Chicken Wire Empire - The Common Ground Company   $10
Oct
18
8:00 PM20:00

Chicken Wire Empire - The Common Ground Company $10

https://www.chickenwireempire.com/

Since their formation in 2014, the Chicken Wire Empire has wasted little time establishing themselves as one of the hottest up and coming bands in the local and regional music scene.

https://www.thecommongroundcompany.com/

"There aren’t a lot of bluegrass songs about same-sex relationships, but Twin Cities Americana folk band The Common Ground Company decided to change that. On their new tune, “Emit’s Daughter,” the title character (named Maryann) breaks with her family’s strict traditionalism and begins dating a woman, much to Emit’s shotgun-sportin’ chagrin. The strum-happy five-piece took to a pier on Wisconsin’s Lake Winnebago to tell the tale, enduring a 30-degree breeze as they sing into the wind."

- Jared Fagerberg City Pages Local Frames 

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The New Orleans Tribute Featuring Leroy Jones” from Preservation Hall
Oct
19
8:00 PM20:00

The New Orleans Tribute Featuring Leroy Jones” from Preservation Hall

$15 Advance https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3591640   $20-Door

The legendary jazz trumpeter Leroy Jones is known to music lovers as the "keeper of the flame" for traditional New Orleans jazz and to critics as one of the top musicians ever produced by the Crescent City.

"The mission of the Leroy Jones Quintet is to expose audiences everywhere to the authentic music of New Orleans, the music of Louis Armstrong, Buddy Bolden, Danny Barker and all the other greats who have helped create the rich gumbo that is the sound of New Orleans," he says, "while putting our own more modern stamp on it."

Jones himself, a native of New Orleans, whose playing has been described as a blend of Louis Armstrong and bebop virtuoso Clifford Brown, has been a critical figure in the history of New Orleans music.

A member of the New Orleans Jazz Hall of Fame, he was leader at the tender age of 12, of the seminal Fairview Band, a brass band whose alumni have included some of the best known musicians in New Orleans. It was the Fairview Brass Band which is widely credited with restoring interest in the brass band tradition of New Orleans. Today, in fact, New Orleans has more brass bands performing than at any time in the city's history – an achievement that can be traced back directly to the Fairview Band and its successor the Leroy Jones Hurricane Brass Brand.

A regular at Preservation Hall in New Orleans and a featured performer in the Harry Connick Orchestra, where his playing and singing have made him a crowd favorite, Leroy has performed on every continent and in every major U.S. city at prestigious theaters, festivals and jazz clubs like the Village Vanguard in New York City. His television appearances include The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, Late Night with David Letterman, The Today Show, Arsenio Hall, Conan O'Brien and Oprah Winfrey. He is also a regular at the world famous New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, as well as French Quarter Fest and the Satchmo Summerfest.

He has also appeared on the soundtrack of the smash hit movie "Sleepless in Seattle" starring actor Tom Hanks.

Leroy has released a series of highly regarded CDs including "Props for Pops" his tribute to Louis Armstrong, "Back to My Roots," "Mo' Cream from the Crop", "Soft Shoe" and "Sweeter Than A Summer Breeze". He has appeared on numerous recordings with other artists such as Dr. John, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Anders Osborne, Chuck Carbo, Spirit of New Orleans, John Boutté, Lillian Boutté, Paul Sanchez, Danish Radio Big Band, Guillaume Nouaux and many, more others.

"The Leroy Jones Quintet sound sums up all those great experiences and influences," says Leroy, "and gives me a chance each night to make sure that the great music of New Orleans is performedauthentically and with great respect for the artists who came before me. Not in an old-fashioned way, but with a modern swing that comes from my love of bebop and other forms of modern jazz."

A typical set list for the Leroy Jones Quintet includes traditional numbers like "Bourbon Street Parade," "Sleepy Time Down South," "Basin Street Blues," "Do You Know What it Means (to Miss New Orleans)," "Dinah" and "When My Dreamboat Comes Home" along with his own compositions like "Soft Shoe" that are played and sung impeccably by Jones with the kind of swing that only a musician with his pedigree can deliver consistently night after night.

Darren Sterud: Darren Sterud has been an active, young, freelance trombonist in Wisconsin and Minnesota since 2001. While still in high school Darren began playing and touring with Mama Digdown's Brass Band, a popular New Orleans style group from Madison, WI. 

He went on to study music performance with Maynard alum, Steve Wiest at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. A gifted student, Darren played in the university Jazz Symposium, Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Winds. He also started his own band at college, The New Tradition Brass Band. 

Darren has played with other active musical groups in Madison including the Tony Castaneda Latin Jazz Band, Grupo Candela, The Jimmys and the Clyde Stubblefield Blues Band. In 2010 he was invited to perform in the Madison Mellophonium Jazz Orchestra directed by Stan Kenton alumni, Joel Kaye. He has taken the stage with several Twin Cities bands such as the Jack Brass Band, Southside Aces, Seven Steps to Havana and Charanga Tropical. Darren is always ready for a last minute gig or an open jam session where his joy in performance shows through. 

Darren has had the opportunity to share the stage with such groups as B.B. King's All Star Band, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Leroy Jones, John Allred, The Fabulous Thunder Birds, Trombone Shorty, Los Lobos, Rebirth Brass Band, Stooges Brass Band, Chris Potter and Jiggs Whigham to name a few. He has also toured nationally and internationally to Switzerland, UK, Romania, New York City, Brooklyn, New Orleans, Orlando, Memphis and St. Louis.

In addition to his busy performance schedule, Darren is dedicated to music education, especially the American art form, Jazz. Darren has directed the jazz groups of the UW Whitewater Band Camps and has taught classes in Jazz History and Improvisation. He has given numerous clinics on improvisation and jazz at high schools all around Southern Wisconsin. While in college, he was a highly sought after teacher for individual student lessons. With his recent ventures on the road, Darren had to put teaching on hold but now hopes to return to education. Darren is available for private lessons, band camps and clinics where he can share his passion for music and performance with students. 
 

 

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Cat Dail  $5
Oct
25
8:00 PM20:00

Cat Dail $5

https://catdailmusic.com/

“Fight For Love is superb.”

“Fight For Love is easily in contention for album of the summer.”

“Fight For Love is one of the most provocative and intriguing listens in the New York Indie scene.”

“I highly recommend that music enthusiasts of all tastes and backgrounds give Dail a listen…”

“Rocker Cat Dail has been refining her brand of funky rockin’ soulful indie groove and she’s poured her soul into the music.”

“Cat Dail won’t need a Superman cape to impress the audience at her homecoming show at RecordBar. The wry songs on the former Kansas City resident’s sparkling new seven-song EP “Fight for Love” will strike a chord with fans of Liz Phair and Sheryl Crow.”

“Fight For Love is a great EP that is inspiring, humbling, thought provoking and heart-wrenching, all at the same time…”

“It’s not all that often I’m blown away by how uniquely unexpected an artist’s sound is.”

“It’s an album I fell in love with immediately. These songs, in fact, will touch your s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound  $15 - Brown Paper Tickets
Oct
27
8:00 PM20:00

Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound $15 - Brown Paper Tickets

Brown Paper Tickets https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3560726

http://paulcebar.com/

Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound bring forth a funky, lyrically charged racket that is explosive, yet intimate.

