night of drinking, dancing, socializing, networking and non-stop music since 1992. For die hard rockabilly devotees and civilian music fans. Over the last decade, this highly organized vibrant jam session, held the first Thursday of every month at Martyrs', has become rockabilly central for many of the musicians & fans of Chicago's American roots scene. Although the monthly jam is devoted to rockabilly, the Big C Jamboree has also offered the span of '40's-'50's Amereicn roots music from Hillbilly Boogie to Western Swing, Jump Blues and 1st generation Rock-n-Roll. The night is run swiftly and simply: a host band performs a short set, followed by a myriad of roots musicians who do 3 songs each. The party like atmosphere includes socializing, drinking & dancing galore while the rotating line-up onstage usually features the raucous sounds of pompadoured rockabilly musicians wailing away on upright basses and hallow-bodied electric guitars; and there's NEVER a cover! It's one of the most dedicated evenings of music in the city.
Wild Earp takes you on a road trip across Americana, taking his time along those country roads and learning some bad habits in the city. His songs are of a man who’s spent too much time alone in the forest, the prairie, the mountains, the desert, and the barroom. With a respectful nod to the old masters and a defiant scoff at the purists, Earp croons his country tunes, and mixes those pensive trail songs with jumping rockabilly, spirited bluegrass, and ventures into the dark corners of folk. His lyrics thread traditional tales of heartache, sinful living, and celebration seamlessly with social commentary and absurdism. There’s wit, wisdom, woe, and a wild streak that keeps you guessing.
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Fri, Feb 3 - 8:30pm - $10
Great Moments in Vinyl takes the tribute experience to a new level. Every concert, we choose a pair of memorable albums and perform them in their entirety. And along with the music, we supply a series of stories about the songs and the artists and the times that brought them into being. What was the song that saved U2's career? Who was Bruce Springsteen's "Rosalita"? If The Police started out as a punk band, where did all the reggae flavors come from? Why did Elton John wear glasses really? These are the sorts of questions you'll find out the answers to when Great Moments in Vinyl takes the stage. And you'll hear some exceptionally well played music as well.
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Sat, Feb 4 - 9pm - $8
CRISP's humble beginnings date back to August of 2013, when Elburn, IL native Kevin McMahon (bass player/band leader/composer and arranger) moved back to Illinois after a living in New Orleans for the previous five years. Upon his return to the Chicagoland area, he had a goal in mind; to assemble a band of like-minded, talented musicians to compose and perform original Funk/Jazz/Fusion music, in a time when DJ's and tribute bands rule the landscape of modern nightlife entertainment. Through various professional relationships and personal friendships, Kevin is honored to have secured the talents of Stewart Ream: Keyboards/Vocals, Constantine Alexander: Trumpet, Ian Letts: Saxophones, Joel Ream: Guitar/Vocals, and Greg Essig: Drums, to our line up of sensational musicians. Over time, CRISP has come to embody Fusion driven composition with open improvisation. Or as we prefer, PROGRESSIVE FUNK with WEIRD LYRICS...ENJOY
Fat Night started with four Florida natives looking to feed their appetite for funk music. After many late night sessions, what started off as a jam time turned into a finely tuned, soulful sound they could call their own. In 2013 they released their first 7-inch single, “Things You Do,” on Colemine Records (Monophonics, Orgone), which received high praise around the internet and quickly sold out. They are currently on tour in support of their new EP "Lazy Days" featuring the popular single "Sun Go Down."
PolySci, hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois deliver songs that are an eclectic mix of jam infused grooves. We are JamSoul. Give us a listen!
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Mon, Feb 6 - 8pm - $5
The Kilgubbin Brothers’ name and music celebrate the American-Irish shantytown that clung to a muddy island in the Chicago River in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They play the irrepressible, stubbornly upbeat music that emerged onto that island when the tunes and songs first baptized in the blessed wells of Ireland were dragged through the factory-fouled waters of the Chicago River. Playing with tenacity and unruliness, The Kilgubbin Brothers tap into the dance tunes and songs whose spirit and beauty persisted in their new home: soot-stained, early urban America. The Kilgubbin Brothers feature: Chicago Irish fiddle legend Seán Cleland (Drovers, Bohola); the mighty Jackie Moran (Drovers, Comas) on vocals, bodhrán, and banjo; Boston-born, All-Ireland fiddle Champion Brendan Bulger (Sprigs, Noel Henry Irish Showband); guitar virtuoso Jesse Langen (Hasco Duo, Ensemble Dal Niente); and powerhouse singer Ray Quinn (Tin Lynott, Martyrs’).
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Wed, Feb 8 - 9pm - $10
Cornmeal has never been a band to shy away from reinvention and after over a decade, theyare proving just that as the band sets out with a newly reformed lineup, a fresh energeticsound and heads back into the studio to finish their long awaited first studio album afteralmost 6 years. A nationally recognized live music institution, Cornmeal is heavily influencedby American roots and folk music and seamlessly blends lightning fast tempos andimpeccable harmonies into an unrivaled live performance that continues to expand uponthe ve-piece acoustic-electric groups’ vast musical repertoire. While steeped in the traditionof the past, Cornmeal continues to forge a path all their own, pushing the boundaries ofbluegrass, Americana and folk for a whole new generation of music lovers. With a growingfan base and ever-evolving sound, Cornmeal challenges the recipe of bluegrass and liveperformance.
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Thu, Feb 9 - 9pm - $18adv/$20door
Since they first came together at a 3 a.m. jam at New Orleans Jazz Fest 2012, the Nth Power have been defying and redefining all the conventions of what a band can be.This is a powerhouse quartet of world class players, ones who have powered the music of icons like Beyonce, Chaka Khan, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Big Daddy Kane, funk innovator Maceo Parker, Groovechild, jazz greats Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison to name a few. Their sound fearlessly crosses genres – marrying funky soul, rock, R&B, jazz, Gospel, folk and World Beat with improvisational chops that can match any collective on the jazz and jam band scenes.Though a slate of nearly 150 gigs, The Nth Power has generated a huge following among open-minded music lovers, critics and the toughest of all audiences, their fellow musicians.And while this virtuoso,groove-heavy unit can stretch out with the best of them, what will become apparent with the Fall 2015 release of their first full-length CD, “Abundance,” is their disciplined and infectious song craft. Recorded at the Music Shed in New Orleans with Chaka Khan/Kylie Minogue/’N Sync producer Ira Schickman at the helm, “Abundance”demonstrate show The Nth Power can harness their instrumental prowess and diverse influences into hook-heavy, radio-friendly slices – direct, refined, emotive, memorable tunes that harken to the best of their many influences, from Marvin Gaye, Earth Wind & Fire and Sly Stone to The Roots, Maxwell and Steely Dan.