Taking cues from the dance bands of western Louisiana (and his native Midwest,), the streets (and 45's) of New Orleans, touring African and Caribbean combos and the soul, funk & blues of his youth, Paul Cebar is a masterful synthesist of rhythmic culture.  His time spent in his second home of New Orleans, as a musicologist in Florida, and as a journeyman wanderer in Cuba, is reflected in his musical worldview.  

At the core is gifted songwriting, and the company Paul keeps bears it out:  Bonnie Raitt, Nick Lowe, Chris Smither, John Hiatt and Cesar Rosas are among his friends and admirers. 

Tomorrow Sound are an elite crew.   Drummer Reggie Bordeaux, New Orleans native percussionist Mac Perkins, and bassist Mike Fredrickson, throw down some of the best dance grooves in the business.  Multi-instrumentalist Bob Jennings adds the luxury of implying a much larger ensemble with his multi-hued contributions on keys and reeds. 

Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound's latest album, “Fine Rude Thing” is out now. The songs “Baby Shake” and “You Owe it to Me” feature Cebar's unique mixture of R&B, Caribbean and New Orleans style.

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Chris Duarte Group   $10  Advance Ticket Sales Available
Oct
28
6:00 PM18:00

Chris Duarte Group $10 Advance Ticket Sales Available

https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3625062

https://duarte.rocks/

To classify Chris Duarte simply as a Blues Man is an understatement. In his own words, “rockin’ blues” or ”punk blues” describes him best. “Ferocious blues” also fits. Legend has it that Chris will play so hard that his fingers bleed in a set. The legend is true. Photos attest. Chris Duarte is a road warrior playing more than 150 dates a year. As well, Chris has headlined major festivals and clubs throughout the US, Canada and Europe.

Chris is a savant, a sorcerer of tone, a master at channeling the spirits and sounds of great musicians of our past, while remaining completely recognizable in his own sound. He has shared his stage with many of the greatest musicians of our time as well as the multitude of “young lions” and local musicians he meets on the road. From his many years as a side man in Austin, he easily changes roles from front to side, graciously allowing all to share the conversation of the jam.

Chris Duarte’s music is ever changing. In many interviews, he has said “Music must evolve.” His own early offerings often become magical journeys into changing tempo and jazzy interludes before returning to their core. With such a vast catalog of recordings, there are no two shows alike. Every set list is different, and each song may be offered distinctly, based on the feel of a show and the audience. For those reasons, loyal fans often return to a Chris Duarte show again and again, and always walk away awed and satisfied to have witnessed such a legendary, but humble guitarist.

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Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys $12 Advanced ticket: Brown Paper Tickets
Nov
1
8:00 PM20:00

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys $12 Advanced ticket: Brown Paper Tickets

Advance tickets: Brown Paper Tickets https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3499755

http://www.bigsandy.net/

Over the last three decades, Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys have kept up a constant cycle of traveling back and forth across the lower 48, then hopping across the pond to Europe and beyond. They bring with them a brand of American music that has earned them an induction into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, several national television appearances, guest spots on The Grand Ole Opry, and a slew of adoring fans.

"I truly love being out on the road, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to sing my songs all over the world," said Sandy. "But when I'm away from the U.S. for too long, it's like I need a recharge... like I need a solid dose of everything Americana. Give me a Chuck Berry song while rolling down the interstate, or a truck stop conversation with a waitress who once danced with Lefty Frizzell, and I'm good for another three thousand miles".

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Milwaukee Hot Club  $10
Nov
3
8:00 PM20:00

Milwaukee Hot Club $10

http://milwaukeehotclub.com/

The Roma (Gypsies) are an ethnic group originating from India and sharing a language (Romani) but spread throughout the world and until recently very migratory. Many of them are known by their stunning musical skills; amongst these would be Spain’s flamenco guitarists Paco De Lucia and Tomatito, brass bands from the Balkans like Boban Markovic, the Romanian string band Taraf De Haidouks, and France’s Bireli Lagrene.

The gypsies of western Europe tend to play jazz; this is due to the enormous musical contributions made by Jean “Django” Reinhardt, a gypsy living in Paris in the 30’s who was turned on to American jazz records and began to play the music, filtered through his own experience and identity. Reinhardt’s early jazz, and the tradition that has become known as gypsy jazz, is characterized by the prevalence of acoustic string instruments and the lack of drums. In this style the role of the drums is held down by the rhythm guitar’s pulsing chords, commonly known as “le pompe” (the pump). Whereas American jazz tended to feature horns and the piano, in gypsy jazz you’ll find mainly guitars, violins, and contra-bass. Horns, accordions,drums and other instruments make their appearances but are less common; piano is rare.

Many things distinguished Django’s career but it’s remarkable that he played guitar at all. When he was 18 he was badly burned in a fire which largely paralyzed the ring and pinky fingers of his fretting hand and nearly took his leg. After a year and a half he began to reconstruct a technique using mainly his thumb, index and middle fingers, to eventually become one of the greatest guitarists EVER.

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The Suitcase Junket   $10
Nov
7
8:00 PM20:00

The Suitcase Junket $10

https://www.thesuitcasejunket.com/

Between two full-length, solo rock albums of 2017 and 2019, The Suitcase Junket [solo multi-instrumentalist Matt Lorenz] releases a surprise May'18 EP, entitled Live With Others. The EP consists of six tracks recorded live in concert with special guests from the New England music scene, including Boston string band Twisted Pine, bluesman Tim Gearan, Kate Lorenz of Kate Lorenz and The Constellations, James Rohr and Mike Castellana of the Blue Ribbons, Isa Burke of Lula Wiles, and wildcard Barry Rothman who plays turntables and musical toys.

Without any doubt you expect to hear the skeleton are the first words to hit your ears and its a wild ride from there into the spaced-out, psychedelic slow jam of Sandman, which was improvised on the spot when performed, like most of the tracks on the EP, at Atwoods Tavern in Cambridge, MA. A fierce and punchy punk tune cranks up in the irreverent New Undertaker, which tells of a corpse falling in love with its mortician. Matt Lorenz, the human behind The Suitcase Junket, alleges that the chorus of this song was heard in a dream and woke him up laughing. In My Name was recorded at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY, and is the only track without other musicians sitting in, though Lorenz credits the crowd at Lenas in the album notes, and they do shout out here and there between the growling slide guitar lines. 

Once I had folks up on stage for the song we had decided to do together," says Lorenz, "I usually tried to keep them there to see what would happen. Being a one-man-band, I get pretty pumped on the energy of playing with other people, and the spontaneity of it made for some pretty interesting moments. Tim Gearan brings his formidable blues chops to bear on the song She Got and it all wraps up with a spooky, laid-back version of Spell on You by Jay Hawkins, featuring Matts sister Kate Lorenz on vocals. Ive been playing more with other people lately and I wanted to get a little snapshot of these collaborations out into the world without a lot of fuss and fanfare. So here it is.

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Tony Monaco/Fareed Haque Trio   $25 Advance - $30 Door
Nov
9
8:00 PM20:00

Tony Monaco/Fareed Haque Trio $25 Advance - $30 Door

Brown Paper Tickets https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3613038

https://www.fareed.com/tony-monaco-fareed-haque-trio.html

Fareed Haque has spent much of career defying expectations of what the jazz guitarist is supposed to do and sound like. Recently, Haque has been tackling one of the most iconic and enduring contexts for his instrument, collaborating with Hammond B-3 master Tony Monaco in a hard-hitting organ combo.

Organist Tony Monaco from Columbus, Ohio, whose reserves of energy match the guitarist’s, studied with greats Hank Marr and Don Patterson but his greasy, rambunctious style owes serious debts to the great Jimmy Smith. His playing goes head-to-head with Joey DeFrancesco at his most extroverted.

Their first CD Furry Slippers received critical acclaim, "Haque's guitar in the opening, title track heats up a groove as potent as any track recorded by Melvin Sparks, Grant Greenor any other guitarist from the soul-jazz heydays of Prestige or Blue Note Records. Monaco's original "Boogie Blue" kicks out even hotter and tastier jam: Haque's rhythm hook stirs the funk up from the bottom and spreads it 'round the top while Monaco's turn brings to mind a picture of Sun Ra reclining in a mellow mood behind his master keyboard console. "We're trying to keep moving the tradition forward but yet keeping up with the times," Monaco explains. "So it has more of a modern-day funk rather than just swing."

All About Jazz

In the hands of Jimmy Smith, the organ could sing.
Here, Monaco again proves that he too is the sort of
high-caliber player who can coax such a response. --Downbeat Magazine

The Tony Monaco/Fareed Haque Trio has been working consistently since their meeting at The Java Jazz Fest in 2014.

The Trio has headlined many festivals including The JavaJazzfest, Detroit Jazz Fest, Chicago Jazz fest, Columbus Jazz fest, Lafayette Jazz fest, Southbend JazzFest, The Pritzger Pavillion in Millenium Park, Chicago and many others. Club appearances include such legendary venues as The Bluenote, NYC, Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC, The Greenmill, Chicago, DazzleJazz Denver, Colorado and many many more.

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Goran Ivanovic Trio   $10 Advanced tickets available
Nov
10
8:00 PM20:00

Goran Ivanovic Trio $10 Advanced tickets available

https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3612689

https://www.goranguitar.net/index/

One of the most versatile, skilled, and curious musicians in Chicago, guitarist Goran Ivanovic has built a career built upon exploration. Born and raised in Croatia, he was in the midst of studying at the prestigious Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria with masters like Elliot Fisk and Joaquin Clerch when his parents (his father is a Serb, his mother a Bosnian Croat) were expelled in the late 90s; the family was granted asylum in the US and they settled in Chicago.

Since his arrival he’s displayed a deep interest in collaboration, steadily expanding his stylistic range well beyond the European classical music and Balkan sounds he was fluently versed in when he arrived. These days his repertoire not only incorporates those disciplines, but jazz and flamenco as well.

He’s recorded duet albums with the great Pakistani-Chilean jazz guitarist Fareed Haque as well as Greek-American musician Andreas Kapsalis. He’s a key member of the quartet Eastern Blok with Matt Ulery, Doug Rosenberg, and Michael Caskey, a combo that deftly surveys the folk music of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Serbia in a distinctly jazz-oriented context, embroidering timeless Balkan melodies and rhythms with sophisticated improvisational gambits.

Most recently, Ivanovic released an eponymous trio album with bassist Ulery and percussionist Pete Tashjian where he’s achieved a stunning assimilation of his many influences, creating a hybrid all his own. Reviewing the new album for All About Jazz, Budd Kopman wrote, “It is easy to get lost in Ivanovic's technique, especially if one plays (or attempts to play) Classical style guitar, in a jazz style or not.” The trio’s agility has also been noted. As Jeff Elbel wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times, “The trio are recognized for their individual virtuosity, but they show particular excellence as a unit able to stop on a dime and twist gracefully through the trickiest hairpin turns together on local stages.”

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Radio Wranglers    $10
Nov
15
8:00 PM20:00

Radio Wranglers $10

http://radiowranglers.net/

The Radio Wranglers hail from Wisconsin and are heavily influenced by the sounds of the 1930's, 40's and 50's with influences ranging from Country and Western, Western Swing, and  Honky Tonk. The band has had the pleasure of playing at Opryland in Nashville, and opening for such acts as Wayne Hancock and Carolyn Martin's Western Swing Band. They strive to encapsulate the sounds of traditional 1940's and 50's Country and Western music, while adding their own tunes to the long lasting tradition they so greatly admire. From Waltzes to Boogies, hot swing to high and lonesome blues, you do not want to miss this band's unique blend of true American music!

Drawing influences from such artists as Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Milton Brown, Jack Gurhrie, Tex Williams, Webb Pierce, Hank Thompson, and Hank Williams, The Radio Wranglers also write original music with a taste of the past. Fronted by the twin fiddle team of Blaine And Ruthie McQuinn on fiddle and vocals, The Radio Wranglers are Danny Tyksinski on lead guitar, and Ed Novak on rhythm guitar, and Peyton Lencho on doghouse bass.

The Radio Wranglers have had the good fortune of playing the Nashville Boogie for two consecutive years, including being the band for the Western Wear Fashion show! And in November 2015, they were nominated for an Ameripolitan Award for Western Swing group.

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Sharyl Cassity - Acoustic Set - $15
Nov
23
8:00 PM20:00

Sharyl Cassity - Acoustic Set - $15

Brown Paper Tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/359676

https://www.sharelcassity.com/

"[Cassity] plays alto and soprano with a seriously soulful tone that’s impressive enough to stop a roomful of seasoned jazz fans in their tracks"

----Downbeat Magazine

Saxophonist, Multi-Reedist, Composer, Bandleader, Recording Artist  and Educator Sharel Cassity (pron.“Sha-Relle”) is a distinguished musician on the New York jazz scene where she resided for 16 years. Listed as “Rising Star Alto Saxophone” in Downbeat Magazine for the past 8 consecutive years & having earned her Masters from The Juilliard School on full scholarship, Sharel has won the 2007 ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award & was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2010.

Known for her fiery and soulful style of improvising & her expert ensemble skills, Sharel is a versatile sideman having performed regularly alongside renowned artists Roy Hargrove, Lewis Nash, Joe Chambers & Darcy James Argue. Currently a regular member of the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie Afro Cuban Experience, Nicholas Payton’s TSO, Cyrus Chestnut’s Brubeck Quartet and the Jimmy Heath Big Band, Sharel has toured 24 countries and performed at leading venues like the Newport Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival & the North Sea Jazz Festival. Sharel was lead alto in the Diva Jazz Orchestra from 2007-2014 and performed in the Broadway musical After Midnight as well as Maurice Hines’ Off-Broadway production, Tappin’ Through Life. Other jazz luminaries she has performed with include Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Natalie Cole, Christian McBride, Gregory Porter, James Moody, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Slide Hampton, Maceo Parker and Terrence Blanchard.

In mainstream genres Sharel has recorded with Top 40 hit singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant on her 2015 CD/ DVD release and also joined her band on the Today Show. Additional popular artists she has performed with are Aretha Franklin, Vanessa Williams, K.D. Lang, Fantasia, Trisha Yearwood, Seth MacFarland (Family Guy), Ruben Blades & DJ Logic. Sharel can be seen in an ESPN Superbowl commercial in 2013 and appears in the PBS Television Broadcast “Juilliard Centennial Celebration”.

As a bandleader and solo artist Sharel leads her own projects, ELEKTRA and the SHAREL CASSITY QUARTET. She has led these groups at renowned venues like the DC Jazz Festival, Winter Jazzfest, Blue Note Jazz Festival, Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, Monty Alexander Jazz Festival, Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, Martha’s Vineyard, The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, Blue Note Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, Smalls Jazz Club, Smoke Jazz, the Jazz Showcase and more. She also took her quintet on a 5 city tour of Mexico in 2016. 