30 years ago, Kyle Hollingsworth set out on a career in music. Since then, with a wealth of desire and an abundance of ability, Hollingsworth has established himself as a formidable and versatile music talent, with the ability to contribute, collaborate, compose, and communicate on a number of levels and within a vast spectrum of musical environments. Today, as a member of acclaimed jam masters The String Cheese Incident, Hollingsworth is revered by both peers and fans for his ability to write and perform in a mosaic of styles, from rock to classical, ragtime to bebop. Playing in SCI has allowed him unrestricted access to the world of music, and has bestowed on him the kind of fearlessness a composer needs to flirt with such disparate genres. Those who’ve seen SCI know that they can jerk from funk to bluegrass on a chord change. “In the jam world, where there are no set ways of doing things, we’re not afraid to move in and out of genres,” he says, “and because of that I’ve learned to be creative, not only onstage but in the studio. I can get on board with something pretty quickly. You have to.”While his versatility and quick-study nature have become his signature skills with SCI, they have also proved tremendously helpful on stage during collaborations with a bunch of major acts, including Paul Simon, Bruce Hornsby, Bob Weir, Little Feat, and banjo master Bela Fleck. One summer he toured with Phil Lesh in a band that also included Steve Kimock, John Molo, and Warren Haynes. In the summer of 2008 he spent the summer touring with the “mickey hart band”.This group featured Mickey Hart,George Porter,steve kimock and many others .In another amazing highlight, Kyle also toured with Mike Clark in a band that starred nearly all the original Head Hunters.These gigs prove that Hollingsworth is as unafraid to step out of the limelight as he is to step into it. “When I play with these performers it’s about showcasing them, to support the main role in the best possible way. Seasoned musicians can be tasty and laid back, too!” Kyle’s first solo album release in 2004 reflected his jazz tastes. Titled Never Odd or Even, Joshua Redman and Robert Randolph guested, among others. Never or Odd or Even was the recording Hollingsworth had always wanted to make since he was a kid. In addition to his jazz influences, the album’s music demonstrates Kyle’s ability to seamlessly fuse genres.His new Summer 09 release, titled “The There’s Now,” finds the musician coming in to his own. With solid song material and a slamming new band, Kyle is making his mark in the new, always-evolving music scene. “Then There’s Now” delivers a blend of vocal and instrumental tunes and seamlessly displays his growth as a musician and as a songwriter. Also look for Kyle on tour with his trio DNA Land this spring throughout the Midwest. DNA Land offers loop based funk and hip hop beats and features Damien Hines (drums) and Dan Schwindt (bass/guitar).
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Fri, Feb 10 - 9pm - $10
The North 41 is a dynamic blend of Rock, Funk, and Jazz, with the danceability of Pop music and sophisticated musicianship that keeps you hanging on every guitar solo, every drum solo, and every whaling keyboard lick. The Chicago-based band has been winning fans all over the Midwest, and even as far as the Colorado Rockies, since 2014. Founded in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, by Pat Walsh (guitar), Frank Minella (guitar), and Michael Campo (drums), The North 41 began as an instrumental jam-band, with Minella initially on bass. The absence of vocals created a unique environment for improvisation and complex arrangements. As a trio, the band performed at many high school events and won several battle of the bands competitions. It wasn't until a few years later that the band added Craig Urban (bass) and Walsh's cousin, Riley Pettrone on vocals. This had a great influence on the band's songwriting process and the overall sound of the music. The musicianship had been honed, but now the band could rely on a strong singer to lead the song. Pettrone's charismatic stage performances created an energetic, dance-frenzied show that added to the already tight band. In 2015, The North 41 released their first LP, Dancing & Praying. The album received a good amount of radio play throughout the midwest, including Chicago's WXRT. Along with the album, the band released music videos for their singles, "Everybody Knows (The Woman Way)" and "Ain't a Fool". Towards the end of the year, Urban was replaced by local bass prodigy, Donoven "Heavy" Brown. While continuing touring the midwest, The North 41 plans on recording a follow up EP to be released in the summer of 2016. A few live videos are in the works and bigger and better shows is what The North 41 is always striving for.
Jared Rabin is a veteran of the Chicago music scene who has spent his entire life pursuing music and performing worldwide. He is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, and is no stranger to the stage, the studio, or the road. His experiences in the music industry have led him far and wide, from playing in famous concert halls in an orchestra, to sharing the stage with some of the world’s jazz greats, to playing college towns on the road with a rock band.Jared's debut solo record "Something Left to Say" came out in 2015 to immediate critical acclaim and radio airplay across the US. He wrote and produced all of the music, and recorded and sang all of the parts (except for the drums) by himself. This music is the pure result of the massive array of influences that have passed through the life of a thirty- year-old guitar player. Jared is now performing the music from the record far and wide, and establishing a voice for himself as a solo artist and emerging songwriter.