Sharel’s most recent project and 4th release as leader, Evolve, is her debut recording with her band ELEKTRA and will be released on her label Relsha Music. This album is a jazz mix-genre project with a cast of top NYC musicians, featuring a collection of artful originals and reimagined compositions by Alicia Keys & Bjork. On this album Cassity confronts the evolution of music, her own personal and artistic evolution and a push for evolution of the current social climate (race & gender) in the United States. Her former releases, Just for You, (DW 2008), Relentless (Jazz Legacy Productions, 2009) & Manhattan Romance (Venus Japan 2014) established her both internationally and throughout North America having stellar bands and receiving top rated reviews in JazzTimes, Jazziz and Downbeat. Relentless was played on over 100 radio stations and was on the Jazzweek charts for 32 consecutive weeks.

Sharel has been included in 3 jazz publications, “I Walked with Giants” by Jimmy Heath, “AM Jazz: Three Generations under the Lens” by Adrianna Mateo and “Freedom of Expression: Interviews with Women in Jazz” by Chris Becker. Additionally she has been featured on the cover of Saxophone Journal & featured in the American Indian News magazine.  Sharel is an alum of audition based programs IAJE Sisters in Jazz, Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, Ravinia at Steans Institute & received numerous Downbeat Student Music Awards in both the “Composition” and “Ensemble Performance” categories.

In addition to performing, Sharel has always been passionate about teaching and inspiring future generations of musicians. Cassity currently is a Professor of Saxophone and Piano at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois.  Between 2016-17 Sharel served abroad as the Woodwind Professor at Qatar Music Academy in Doha, Qatar. Students from her private studio have won scholarships to the Hartt School of Music and placement in Jazz for Teens, Jazz House Kids and the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra. She has taught internationally in Japan, Costa Rica, Mexico, China and Qatar and has given numerous clinics about the saxophone, jazz language, rhythm, harmony and music business.

Starting her musical journey at the age of 6 as a classical pianist & quickly winning state level competitions by the age of 8, she went on to win numerous awards on a national level--eventually placing in the Disney International Piano Concerto Competition at age 11. Receiving her first saxophone at the age of 9, Sharel was classically trained in the French school of saxophone by a descendant of classical saxophonist Eugene Rousseau. Later at Yukon High School in Yukon, Oklahoma Sharel added flute, clarinet & piccolo to her arsenal and performed in the school jazz, marching and symphonic bands. While in high school she was the recipient of the John Philip Sousa Award and earned a position in both Oklahoma All State Jazz and All State Concert bands for 3 consecutive years. Afterwards she attended the University of Central Oklahoma Jazz Program for 2 years before transferring to NYC to complete her BFA at The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music.

Moving frequently throughout her childhood , Sharel’s family eventually settled in Yukon, Oklahoma where she graduated high school. In 2000 she moved to New York City where she resided for 16 years, earning her degrees while thriving on the NYC jazz scene. She recently relocated to the Chicago area with her husband and son. Sharel is proud to be a Vandoren Performing Artist, RS Berkeley Virtuoso Saxophone Artist and AMT  Microphone Artist.

 

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Sharel Cassity   $15
Nov
24
8:00 PM20:00

Sharel Cassity $15

Brown Paper Tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3596768

https://www.sharelcassity.com/

"[Cassity] plays alto and soprano with a seriously soulful tone that’s impressive enough to stop a roomful of seasoned jazz fans in their tracks"

----Downbeat Magazine

Saxophonist, Multi-Reedist, Composer, Bandleader, Recording Artist  and Educator Sharel Cassity (pron.“Sha-Relle”) is a distinguished musician on the New York jazz scene where she resided for 16 years. Listed as “Rising Star Alto Saxophone” in Downbeat Magazine for the past 8 consecutive years & having earned her Masters from The Juilliard School on full scholarship, Sharel has won the 2007 ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award & was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2010.

Known for her fiery and soulful style of improvising & her expert ensemble skills, Sharel is a versatile sideman having performed regularly alongside renowned artists Roy Hargrove, Lewis Nash, Joe Chambers & Darcy James Argue. Currently a regular member of the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie Afro Cuban Experience, Nicholas Payton’s TSO, Cyrus Chestnut’s Brubeck Quartet and the Jimmy Heath Big Band, Sharel has toured 24 countries and performed at leading venues like the Newport Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival & the North Sea Jazz Festival. Sharel was lead alto in the Diva Jazz Orchestra from 2007-2014 and performed in the Broadway musical After Midnight as well as Maurice Hines’ Off-Broadway production, Tappin’ Through Life. Other jazz luminaries she has performed with include Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Natalie Cole, Christian McBride, Gregory Porter, James Moody, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Slide Hampton, Maceo Parker and Terrence Blanchard.

In mainstream genres Sharel has recorded with Top 40 hit singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant on her 2015 CD/ DVD release and also joined her band on the Today Show. Additional popular artists she has performed with are Aretha Franklin, Vanessa Williams, K.D. Lang, Fantasia, Trisha Yearwood, Seth MacFarland (Family Guy), Ruben Blades & DJ Logic. Sharel can be seen in an ESPN Superbowl commercial in 2013 and appears in the PBS Television Broadcast “Juilliard Centennial Celebration”.

As a bandleader and solo artist Sharel leads her own projects, ELEKTRA and the SHAREL CASSITY QUARTET. She has led these groups at renowned venues like the DC Jazz Festival, Winter Jazzfest, Blue Note Jazz Festival, Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, Monty Alexander Jazz Festival, Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, Martha’s Vineyard, The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, Blue Note Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, Smalls Jazz Club, Smoke Jazz, the Jazz Showcase and more. She also took her quintet on a 5 city tour of Mexico in 2016. 

Sharel’s most recent project and 4th release as leader, Evolve, is her debut recording with her band ELEKTRA and will be released on her label Relsha Music. This album is a jazz mix-genre project with a cast of top NYC musicians, featuring a collection of artful originals and reimagined compositions by Alicia Keys & Bjork. On this album Cassity confronts the evolution of music, her own personal and artistic evolution and a push for evolution of the current social climate (race & gender) in the United States. Her former releases, Just for You, (DW 2008), Relentless (Jazz Legacy Productions, 2009) & Manhattan Romance (Venus Japan 2014) established her both internationally and throughout North America having stellar bands and receiving top rated reviews in JazzTimes, Jazziz and Downbeat. Relentless was played on over 100 radio stations and was on the Jazzweek charts for 32 consecutive weeks.

Sharel has been included in 3 jazz publications, “I Walked with Giants” by Jimmy Heath, “AM Jazz: Three Generations under the Lens” by Adrianna Mateo and “Freedom of Expression: Interviews with Women in Jazz” by Chris Becker. Additionally she has been featured on the cover of Saxophone Journal & featured in the American Indian News magazine.  Sharel is an alum of audition based programs IAJE Sisters in Jazz, Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, Ravinia at Steans Institute & received numerous Downbeat Student Music Awards in both the “Composition” and “Ensemble Performance” categories.

In addition to performing, Sharel has always been passionate about teaching and inspiring future generations of musicians. Cassity currently is a Professor of Saxophone and Piano at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois.  Between 2016-17 Sharel served abroad as the Woodwind Professor at Qatar Music Academy in Doha, Qatar. Students from her private studio have won scholarships to the Hartt School of Music and placement in Jazz for Teens, Jazz House Kids and the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra. She has taught internationally in Japan, Costa Rica, Mexico, China and Qatar and has given numerous clinics about the saxophone, jazz language, rhythm, harmony and music business.