Mike Muya is a Congolese-born, South African-raised and American-made singer-songwriter,guitarist, and producer based in Chicago IL. His sound interweaves a raw melodic voice withBlues, Acoustic Rock and alternative R&B: ‘Boom-Bap Blues’, he calls it. Crossing the boundaries between musical genres, but also between nations and continents,Mike Muya has always been a nomad. Civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of the Congoforced his family to leave the country when he was very young. They moved to Malawi, Zambia,and then again to Durban, South Africa. In this state of constant flux, only sometimes by choice,Mike learned to be open to new ideas...and to new sounds. In South Africa, Mike beganlistening to American classics like Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, and Lightnin' Hopkins. And, at theage of twelve, he began playing the guitar and writing songs, and later performing, establishinga reputation as acoustic Pop.In 2013 he moved again, this time to New York City. In Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood,Mike first felt the pull of the hip hop scene. In the beats of Hip Hop Mike found a way to bringtogether his two great loves--90’s Boom Bap and the blues of his early youth. Under the alias ofBlack Fly Reviews, he began playing gigs all along the East Coast, including at the RockwoodMusic Hall, the Bowery Electric, the Sidewalk Cafe, the Living Room, and the Knitting Factory.In 2015, Mike found a new home and a new life in Chicago, where he has been working on hisEP and has released more videos. As a trained professional graphic and web designer, Mikehas brought his technical skills to bear on his music, teaching himself, with relentlessdetermination, to produce, mix, and make beats using FL Studios. Mike’s is a poetry of rawexpression. His songs explore the intensity of experience, the endless pursuit of a feeling ofbelonging, pushed always by the urge to cross boundaries and exceed all limitations: in music,and in life."My primary goal is to be allowed the privilege to have my music be the soundtrack to a sceneor moment in people's lives."MikeMuyaOfficial.Com
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Sat, Feb 11 - 9pm - $15adv/$17door
Duende, the title of The Band of Heathens’ fifth studio album (and eighth overall), marks their tenth anniversary as a group, and it certainly applies to its overall theme about the collective search for connection and communion in a technology-fueled world increasingly splintered, distracted and lonely. As band co-founder Ed Jurdi, who first learned of the term, explains, “It’s the essence of the artist,” or as partner Gordy Quist says, “It’s a word we don’t have an equivalent for in English, Artistically, that’s where we tried to set the bar, to do what this band does best.”Indeed, Duende lives up to those high ideals, a stylistically diverse effort that takes a leap beyond their last, more acoustic, introspective effort, 2013’s Sunday Morning Record, with an eclectic batch of material that shows where The Band of Heathens has been, but more importantly, where they are going.There are high-energy rockers like the Keith Richards-Chuck Berry guitars and barrelhouse piano in “Trouble Came Early” as well as the Grateful Dead-by-way-of J.J. Cale Oklahoma boogie in “Keys to the Kingdom,” The Band-meets-New Orleans honky-tonk blues of “Sugar Queen,” the British Invasion harmonies laced through “Deep Is Love,” the south-of-the-border flavor of “Road Dust Wheels” and the New Riders pedal steel country twang of “Green Grass of California,” an ode to the more potent strains of sensimilla on the dispensary shelf and a fervent plea to “legalize it.” Duende also touches on some of The Band of Heathens’ favorite topics, from the sacrifices of a life lived on the road (“All I’m Asking”) to the limits of materialism (“Keys to the Kingdom”), social media absorption (“Cracking the Code”), and a moving depiction of Mexican immigration in an age of increased discrimination (“Road Dust Wheels”).
In the past five years, Great American Taxi has become one of the best-known headliners on the jam band circuit. Their uninhibited sound is a swinging concoction of swampy blues, progressive bluegrass, funky New Orleans strut, Southern boogie, honky tonk country, gospel, and good ol’ fashioned rock ’n’ roll. Great American Taxi was born when singer, guitarist, and mandolin player Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon joined keyboard player and singer Chad Staehly for a superstar jam to benefit the Rainforest Action Group in Boulder, in March of 2005. “We put together a dream band of the best local musicians for a one-off gig,” Herman recalls. “It worked so well we had to do it again, and again, and again.” Great American Taxi quickly evolved into one of the best country-, rock-, and bluegrass- influenced jam bands in the land, masterfully blending acoustic and electric instruments into music they call “Americana Without Borders.”
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Tue, Feb 14 - 8pm - $10
The Grateful String Band puts an bluegrass spin on the music of the Grateful Dead! Anything related is fair game too. Peter Rowan, Tony Rice, David Grisman, Old & In The Way, and of course, Bill Monroe! TGSB's family includesJim Boukas - guitarKris Nowak - guitarDuff Driscoll - uprightEric Lambert - guitarMatt Arendt - guitarBen Wright - banjoJason Berger - mandoSteve Haberichter - mandoPat Lyons - mando/dobroTom Murray - fiddleWavy Dave - banjoGreg Morland - mandoDan Andree - fiddleSpencer Savoie - banjoGrateful Gary - upright bassJames Chrzan - keysMike Krieglstein - upright bass
Dance, Monkey, Dance!” was formed out of the necessity to create. Doug Dicharry spent years honing his chops in a succesful international touring band, but needed to get back to his roots and rediscover his love for playing music. Even while becoming a talented multi-intrumentalist (drums, trombone, trumpet, mandolin, washboard, spoons), he decided to pick up the guitar and has been obsesively writing songs since.The guitar laid the foundation for what would become the core of DMD, but there was something missing. Doug craved the driving beat created by the drums, so he built the STOMPSTAGE!!! It’s an amplified mobile stage which creates two different unique percussion sounds, boom – crack. With soulful vocals, percussive guitar, loop rigs and the steady stompstage backbeat, he has penned an evolving repertoire of songs about life on the road, zen, and the mysteries of death.Dance, Monkey, Dance is the perfect name, because this monkey is literally dancing while playing for you!
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Wed, Feb 15 - 9pm - $10
Cornmeal has never been a band to shy away from reinvention and after over a decade, theyare proving just that as the band sets out with a newly reformed lineup, a fresh energeticsound and heads back into the studio to finish their long awaited first studio album afteralmost 6 years. A nationally recognized live music institution, Cornmeal is heavily influencedby American roots and folk music and seamlessly blends lightning fast tempos andimpeccable harmonies into an unrivaled live performance that continues to expand uponthe ve-piece acoustic-electric groups’ vast musical repertoire. While steeped in the traditionof the past, Cornmeal continues to forge a path all their own, pushing the boundaries ofbluegrass, Americana and folk for a whole new generation of music lovers. With a growingfan base and ever-evolving sound, Cornmeal challenges the recipe of bluegrass and liveperformance.
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Thu, Feb 16 - 8pm - $10
With the blood and glitter of 70's Glam Rock, V Sparks have burst through with a sound and attitude sure to steal your attention. The Chicago based band consists of Alan Lewis(Lead Vocalist and Keys), guitar virtuoso Prescott Kagan(Guitar and Vocals), Sam Libretti(Bass) and Adam Long(Drums), Zach Duran(Guitar) and Paul Wierdak on Keys. Drawing from past luminaries as David Bowie, T.Rex, The Beatles and ELO to modern acts as The Arcade Fire, The Strokes and Vampire Weekend they have brought to pass a contemporary glitzy mess of rock that you cant help identify with and feel good about. Having played with such big name acts as The New York Dolls, Ok-Go, VHS or Beta, and Dot Dot Dot, V Sparks consistently entertain and engage their audiences with eclectic pizazz and unfailing precision. They have performed at well respected Chicago stages the likes of The Double Door, The Metro and The Bottom Lounge(to name a few). Equally as solid is the 2007 self-titled debut album. With standout tracks “Red Love Suicide” ,“The Glitter End” and "Making Friends", V Sparks proves that they can deliver the goods in the studio as well. Beautifully melding glitzy glam ,good old fashioned Rock ‘N Roll with orchestration and pop sensibilities uncommon in todays music. These guys just may be the modern day answer to the genius of great music past.
Victories... Chicago based dirty, melodic, alt-rock band influenced by Interpol, Kings of Leon, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Radiohead. Whiskey swilling buccaneers.
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Fri, Feb 17 - 9pm - $40adv/$50door
Sat, Feb 18 - 9:30pm - $14adv/$16door
With their roots submerged in the thick buttery mud of traditional bluegrass, The Lil’ Smokies have sonically blossomed into a leading player in the progressive acoustic sphere, creating a new and wholly unique, melody driven sound of their own. The quintet, from Missoula, MT, has been hard at work, writing, touring and playing to an ever-growing fan base for the past 6 years. The fruits of their labor recently culminating with wins at the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Award for Best Band and at the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass festival band competition. In 2013 the band also won The Northwest String Summit Band Competition. With a unique blend of traditional bluegrass, newgrass, innumerable unique originals, sheer raw energy, and exquisite musicianship, The Lil’ Smokies weave seamlessly through genres, leaving behind melodies you’ll be singing to yourself for days and a jaw you’ll have to pick up off the floor. The Lil’ Smokies have no problem captivating large audiences. Sharing the stage with heavyweights like Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Keller Williams, Greensky Bluegrass, The Emmit-Nershi Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Travellin’ McCourys, Sam Bush Band, Fruition, Infamous Stringdusters, Bradford Lee Folk and The Bluegrass Playboys, and dozens of others. The Lil’ Smokies have become festival favorites coast to coast with highlights including Delfest (MD), Pagosa Folk N’ Bluegrass (CO), ROMP Fest (KY), Hangtown Halloween (CA), Telluride Bluegrass Festival (CO), Roseberry Music Festival (ID), Northwest String Summit (OR), Targhee Bluegrass Festival (WY), River City Roots (MT) and more! This five-piece bluegrass ensemble features Andy Dunnigan (dobro), Scott Parker (upright bass), Matt Cornette (banjo), Jake Simpson (fiddle) and Matt Rieger (guitar).
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Sun, Feb 19 - 8pm - $20adv/$25door
Ralph Towner was born in Washington in 1940. He began his jazz career as a Bill Evans inspired pianist, then travelled to Vienna to study classical guitar with Karl Scheit, the renowned Austrian guitarist, lutenist and pedagogue. In New York City in the late 1960s, Towner freelanced on both piano and guitar, collaborating with musicians from Freddie Hubbard to Tim Hardin. He co-founded the band Oregon in 1970, together with Collin Walcott, Glenn Moore and Paul McCandless – all of whom would appear on Towner’s ECM debut, Trios/Solos, in 1972. His recordings for ECM have included solo albums, duo projects (with John Abercrombie, Gary Peacock, Gary Burton and, recently, Paolo Fresu), bands under his direction (including the much-loved Solstice with Jan Garbarek, Eberhard Weber, Jon Christensen) and discs with Oregon. He has also contributed to albums by Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Kenny Wheeler and Egberto Gismonti, and guested with the group Azimuth. As an instrumentalist Towner has shaped distinct languages for his classical and 12-string guitars. He has described his approach to the guitar as “pianistic: my brain wants to have access to all those notes at once.” As a composer he remains a unique force, combining baroque counterpoint, rhythms and melodies inspired by Brazilian music and jazz tradition, and a personal approach to harmony and development.
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Mon, Feb 20 - 8pm - $8
Louder Than a Mom because everyone has a depressing, shocking, miserable, vulgar, hilarious family story! Storytelling is one of the oldest human traditions. Come and share yours. If you’re not ready to talk about your family tragedy, your judgmental mother-in-law, your drunk Uncle Pete who ruins every holiday, or why you hate your four-year-old, come and listen. We all love a good bedtime story!!
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Tue, Feb 21 - 8pm - $10
Comprised of some of Chicago's top musicians, 40,000 HEADMEN performs the hits and deep - cuts of British Jamband TRAFFIC! Featuring Wavy Dave Burlingame and Scott Tipping of Cornmeal,John Reed of Helping Phrendly Orchestra and Terrapin Flyer,Packy Lundholm of Terrapin Flyer,and special guests
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Wed, Feb 22 - 9pm - $10
Cornmeal has never been a band to shy away from reinvention and after over a decade, theyare proving just that as the band sets out with a newly reformed lineup, a fresh energeticsound and heads back into the studio to finish their long awaited first studio album afteralmost 6 years. A nationally recognized live music institution, Cornmeal is heavily influencedby American roots and folk music and seamlessly blends lightning fast tempos andimpeccable harmonies into an unrivaled live performance that continues to expand uponthe ve-piece acoustic-electric groups’ vast musical repertoire. While steeped in the traditionof the past, Cornmeal continues to forge a path all their own, pushing the boundaries ofbluegrass, Americana and folk for a whole new generation of music lovers. With a growingfan base and ever-evolving sound, Cornmeal challenges the recipe of bluegrass and liveperformance.
Hailing from St. Louis, MO, Aaron Kamm and the One Drops merge flavors of Roots Reggae, Mississippi River Blues, Improv-laced Jams, and Soulful Vocals. With a High energy performance and a unique sound this band is a must see.
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Fri, Feb 24 - 9pm - $10
The Denver-based power trio, Cycles, comprised of Patrick Harvey (guitar), Michael Wood (drums), and Tucker McClung (bass/vocals) are on a musical mission to melt your mind. Self-described as psychedelic rock fusion, Cycles effortlessly blends rock, jazz, hip-hop, soul, and much more creating a versatile soundscape that makes each live show different than the last. Striving for variety in each set, Cycles carefully construct a live show designed to thrill. Each member brings a special set of skills and influences to the table. Living in the same house together and practicing hours upon hours each day has created a profound chemistry between the band members that truly shines through in the live setting. Tucker McClung is a powerful commander of the bass who never shies away from applying the melodic nature of the instrument all the while leading the show with powerful vocals. Michael Wood, with his tight and jazzy drum beats, works tirelessly to keep the band on track through intricate tempo changes and wide-open space. Patrick Harvey’s dominating guitar shred is what completes the band’s sound and often drives them to take the jams into outer space. The songs are written by all members of the band which adds yet another element of diversity to the end product. With humorous, relatable, and illustrative lyrics, Cycles reaches out and touches their audience in a way that produces a feeling of harmony and community. Throughout the last year, Cycles has picked up some serious steam around Colorado. Every show Cycles plays garners new fans. In January of 2016, the band released their first EP, Loads Of Fun which showcases their one-of-a-kind sound.