Starting her musical journey at the age of 6 as a classical pianist & quickly winning state level competitions by the age of 8, she went on to win numerous awards on a national level--eventually placing in the Disney International Piano Concerto Competition at age 11. Receiving her first saxophone at the age of 9, Sharel was classically trained in the French school of saxophone by a descendant of classical saxophonist Eugene Rousseau. Later at Yukon High School in Yukon, Oklahoma Sharel added flute, clarinet & piccolo to her arsenal and performed in the school jazz, marching and symphonic bands. While in high school she was the recipient of the John Philip Sousa Award and earned a position in both Oklahoma All State Jazz and All State Concert bands for 3 consecutive years. Afterwards she attended the University of Central Oklahoma Jazz Program for 2 years before transferring to NYC to complete her BFA at The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music.

Moving frequently throughout her childhood , Sharel’s family eventually settled in Yukon, Oklahoma where she graduated high school. In 2000 she moved to New York City where she resided for 16 years, earning her degrees while thriving on the NYC jazz scene. She recently relocated to the Chicago area with her husband and son. Sharel is proud to be a Vandoren Performing Artist, RS Berkeley Virtuoso Saxophone Artist and AMT  Microphone Artist.

 

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The Howard Levy 4 - $20 - Advanced Tickets Available
Dec
1
8:00 PM20:00

The Howard Levy 4 - $20 - Advanced Tickets Available

Brown Paper Tickets  https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3612623

http://www.levyland.com/

Multi Grammy - Award winner Howard Levy is a world - renowned harmonica player, pianist, and composer. He has played with many of the world’s top musicians, vocalists and bands, including Steely Dan, Kenny Loggins, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Trio Globo, Paquito D’Rivera, etc, and he has led many bands as well.

The Howard Levy 4, his newest group, features 3 of Chicago’s finest musicians who are also Howard’s long-time musical friends.

Chris Siebold, house guitarist for 3 years on A Prairie Home Companion, has played with many notable musicians, and brings intensity, soul and his incredible technique to any style of music.

Larry Kohut, remarkably versatile bassist (who also played for A Prairie Home Companion) has worked with a long list of the world’s top Jazz artists in the US and Europe.

Luiz Ewerling, great drummer/composer, is one of the top Brazilian drummers living in the US. He contributes rhythmic depth and passion to whatever music he plays.

The band performs original compositions by Howard, Chris and Luiz. The repertoire features music from Howard and Chris’ new CD “Art + Adrenaline”, and music from Luiz’s album “Our Earth”. The styles range from Jazz, Brazilian, Latin, and World Music, to Blues and more.

Howard plays equal amounts of harmonica and piano (sometimes together), and the band creates a volatile mix of styles with hot, soulful playing and deep grooves.

So...expect the unexpected.

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The Claudettes    $10 in advance - $15 at door
Dec
7
8:00 PM20:00

The Claudettes $10 in advance - $15 at door

Brown Paper Tickets   https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3613052

LOUDER THAN WAR (Manchester, UK)   A magnificent melange of masterful musicianship and multifarious melodies…as infectious as it is eclectic…start with some Delta blues, add a bit of old-time jazz/swing, sprinkle on some rockabilly guitar here and there and add a smattering of punk attitude….The music is joyous, a celebratory fusion of the best of the different styles that make up the melting pot that is “Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium!”

FRANK GUTCH JR, NO DEPRESSION           Holy Mackerel…I hear so many levels of what I consider amazing creativity…The Claudettes give me that same rush I get every time I hear Gruppo Sportivo…this album will end up on a very special list at the end of the year…I hear touches of Jerry Lee Lewis at his most manic…of cinema…of multiple genres wrapping around one another…These guys are the B-movies of the music world—maybe not understood now, but in the future, the kings and queens of the universe!

FRED MILLS, BLURT                                            The quartet…musters more per-capita energy across these dozen tunes than most any garage combo you’d care to mention…epic in feel…cinematic…a kind of cross between Dr. John-styled N’awlins rock and Krautrock-laced psychedelic punk….a musical magician’s act, primarily based around hi-nrg blues-jazz compositions for piano, bass, drums, and vocals, and a helluva lot of fun.

BLUES MAGAZINE (The Netherlands):            Soul, rhythm & blues and heavily fuzzy, sometimes psychedelic, sound walls. Garagesoul!….The Claudettes have succeeded in mixing this catchy ’60s pop and soul sounds with their quirky bluespunk sound!

SOUL AND JAZZ AND FUNK (UK)                  The intriguing new album from off-the-wall Chicago band the Claudettes….The foursome steadfastly refuses to categorize their music…though you might detect vaudeville, punk, blues and ’60s soul influences…interesting attempts to marry the classic girl-group sound of the Brill Building Era with Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound.

BILL BENTLEY’S BANDSTAND, THE MORTON REPORT             They’ve got firepower to spare, a bushel of original songs…that can be detonated at will, and in lead singer Berit Ulseth someone that sounds like they’ve been waiting their whole life to front this band. There is simply no way to lose…a place not often visited these days by rock & rollers….These are a dozen songs played for keeps…guaranteed to turn everything from a gymnasium for juveniles to a geriatrics ward into a hothouse of delirious delight. Wear it out.

GARY GRAFF, BILLBOARD                                The Claudettes begin a whole new era with Dance Scandal at The Gymnasium! The 12-song set showcases a different lineup of the band…but that’s only made the Claudettes’ distinct and idiosyncratic blend—punk, blues, R&B, rockabilly, some jazz—more potent.

JEFF ELBEL, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES              The band honors its disparate roots while crowding the palette even further on the new album….New Orleans stroll, roots, jazz, krautrock and rockabilly are swirled into the delightfully confounding mixture….Zach Verdoorn plays frequently feral bass and guitar. Berit Ulseth’s supple, jazz-schooled voice is a natural fit for the band….Iguana deploys his piano as a blunt-force instrument.”

CONCERTO MAGAZINE (Austria)                 Chicago piano blues-punk, spiced up with a pinch of jazz, psychedelic music and soul…quite an unusual listening experience…eccentric…Ulseth is an extraordinary singer…Blues, but of the extraordinary variety. (4 out of 5 stars)

SPILL MAGAZINE (Toronto):            The Claudettes are…putting out music that sounds unlike like anything out there now….Berit Ulseth is the siren singer of the group, with a voice that just lures you in….They have roots in the bluesy jazz groups of the past, the classic rock ‘n’ roll from the beginning, current folk influences, some country mixed in, and something special that is simply impossible to place….Their newest album really is a true masterpiece….It’s unlike anything I’ve heard before. 10/10.

NICK CRISTIANO, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER     The title of the band’s album, Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium!, hints at the kind of kitschy fun percolating under this audaciously genre-defying set….From roots to pop to punk, the musical strains span decades as well as styles, making for a mash-up delivered with deft musicianship and flair.