Averaging over one hundred shows a year – The Jauntee has quickly made a name for themselves in the New England music scene. Hailing from Boston, they’ve solidified a dedicated following in the Northeast, playing most staple venues in the area (ie. Paradise Rock Club, Nectar’s, The Spot Underground, Stone Church). Several New England festival appearances (ie. StrangeCreek, Camp Coldbrook, Disc Jam) and extensive touring down the East Coast and across the Midwest have given them Nationwide recognition, with sold out shows as far west as Denver, CO (Quixote’s). A focus on live improvisation, set list variety, and musical exploration makes every show different from the last, truly making The Jauntee a live act to see again and again. Drawing influence from a wide variety of bands, The Jauntee’s improvisational landscape spans multiple genres, including: Funk/Rock/Jazz/Progressive/Bluegrass/Psychedelic and Ambient music. Their willingness to explore genres, abandon all song structure, and dive into ‘the weird’ sets them apart from your average upcoming Jam Band. They aim to push the boundaries of improvisation, embrace the moment and engage the audience. With an ever-expanding song catalog and an inclination for open ended improvisation, every show promises to be a unique experience.
The Dropper was formed late 2014 in Chicago, IL. The group focuses on producing a live show that will have you grooving, singing and rocking all night long. They utilize rotating setlists and improvisational sections throughout the show to make every appearance unique. The Dropper is largely influenced by the audience and constantly adapts to the setting and vibe of any stage they perform on. The group dives into a multitude of genres to keep you on your toes and make every experience a great one.
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Sat, Feb 25 - 9pm - $10adv/$12door
Ellis Clark has been a longtime fixture of the Chicago music community working nationally as a performing musician with his band Ellis Clark & The Big Parade, as a songwriter for himself or other artists, a recording artist and record producer. As a teenager he was a founding member of the power-pop-punk pioneer band Epicycle releasing several singles and a full length LP by the time he was nineteen. Later, he co-founded & fronted Social Act who received heavy radio play, toured nationally & released numerous albums of original material. Now, with Ary Jeebie, Amazing Heeby Jeebies garage rock band front woman, he is realizing a longtime ambition to host a George Harrison Birthday Tribute Concert at Martyrs' February 25th, 2017. This will be a night not to be missed which will have many special guests including: Mars Williams of The Psychedelic Furs, Carla Prather of Poi Dog Pondering, Phil Angotti, Aethereal, Gunnar Cleemann on tour from Denmark and many more! In the past, Ellis hosted (to capacity audiences) Beatles & Who tribute nights at The Mayne Stage Theatre in Rogers Park.
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Sat. Feb 25 - 7pm - $25
Nude Coffee is reuniting for a national tour! They are an all female comedy troupe with a transgender twist. Lewd, crude and rude!
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Tue, Feb 28 - 8pm - $10
Celebrating the rich history of and diverse approaches to the world’s most popular, most portable instrument, the Harmonica Hoedown 2017 brings together some of the finest players of today.PT Gazell, this year’s special guest, was a sought-after sideman and session musician with some of Nashville’s biggest stars in the 70s and 80s when he played and recorded all over the world. After 10 years of extensive touring, Gazell put his instrument down and disappeared for a while, reemerging in recent years with a new approach, the Gazell Method. Currently used by many other performers around the globe, it allows him musical possibilities normally not available on standard issue harmonicas including jazz standards, swing, ballads and American Songbook selections...Dig It!Revered as a master player, teacher, custom harmonica pioneer, researcher and historian, Joe Filisko is arguably the world’s foremost authority on many aspects of the diatonic harmonica and a key figure in today’s harmonica scene. Over the past 20 years he’s had a tremendous influence on the developments in all aspects of the culture of the instrument. Though his work as a scholar and a craftsman have rightly earned him a place in the harmonica pantheon, it’s as a player that he truly shines. Joe Filisko coaxes sounds from the harmonica which few before him have ever created and which open up new perspectives for countless players and lovers of this remarkable little instrument.A harmonica trio made up of Harmonica Hoedown regulars James Conway, Graham Nelson and Bob Kessler debuts this year. Expanding the tradition of all-harmonica groups started in the early 20th Century, this new combo draws its influences from traditional music, jazz, blues, folk, classical and the avant-garde. James Conway, a true innovative traditionalist, is considered one of the finest harmonica players in Celtic music in addition to blues, folk and other styles. He makes playing fast-tempo reels and jigs on the mouth harp seem effortless using advanced techniques learned from local blues/jazz harp heroes such as Junior Wells, Sugar Blue, and Howard Levy. Graham Nelson also uses the advanced techniques taught to him by Levy, giving him great musical versatility and expression in numerous styles, in addition to his incredible singing. Hoedown curator and host Bob Kessler has performed with Grammy winners Ramsey Lewis, Dave Alvin, country legend Bill Anderson at the Grand Ole Opry, as part of the orchestra for Ricky Ian Gordon’s contemporary opera version of “The Grapes of Wrath” and with the Chicago bands including the BlackWilloughbys and Bakelite 78. He also hosts Harmonicast, a podcast featuring conversations with great mouth organists from around the world talking about music, creativity and life.
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Tue, Mar 7 - 8pm - $10
Artists, activists, musicians, writers, architects, politicians, chefs, and people defying description all grace the stage at PechaKucha Night which brings prominent and emerging creative minds together for an evening of lightning-fast presentations, networking and fun. The PechaKucha format, where a dozen or so presenters are given 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds to reveal their passions, work and inspirations, is now held in over 430 cities around the world. Chicago events are among the most popular, with over 300 people in attendance at each event. It's an amazing, riotous and amusing evening.
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Thu, Mar 9 - 8pm - $8
horrible/beaut is a Chicago rock 4 piece started 2 years ago by Nate Thomas and Joe Sampley who have been playing together in some shape or form since the 90s. In 2016, they grew to include Jason Mathews on bass and Alex Stockdale on keys. A regular act on the Chicago club circuit. All original music, but waiting for the perfect cover.
Samson the Aviator is a four piece rock band from Chicago. Each member has played in multiple bands/clubs over the past 30 years. The four songs that are on this site are part of an EP that was recorded at Minbal at the tail end of 2015. We are very excited about the current lineup and all of the music we are developing. The band is looking forward to getting out and showcasing our sound live.
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Fri, Mar 17 - 9pm - $12adv/$15door
Big Sam’s Funky Nation is a driving force of urban funk. Ryan White, of the Oregonian, says the band is “tight enough (and hot enough) to turn coal into a diamond!” The band is led by trombone powerhouse, Big Sam Williams, formerly the trombonist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who the San Francisco Chronicle calls “the top man on the slide trombone in the birthplace of jazz.” Big Sam refuses to let the audience sit still. Between the band’s solos, Big Sam’s signature dance moves and his distinctive trombone riffs, the energy level is high voltage when this band takes the stage!The Funky Nation is a stellar group of world-class musicians who meet the challenges of their funky band leader. BSFN’s signature Noladelic Powerfunk sound masterfully combines a rock sensibility with improv-style associated with jazz and the horn-heavy front section that’s the hallmark of big band funk.Big Sam began playing with the Dirty Dozen at the tender age of 19 before striking out on his own and creating the Funky Nation. Big Sam powered-up the horn section on the critically acclaimed, Grammy nominated, “River in Reverse” and is prominently featured in "Hot as a Pistol, Keen as a Blade" the concert tour DVD. While touring with Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint, in the Fall of 2006 and Summer of 2007, he earned consistent reviews as a musical force and star soloist. Big Sam has played with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Dave Matthews, Ozomatli, and Widespread Panic. He has also shared the stage with U2 and Green Day for the emotional and energetic re-opening of the Superdome which was broadcast live on Monday Night Football.BSFN is a festival favorite across North America and their contagious tunes and memorable live performances have attracted fans far and wide, ranging from France, to the United Kingdom, to Greece, to Brazil, to Canada. BSFN is a favorite on the festival circuit and has sealed its mark on the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, Gathering of the Vibes, Telluride Blues & Brews, Doheny Blues Festival, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo Arts & Music Festival, Wakarusa, Voodoo Music Experience, Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival, LEAF & many more.
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Sat, Mar 18 - 9pm - $15adv/$18door
Made up of Rudder founder Henry Hey on keyboards (Jeff “Tain” Watts, David Bowie), Snarky Puppy founder and Grammy Award-winner Michael League on bass (Kirk Franklin, Wayne Krantz/Ari Hoenig Quartet), Foe Destroyer founder and fellow Snarky Puppy member Chris McQueen on guitar (Myron Butler, Lucy Woodward) and Jason “JT” Thomas on drums (Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor, Marcus Miller, D’Angelo), FORQ is an all-star ensemble of sorts - but with the spirit and cohesiveness of a garage band. Though based in New York City, the group retains a Texas accent, where Michael League and Jason Thomas established a fast friendship and musical rapport through almost two years of weekly gigs in legendary keyboardist Bernard Wright’s trio. Austin-bred Chris McQueen just recently joined the group, which is rooted deep in a distinctly southern groove, but with both the fire and inventiveness that NYC is known for. The music is at once fierce, playful, and soulful- rich in both musical intelligence and undeniable pocket. FORQ’s eponymous double-disc CD/DVD (featuring Adam Rogers on guitar) was released on GroundUP Music in September of 2014, and their second album BATCH was released in June 2015.
Spare Parts has become an institution. With over 13 years of playing music as a trio, Kevin Kozol (keys), Colin Scott (bass), and Mike Bruno (drums) have toured the world bringing their blend of original funk-jazz music winning over discerning fans everywhere. Released on ROPEADOPE RECORDS Jan 2014 and listed in THE BARN PRESENTS: TEN CHICAGO JAZZ ARTISTS TO SEE IN 2014, they have opened for and/or shared the stage with: Victor Wooten, Wayne Krantz / Keith Carlock / Nate Wood, Alan Evans Trio, Stanton Moore, George Clinton, The Wailers, JFJO, Lenny Pickett, Fareed Haque, Snoop Dogg, Liquid Soul, Marco Benevento, Garage a Trois, Ray White, Melvin Seals, Jazz Mandolin Project. "I'm always looking for the new and unique and quite often I look to the Chicago scene where there's always something interesting to be found. From that fertile ground comes BRIGHT MINOR from one of my favorite Chicago groups these days, SPARE PARTS. These guys squeeze more out of keyboards, bass and drums than any trio you'll find anywhere!" Russ Davis- Modern Jazz Radio (MOJA)
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Fri, Apr 7 - 9pm - $15
If David Byrne is one of the geniuses of modern times, then Start Making Sense is a tribute to genius. The musicians in this 7-piece Talking Heads Tribute take pride in faithfully recreating the music of Talking Heads entire career. Together they bring much of the Heads unique live show to the stage, with front man Jon Braun as a spot-on David Byrne, giving you a "once in a lifetime" experience. Prepare yourself for a rockin', funkin', danceable celebration of the new-wave art punk you loved from the 80's !!!
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Sat, Apr 8 - 9pm - $15
If David Byrne is one of the geniuses of modern times, then Start Making Sense is a tribute to genius. The musicians in this 7-piece Talking Heads Tribute take pride in faithfully recreating the music of Talking Heads entire career. Together they bring much of the Heads unique live show to the stage, with front man Jon Braun as a spot-on David Byrne, giving you a "once in a lifetime" experience. Prepare yourself for a rockin', funkin', danceable celebration of the new-wave art punk you loved from the 80's !!!