RICK MASON, MINNEAPOLIS CITY PAGES             Trying to parse the sprawling, shapeshifting, intoxicating gloop that Chicago’s Claudettes concoct would be “Utterly Absurd.” That’s the title of a noisy, twisted stomp on the quartet’s new albumit sounds like psychobilly night at New Orleans’ Dew Drop Inn. Blues, punk, and vintage rock slip up top, swirling around the piano antics of blues/art-rock vet Johnny Iguana….Berit Ulseth’s jazz-schooled, country-edged vocals add another dozen intriguing dimensions—Minneapolis City Pages

SCENE POINT BLANK                                          The punk vibe stems from the energy that pours out of your speakers….A brilliant production from Mark Neill….What really lured me in is Berit Ulseth’s vocals…she is the real star of the album…I can only advise you to give the new Claudettes album a spin. I think I’ll leave it on repeat…8.0/10

DISCO CLUB (ITALY)                                           These Claudettes intrigued me…a cross between rock, diverted R&B and instrumental virtuosity…complex and fascinating melodies…also the vocal harmonies, almost like the Beach Boys, are formidable….If you want to do an experiment in a parallel world where pop is out of any pattern, try this Dance Scandal At The Gymnasium. I do not know if they make scandal, but good (and strange) music, surely.

MINNPOST (Minneapolis)                                          You could throw a lot of descriptors at the Claudettes, and they would all stick: Windy City blues, punk blues, jazz, roots, rockabilly, soul, juke joint….Johnny Iguana is a hardcore piano banger; vocalist Berit Ulseth has a clear, sweet voice with a spine of steel. The music is fierce and the lyrics are wicked. If you’re on the hunt for something you haven’t heard before, this Chicago-based band is probably it.

BILL KOPP, MUSOSCRIBE                                 They look like a jazz trio and vocalist; they sound not at all like that…I can’t think of another group that combines barrelhouse piano and female chanteuse vocals with heavily-effected electric guitar and slamming drums…draws as much from hard and psychedelic rock as it does from N’awlins piano boogie…you must listen to the Claudettes…I liked these guys when they started out, and I think I love them now.

THE SECOND DISC                                                 The Chicago group…introduces vocalist Berit Ulseth’s smoky stylings….blends crunchy riffs with rhythm and blues, sixties-style pop and soul, and plenty of attitude….The sound is raw and immediate….This Scandal boasts punk spirit, earworm melodies, and a neo-retro sound that’s loaded with appeal.

THE VINYL DISTRICT                                          The Claudettes have been tagged as punk-blues, but on this CD immediately connect as something other/more than growled-out Willie Mabon covers slathered in amp gristle. If steeped in tradition, the Claudettes aren’t a replication (or, as said, a mere dirtying up) of it, instead exuding comfort with contemporary motions (Mark Neill produced) as new vocalist Berit Ulseth shines, especially on “Pull Closer to Me” and “Death and Traffic.” Iguana’s skills are fully showcased on the title track. A-

TROY MICHAEL, INNOCENT WORDS         The first album for the Claudettes to feature their touring band…pays off handsomely….featuring raw and unencumbered musicianship…the 12-track album features the soul of the ’60s, psychobilly punk of the early ’80s and vaudevillian blues. Like an angel’s voice hovering over the music is one of the band’s multiple singers, Berit Ulseth. (She) has a booming voice, but is able to reel it into a soft sensual tone as she commands your attention….One of the most entertaining and unique albums of this year.

DETROIT METRO-TIMES                                  Psychobilly might be an unfamiliar term to some, but when describing Chicago cabaret rockers the Claudettes, it’s pretty damn accurate….The sultry, retro moodiness captured on the band’s latest record sums up what makes the Claudettes’ twisted ragtime vibe stand out from your typical revivalists….The Claudettes are well versed in whimsy, and throwing listeners for a loop.

GRANT BRITT, NO DEPRESSION                  A spacey mix of themes, styles, and genres…offering up a mash-up of Fess and Tuts Washington carnival barrelhouse boogie. But The Claudetttes never do anything straight up, so Iguana and his cohorts stir in a Middle Eastern vibe as well courtesy of the ghostly ululations of vocalist Ulseth….Whatever else he brings into the equation, Iguana can’t stay away from Fess too long, paying him instrumental homage on the title cut. But Ulseth takes this one out of the New Orleans streets and into a Middle Eastern casbah with her haunting moans.

IMPOSE MAGAZINE                                              Sets the stage for a prom full of suspense, mystery & strangeness….The old-timey meets the modern scandal showcase of ‘Naked on the Internet’…before shutting down the entire time-warping dance party with “Utterly Absurd.” The new Claudettes record is one worthy of repeated listens to enjoy a variety of different facets from what is ultimately a complex piece of performance concept pop.

BLUESBUNNY (Glasgow, Scotland)                        Manic barrelhouse mania…a search and destroy mission….’Pull Closer to Me,’ with the intoxicating voice of Berit Ulseth out front, soon becomes the song that will steal your heart…An album with hipster appeal but, for those of us with a heart, it is what resides beneath the fast-flowing waves of musical energy that will make our day. That, in case you haven’t guessed it already, is soul.

EMERGING INDIE BANDS (UK)                     Welcoming and warm dirty blues that grinds its way through the speakers filling the room with music that invites the listener to tarry in its company, like an invitation to share a drink in a ramshackle bar offered to a stranger in town—and long before the first song has run its course the audience feels The Claudettes are long-time travelling companions.

GIRL UNDERGROUND MUSIC                         With elements of blues, soul, punk, and flat out noise, the quartet have something truly unique that you have to hear to understand—even if it only succeeds to confuse you more.

THE ALTERNATE ROOT:                                   Psychobilly, ’60s rock ’n’ soul and vaudeville blues blare from the bandstand…frenetic piano…big-band-era harmony…amphetamine drive…whirling ’60s girl-group pop…cyclonic rhythms…jackhammer groove…as the Claudettes theatre-whisper the news for Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium!

THE GINGER QUIFF (UK)                                  “There were moments in Twin Peaks (when) I sat and wondered what the hell I had just seen. I had similar experiences listening to the Claudettes—what on earth did I just hear?…A joy to behold….From first song to last, the whole album is masterful….If you aren’t shattered with a huge grin on your face after listening to this album, you haven’t been listening hard enough.

KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL        The Claudettes clobber convention with ‘Scandal’….a complex amalgamation of blues, jazz and organic rock with an adult lyrical bent and stunningly melodious vocals by primary singer Berit Ulseth….As engaging as the vivacious and often romping instrumentation is, Ulseth’s commanding vocals, steadfast and dulcet, flood the songs with humanity….Bands like The Claudettes make it easier to cope with a crazy world. (4 out of 5 stars)

MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE      Another alluringly idiosyncratic mélange of blues, jazz, pop, rockabilly, punk and soul with a sometimes noirish vibe (“Don’t Stay with Me,” “November”) and a sometimes kinetic kick (“Influential Farmers,” “Taco Night Material”)—or both (the title track). Berit Ulseth has the right blend of mysteriousness and sweetness for this material, which is skillfully spiked by veteran Johnny Iguana’s versatile and enthusiastic keyboards.

JP’S MUSIC BLOG                                                    You are instantly drawn in by the sweet, soulful vocals of Berit Ulseth. They incorporate a ’60s R&B vibe in the groove of “Give It All Up For Good” and the nostalgic jazzy vibe of “Naked On The Internet.” The band shines beautifully on the sensual ballad “Pull Closer To Me.

KEYBOARD MAGAZINE:                                    Blues with the ferocity of punk….The piano takes center stage in the band’s music and songwriting, as it does on their new song “Don’t Stay with Me,” our featured track this week.

TOM HAUGEN, DAILY VAULT                         An unlikely meshing of blues, rockabilly, jazz and ’60s pop, all with traces of burlesque and vaudeville spirit….The new tunes are highlighted by Ulseth’s seductive pipes….’Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium’ is both reserved and ignited, sophisticated and reckless, and it contains some of the best elements of every notable genre of music since the ’60s….There aren’t too many albums that can remind you of both the Cramps and Patsy Cline. A-.

COLORADO SPRINGS INDEPENDENT        Chicago’s eclectic blues weirdos the Claudettes rely on Berit Ulseth’s soaring vocals to infuse their music with punk and rockabilly elements. For this new album, the band relied on Black Keys engineer Mark Neill to combine a Phil Spector-style wall of sound with the cheesy ambience of your high school hallways. The results, while initially puzzling, yield a dozen pesky earworm tracks.

AXS                                                                                 Audiences looking for an album that will grab them by the ear and not let go will want to check out this record.

BEEHIVE CANDY                                                    The band have a delightfully unique musical sound…the musical hooks are everywhere. Not being certain of what each piece might bring adds to the excitement. This really is an album worth some time digging into.

THE AUTUMN ROSES                                          Dizzying rhythms dance as elegant, vintage melodies cloak its dramas in cool. Then a quiet, warm romance glows with an enchanting warmth. “Don’t Stay with Me” and “Pull Closer to Me” are both polished, independently minded jewels.

INDIE VOICE BLOG                                                Chicago has long been on the cutting edge of the blues, and the Claudettes are one of the finest bands we have ever heard that originated in the Windy City. The smoky hot vocals of Berit Ulseth and the scorching piano of Johnny Iguana ignite to set their music on fire…its sound will remain with you long after….The Claudettes must be a dynamic live band, because that performance energy comes through on every track. Run, don’t walk to your nearest retailer and get this one today.

INDIE BAND GURU                                                Packed full of soul and spice….We are swooped into a dream world full of romantic vibes….The Claudettes is a band not found often in our time. It mixes the old and the new and spins what is a beloved genre and morphs it into a hailstorm of vocals and instruments in the best way.

BUZZ MAGAZINE (Champaign, IL)            Brimming with soul and funk…a fun and exciting listening experience….Ulseth’s voice sounds like an old friend’s, and that helps to create a deeper understanding….(They show) off their musical prowess while creating a well-rounded album that is a delight.

THE ALTERNATE ROOT                                    The piano of Johnny Iguana sets the pace, the rhythm, and guides the Claudettes into the promise of “Give It All Up for Good” on a brutal beat.

MICHAEL DOHERTY’S MUSIC LOG               I wasn’t prepared for the wild ride this disc took me on…the music feels outside of time…This band really has its own sound, its own perspective, its own vibe. And it has something to say.

RECORD DEPT. MUSIC REVIEWS                  Combines musical styles for a retro vibe with modern tongue-in-cheek humor….Both the Claudettes and their genre-blending Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium album are fascinating and ever-evolving.

 RAGE MONTHLY                                                                    An intelligent mix of songs that speak to today and never stop pushing the boundaries of their musical expression.

GARY GRAFF, OAKLAND (MI) DAILY TRIBUNE  An idiosyncratic blend—punk, blues, R&B, rockabilly, cabaret, some jazz—that’s both indescribable and undefinable.

DAGGER ZINE                                                                          I have to admit it took me a little while to wrap my head around this record….an enticing mix of soul, blues, folk, and punk…loose, occasionally loud and lascivious…”Don’t Stay With Me” features some rolling and rollicking piano while “November” is all late night lounge lizard swing.

 THE DELI MAGAZINE (Chicago)                The band blends blues, soul, punk, and more into a sound that is all their own. It’s somewhere on the venn diagram of Little Richard, Fiona Apple, and Nirvana.

FLOORSHIME ZIPPER BOOTS                        A rocking version of urban blues that is stylish and sultry. Frontwoman Berit Ulseth wows with vocals as smooth as a chocolate shake….The band colors its sound with some heavy rock and jazzy touches to create an album as strong as the Chicago winter. This is a must have.

DAILY HERALD (Chicago)                                            If you drew a Venn diagram illustrating the overlap between bawdy blues, rowdy rock and manic punk, you could very well find Chicago’s The Claudettes at that intersection. I can think of no better way to describe the soulful and engaging songs this band conjures up.

COOL CLEVELAND                                                The Claudettes mix up musical styles and eras with insouciant glee. Rockabilly, punk, classic soul, vintage burlesque house jazz and piano-driven jump blues all bubble up in their cauldron of sound.

PASADENA WEEKLY                                           They may be hell for agents to market, but the unpredictability of eclectic bands like this is refreshing….(they) imaginatively stir blues, New Orleans jazz, grungy rock and pop, shifting time signatures with abandon.

REXBASS.COM                                                         The Claudettes are hard to pin down to any one genre….There is a definitely a blues influence, but there is also a heavy jazz theme, and to lesser degrees you will hear rock, boogie-woogie, punk, and god know what else. All of these elements add up to a wonderful slice of Americana….These guys can really play: Iguana has a killer dexterity and a righteous touch on the keys, Verdoorn is ultimately versatile and has wicked bass and guitar tones, and Torre is a frickin’ drumming machine. Damn.

ILLINOIS ENTERTAINER                                They pull out all the stops on their latest album….12 eclectic tunes run the gamut…piano-driven Chicago blues and improvisational soul/jazz with a heartfelt punk rock attitude, played with a quirky tin-pan alley, neo-vaudevillian swagger.…(Berit Ulseth is) endearing and seductive…immense musical chops…Iguana’s social commentary and character-based storytelling are equally impressive….The band covers a broad musical spectrum

NEW CITY (CHICAGO)                          It seems that every conceivable musical genre pairing has been attempted…It’s comparatively rare to discover an artist creating something that feels fresh and new out of existing musical forms. Chicago band The Claudettes are just such artists…There’s a strong foundation of barrelhouse and stride piano jazz, but there’s plenty of boogie-woogie as well…Some call it punk jazz; others label it psychobilly R&B. In the end, labels don’t matter, nor do they get at the heart of the music from this innovative and constantly evolving outfit.

ALTCOUNTRYFORUM.NL (Netherlands)              Playful…raw, exciting… From soul, rhythm & blues to a dash of jazz to rockabilly and punk music…intriguing, sometimes theatrical and unpredictable…a cool record…the Claudettes deserve to be heard, especially on the various Dutch stages.

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PULL CLOSER TO ME: Live in the Piano Room review:

JEFF BURGER, THE MORTON REPORT     Three fine songs by the Claudettes’ Johnny Iguana…plus four covers that you’d never expect to find in one place: T.Rex’s ‘Cosmic Dancer’; Pink Floyd’s ‘Us and Them,’ combined, if you can believe it, with a whistled portion of Otis Redding’s ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’; Ruby and the Romantics’ 1963 hit, ‘Our Day Will Come’; and the Sundays’ ‘Here’s Where the Story Ends.’ Everything here is excellent but the latter two tracks, both featuring sublime vocalist Berit Ulseth, are particularly arresting.

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PRESS FOR NO HOTEL AND INFERNAL PIANO PLOT…HATCHED!:

GREG KOT, CHICAGO TRIBUNE   A revelatory blend of jazz and blues, stirred with punk brio. There are also dashes of classical and world music, and enough stops, starts and hairpin turns to suggest the giddiness of Raymond Scott’s cartoon music…How do they do it?

Johnny talks with Greg Kot in an extended Chicago Tribune interview

Greg also picks The Claudettes’ NO HOTEL as one of his top Chicago albums of 2015

MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE  A skewed cabaret band of jazz, blues and rockabilly…A sensibility that feels equal parts James Dean and David Lynch.