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Fri, Apr 14 - 9pm - $15adv/$18door
When New Orleans Suspects arose from the primordial musical soup that is New Orleans,they were a fill-in band and an occasional jam band at their neighborhood Maple Leaf Bar.The group brought together some of the best, most highly respected players in New Orleansincluding Jake Eckert, Jeff Watkins, CR Gruver “Mean” Willie Green on drums, and ReggieScanlan. When they started touring late in 2011, naysayers in the Crescent City agreed itwould not last; the Suspects would be another short-lived super group that would quickly fallapart under the weight of egos and money. New Orleans Suspects exceeded expectationsand some five years later they have delivered their fourth album release, Kaleidoscoped.Jake Eckert, the guitarist and one of the principal songwriters and vocalists, is a veteran of tenyears on the road with Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a former member of Larry Carlton’s band, anda Grammy Award ®-winning engineer. He has extensive formal music training and actuallytaught at the prestigious Guitar Institute of Technology. Not only has Eckert won a Grammy, heplayed on The Grammys broadcast with New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint.Kaleidoscoped was recorded at his Rhythm Shack Studios with assistance from Suspect JeffWatkins, a twelve-year veteran as sax player and section leader for the late James Brown,who constantly referred to him as “the ninth wonder of the world.” Watkins has a formalmusical and engineering education, having attended both the Universities of Missouri andMiami. He was a long-time member of the Joss Stone Band and has performed on multiplenetwork television shows.Keyboardist CR Gruver, the other principal songwriter and vocalist, spent years immersinghimself in the piano style of New Orleans legends like Dr. John, James Booker and AllenToussaint and is arguably the best living practitioner of the New Orleans boogie-woogie pianostyle, which is an aggregate of boogie-woogie, Caribbean rhythmic patterns and second line.Gruver made a name for himself, first in Philadelphia, then in the Rockies, with his bandPolytoxic, and later with Southern rockers Outformation. He also spent time in Leo Nocentelli’sband, pursuing the Meters’ groove.“Mean” Willie Green, best known for his 35 years as drummer for The Neville Bros., has alsoplayed on albums by Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Edie Brickell and The Grateful Dead. He literallyinvented one of the primary styles of New Orleans trap drumming for which he gets credit frommusicians around the world.Founding bassist Reggie Scanlan spent 34 years on the road as an original member of TheNew Orleans Radiators after stints with both Professor Longhair and James Booker. Thescholarly Scanlan, one of the last living connections to the original generation of New OrleansR&B musicians, has had to leave the road due to illness. Charlie Wooton (formerly of RoyalSouthern Brotherhood) now fills the touring bass chair. Scanlan’s illness drove the Suspectsto help fund medical care for the New Orleans music community. Scanlan, the band and itsmanagement have organized and directed numerous benefit concerts for the New OrleansMusicians Clinic, a 401(c)3 foundation that provides free and low-cost medical care andcounseling for more than 2,500 musicians. The band’s work with the clinic led them to joinforces with JoJo Hermann of Widespread Panic to present three versions of the benefit series“Down on the Bayou,” featuring the Suspects as musical directors and house band with guestsas diverse as Dr. John, all members of Widespread Panic, Al Schnier of moe., Marcia Ball,Harry Shearer, Leland Sklar, members of Aquarium Rescue Unit and “Beehive Queen”Christine Ohlman from the Saturday Night Live band.New Orleans Suspects are unbelievably tight on stage with their peers, press, venue ownersand promoters singing the praises of their musical prowess. They annually perform in a keyslot on the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival’s main stage. USA Today called theirAcura Stage set “Outstanding…a sound that could have only bubbled up from this city.…”New Orleans Jazzfest founder and current director Quint Davis says, “The Suspects are deeptissue New Orleans Funk and have emerged as one of the banner New Orleans music groups;taking their place among the standard bearers of our music. And they rock! Rather, funk.”They have become a regular fixture at noted concert and festival venues in San Francisco,San Diego, St. Louis, Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta,Birmingham, and in what has become a major stomping ground, New York City, where VillageVoice called them “a seriously funky crew,” and even The New Yorker occasionally notes theirpassing through the metropolis. The San Diego Union Tribune called them, “a rollicking blendof funk, jazz, blues, rock and vintage N’awlins R&B, designed to fill dance floors with gyratingcelebrants.”They have formed touring alliances with Tower of Power, Glen David Andrews (of Tréméfame) and Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of Little Feat. The Barrere/Tackett/Suspects mashuphas been increasingly in demand at music festivals and has generated a track, “DixieHighway,” that appears on Kaleidoscoped. Members of Tower of Power and “Big Chief” JuanPardo also guest on the album on which the Suspects look at the history of New Orleansmusic through a brightly colored prismatic chamber and thus the album title.The band’s first, self-released eponymous album debuted in 2011 and featured the smokingCR Gruver original “36 Cars” as well as a few other band originals interspersed with coversongs. In 2012, the Suspects produced and released Caught Live at the Maple Leaf, a lovingtribute to the nightclub where it all started and a testament to the band’s increasing skills.Their 2014 studio album, Ouroboros, released on Louisiana Red Hot Records, generatedsubstantial radio play, both in the terrestrial world and on multiple Sirius/XM channels for focustracks “Get Back What You Given,” Soothe Me,” and “Magdalena” as well as rave reviews andfeatures in publications such as Stereophile, Downbeat, Modern Drummer and RelixMagazine. Kaleidoscoped will be released digitally and on CD on September 16th and on vinyl onSeptember 30th on Louisiana Red Hot Records. Headquartered in New Orleans, LouisianaRed Hot Records has released over 200 albums of the hottest Blues, Jazz, R&B, Gospel,Funk, Zydeco, Cajun and Rock, and is a leader among Southern independent labels with titlesby a plethora of New Orleans acts including Rebirth Brass Band, Dumpstaphunk andTrombone Shorty
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Fri, Apr 21 - 7pm - $25
Whether seen on HBO’s Treme or at their legendary Tuesday night gig at The Maple Leaf, Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band is a true New Orleans institution. Formed in 1983 by the Frazier brothers, the band has evolved from playing the streets of the French Quarter to playing festivals and stages all over the world. While committed to upholding the tradition of brass bands, they have also extended themselves into the realms of funk and hip-hop to create their signature sound. “Rebirth can be precise whenever it wants to,” says The New York Times, “but it’s more like a party than a machine. It’s a working model of the New Orleans musical ethos: as long as everybody knows what they’re doing, anyone can cut loose.” In the wake of the sometimes-stringent competition among New Orleans brass bands, Rebirth is the undisputed leader of the pack, and they show no signs of slowing down.Following the Grammy-winning Rebirth of New Orleans, Rebirth Brass Band is at it again with Move Your Body, an infectious, groove-laden collection of hip-shakers sure to saturate the dance floor.Rollicking originals like "Who's Rockin, Who's Rollin'"? and "Take 'Em to the Moon" reaffirm the band's position as head of the brass throne while the rasta-esque "On My Way" and leave-nothing-to-the-imagination lyrics of "HBNS" showcase the unit's talent for penning unabashed party starters.Boasting a mastery of Rebirth's signature "heavy funk" sound, Move Your Body pushes and swings, leaving behind an 11 track thumbprint, approved by the Frazier brothers themselves, of a sultry Tuesday night spent dancing on their home court at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans.
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Fri, Apr 21 - 10pm - $25
Whether seen on HBO’s Treme or at their legendary Tuesday night gig at The Maple Leaf, Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band is a true New Orleans institution. Formed in 1983 by the Frazier brothers, the band has evolved from playing the streets of the French Quarter to playing festivals and stages all over the world. While committed to upholding the tradition of brass bands, they have also extended themselves into the realms of funk and hip-hop to create their signature sound. “Rebirth can be precise whenever it wants to,” says The New York Times, “but it’s more like a party than a machine. It’s a working model of the New Orleans musical ethos: as long as everybody knows what they’re doing, anyone can cut loose.” In the wake of the sometimes-stringent competition among New Orleans brass bands, Rebirth is the undisputed leader of the pack, and they show no signs of slowing down.Following the Grammy-winning Rebirth of New Orleans, Rebirth Brass Band is at it again with Move Your Body, an infectious, groove-laden collection of hip-shakers sure to saturate the dance floor.Rollicking originals like "Who's Rockin, Who's Rollin'"? and "Take 'Em to the Moon" reaffirm the band's position as head of the brass throne while the rasta-esque "On My Way" and leave-nothing-to-the-imagination lyrics of "HBNS" showcase the unit's talent for penning unabashed party starters.Boasting a mastery of Rebirth's signature "heavy funk" sound, Move Your Body pushes and swings, leaving behind an 11 track thumbprint, approved by the Frazier brothers themselves, of a sultry Tuesday night spent dancing on their home court at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans.
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Sat, Apr 22 - 7pm - $25
Whether seen on HBO’s Treme or at their legendary Tuesday night gig at The Maple Leaf, Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band is a true New Orleans institution. Formed in 1983 by the Frazier brothers, the band has evolved from playing the streets of the French Quarter to playing festivals and stages all over the world. While committed to upholding the tradition of brass bands, they have also extended themselves into the realms of funk and hip-hop to create their signature sound. “Rebirth can be precise whenever it wants to,” says The New York Times, “but it’s more like a party than a machine. It’s a working model of the New Orleans musical ethos: as long as everybody knows what they’re doing, anyone can cut loose.” In the wake of the sometimes-stringent competition among New Orleans brass bands, Rebirth is the undisputed leader of the pack, and they show no signs of slowing down.Following the Grammy-winning Rebirth of New Orleans, Rebirth Brass Band is at it again with Move Your Body, an infectious, groove-laden collection of hip-shakers sure to saturate the dance floor.Rollicking originals like "Who's Rockin, Who's Rollin'"? and "Take 'Em to the Moon" reaffirm the band's position as head of the brass throne while the rasta-esque "On My Way" and leave-nothing-to-the-imagination lyrics of "HBNS" showcase the unit's talent for penning unabashed party starters.Boasting a mastery of Rebirth's signature "heavy funk" sound, Move Your Body pushes and swings, leaving behind an 11 track thumbprint, approved by the Frazier brothers themselves, of a sultry Tuesday night spent dancing on their home court at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans.
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Sat, Apr 22 - 10pm - $25
Whether seen on HBO’s Treme or at their legendary Tuesday night gig at The Maple Leaf, Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band is a true New Orleans institution. Formed in 1983 by the Frazier brothers, the band has evolved from playing the streets of the French Quarter to playing festivals and stages all over the world. While committed to upholding the tradition of brass bands, they have also extended themselves into the realms of funk and hip-hop to create their signature sound. “Rebirth can be precise whenever it wants to,” says The New York Times, “but it’s more like a party than a machine. It’s a working model of the New Orleans musical ethos: as long as everybody knows what they’re doing, anyone can cut loose.” In the wake of the sometimes-stringent competition among New Orleans brass bands, Rebirth is the undisputed leader of the pack, and they show no signs of slowing down.Following the Grammy-winning Rebirth of New Orleans, Rebirth Brass Band is at it again with Move Your Body, an infectious, groove-laden collection of hip-shakers sure to saturate the dance floor.Rollicking originals like "Who's Rockin, Who's Rollin'"? and "Take 'Em to the Moon" reaffirm the band's position as head of the brass throne while the rasta-esque "On My Way" and leave-nothing-to-the-imagination lyrics of "HBNS" showcase the unit's talent for penning unabashed party starters.Boasting a mastery of Rebirth's signature "heavy funk" sound, Move Your Body pushes and swings, leaving behind an 11 track thumbprint, approved by the Frazier brothers themselves, of a sultry Tuesday night spent dancing on their home court at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans.
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Fri, Apr 28 - 8pm - $30adv/$35door
Martin Barre has been the guitarist of Jethro Tull for 43 years, his sound and playing having been a major factor in their success. Album sales have exceeded 60 million units and they continue to be played worldwide, representing an important part of classic rock history.Martin’s guitar playing has earned him a high level of respect and recognition; his solo on the song "Aqualung" is consistantly rated one of the best solos of all time. His playing on the album ‘Crest of a Knave’ earned him a Grammy award in 1988.As well as numerous Jethro Tull albums, Martin has worked with many other artists including Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Gary Moore, Jo Bonamassa and Chris Thompson and has shared a stage with such legends as Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.As Jethro Tull are taking a long break from touring, Martin has put together a band to play the "classic" music from the Tull catalogue. His band is a total commitment to give the Tull fans and a broader audience the chance to hear tracks not performed for many years. The band includes Dan Crisp: guitar and voice, Alan Thomson: bass, George Lindsay: drums.
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Sat, Apr 29 - 8pm - $30adv/$35door
Martin Barre has been the guitarist of Jethro Tull for 43 years, his sound and playing having been a major factor in their success. Album sales have exceeded 60 million units and they continue to be played worldwide, representing an important part of classic rock history.Martin’s guitar playing has earned him a high level of respect and recognition; his solo on the song "Aqualung" is consistantly rated one of the best solos of all time. His playing on the album ‘Crest of a Knave’ earned him a Grammy award in 1988.As well as numerous Jethro Tull albums, Martin has worked with many other artists including Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Gary Moore, Jo Bonamassa and Chris Thompson and has shared a stage with such legends as Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.As Jethro Tull are taking a long break from touring, Martin has put together a band to play the "classic" music from the Tull catalogue. His band is a total commitment to give the Tull fans and a broader audience the chance to hear tracks not performed for many years. The band includes Dan Crisp: guitar and voice, Alan Thomson: bass, George Lindsay: drums.
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