JEFF ELBEL, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES  Chicago’s premiere punk-blues piano band are back in high gear. Their fusion of sounds (ranges) from Otis Spann to the Minutemen and from Ray Charles to Raymond Scott…(and they) do wicked things to standards.

NEW CITY (CHICAGO)   Definitely one you should be spinning…there’s enough energy going on to power your average Third World airport…barreling, hyper-saloon piano banging…you have to hear it to believe it…Chicago’s own neo-vaudeville barnstormers!

ELMORE   An album that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into the past, yet it’s very much fresh and energizing. The Claudettes bring on the roots scene as you have never heard it before. Yana’s pop-soul voice is straight out of the ’60s and blends so well with the drumsticks, piano hammers and vintage swagger.

PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY   Heavyweight piano man Johnny Iguana, drummer Michael Caskey and singer-dancer Yana create a kicked-up mix of blues, jazz and soul you’ll remember long afterward.

NO DEPRESSION   The Claudettes attack the blues with the ferocity of punk rock on their sophomore album. NO HOTEL puts the rock ’n’ roll in the rhythm & blues…a 45-minute barn-burning party that you never want to end. Move over, Mose Allison, the Claudettes have arrived to give the blues a much needed kick in the ass.

BIG CITY BLUES MAGAZINE   An entirely reconfigured Claudettes with the very welcome addition of the captivating, nay sultry, vocalist/dancer Yana. The trio move deftly from the Roaring Twenties to the 1940s to the 1960s…soulful…jazzy…hypnotic…hot-rod drums…shades of Cecil Gant crossed with Otis Spann…Yana needs her own album, she’s that good.

TONY SARABIA, WBEZ (CHICAGO NPR) Call it “Brother Ray Meets the Ramones,” “Barrelhouse Thunder,” “Chopin Meets the Minutemen”…or maybe, just call it great music.

INNOCENT WORDS   Imagine a 1920s New York jazz supper club where Bessie Smith is owning the stage, and in the back there is another room where Ray Charles is playing 1960s soul, and off in the distance is a beautiful black lady singing French songs. That is the beauty of NO HOTEL by Claudettes. If Keith Moon had played the piano, he would have been Johnny Iguana…he is taking the piano to a whole new level…hot damn!

TIM QUINE, RUBBER CITY REVIEW (AKRON, OH)   Pianist Johnny Iguana is the real deal. Together (with Caskey) they make a powerful sound, steeped in the legendary blues duets of Otis Spann and S.P. Leary but also weaving in strains of cabaret, vaudeville and even punk rock.

THE HOLLER (NEWS OF THE COLORADO BLUES SCENE)   The blues turned inside out. Imagine Roosevelt Sykes mixed with David Bowie, only with soul. Polyrhythmic boogie-woogie piano from Iguana with freestyle drumming from Caskey. A dynamic, swinging approach to music. If you have a chance to see the Claudettes, do it.

The Claudettes selected as Bluesbreaker of the Week by Dan Aykroyd (a.k.a. Elwood Blues) on Bluesmobile!

The Claudettes featured on Sound Opinions, “The World’s Only Rock and Roll Talk Show”!

DOWNBEAT   Hits listeners upside the head with a mash-up of Otis Spann blues, Albert Ammons boogie-woogie, Ray Charles soul and “Fess” Longhair New Orleans R&B. Catch them in a chaotic ballroom!

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES   Fuses blues and punk, and all points between….The hectic boogaloo of “Deep Soul for High Society” pays rowdy homage to Ray Charles…prodigious skill, but not purism.

BG (BUDDY GUY’S BLUES AND MUSIC NEWS)   Uninhibited, wild, exciting…yet deep-rooted Chicago blues. A very powerful and impassioned album done as only true Chicago blues masters could do it. With this album, Johnny could easily inherit Big Moose Walker’s mantle as the piano wild man of Chicago blues. A pair like the Claudettes really shows the continued vitality and possibilities of Chicago blues in the 21st century.

COLOSSAL POP   Beautiful and chaotic and wildly impressive all at once….If you would have told me three weeks ago that the most played album in my rotation would be a piano and drum instrumental album, I would have laughed….I’m all in. I love this album and the Claudettes may be my new favorite band!

BLUES MUSIC MAGAZINE   Like Keith Moon chasing a crazed, punked-up Little Richard… greasy rhythm and blues that makes the dance floor so slippery you need to sprinkle sawdust on the floor to keep from falling down…a great ride, one that’ll leave you shaking and laughing and wanting more the next time this rowdy carnival comes to town.

BLUES BLAST:  Their ambition and hard work have been rewarded with a fabulous album…unquestionably danceable and refreshingly unique…40 minutes of high-energy fun.

BLUES BYTES (SURPRISE PICK OF THE MONTH, NOVEMBER 2013)   One of the freshest discs that has crossed my ears in a long time…an amazing find…Iguana and Caskey play their instruments like men possessed.

AMERICAN BLUES SCENE   Johnny Iguana sounds like a saloon pianist from the Wild West brought to the future, his own vaudeville style modernized alongside Caskey’s sweet and delectable drumming, blending blues, jazz and a good time, creating an album unlike any other on the market.

EDEN BRENT (VIA FACEBOOK)   Has all the sophistication of 21st-century serious music with a helluva sense of humor….Most interesting piano album in my collection since Brubeck’s Take Five.

CAUGHT IN THE CAROUSEL   They come across like a ragtime White Stripes, tearing through the 13 numbers here with an undeniable musical velocity….Truly one of the most refreshing musical experiences of the year.

FOLK AND ACOUSTIC MUSIC EXCHANGE   Some of the most startling music you are going to hear…you are in for a wild ride. They seem like two madmen…but they are two madmen in beautiful tight rhythm.

BMAN’S BLUES REPORT   A nonstop piano riot….With Hound Dog Taylor Taylor intensity, the two men create a rockin’ frenzy….Iguana has a lot to say and says a lot without saying a word.

SEPIACHORD   Soon to be classic…a vintage vibe that should find ears with neo-hipsters, old-school cool cats and contemporary greasers alike.

POP MATTERS  Greasy keyboard-based barrelhouse blues with a side of heavy beat that evokes early Chicago R&B/rock…makes you jump and dance…a little scary, but that’s just part of the dangerous thrill.

CASCADE BLUES ASSOCIATION  Definitely nothing remotely blues-rock. There is a timeless feeling meshing the great pianists of the past with a modern flair that resembles nobody else.

THE ISTHMUS (MADISON, WI)  The Claudettes are your new favorite party band. The Chicago quartet is rooted in “Windy City piano blues,” but their sound also includes elements of rockabilly, punk, burlesque and vaudeville, resulting in a band you’d be likely to hear at the speakeasy version of CBGBs.

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Harmonious Wail   $10 Advanced tickets available
Jan
5
8:00 PM20:00

Harmonious Wail $10 Advanced tickets available

Brown Paper Tickets https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3613045

These purveyors of Americana infused Gypsy Jazz just celebrated their 30th Anniversary and are continuing to take their listeners on a ride ranging from the music of the Hot Club sounds of Paris to the deepest blues of the Memphis Delta to the folk scenes across “every town” America into their 4th decade of existence.  The Wail are sublime entertainers, great educators and they’ve mastered the art of lifting spirits.

Harmonious Wail is Sims Delaney-Potthoff, a mandolin virtuoso, bandleader, vocalist and master of all things behind the curtain, Maggie Delaney-Potthoff, vocalist extraordinaire whose percussive instrument of choice is a cardboard box, but who also has a knack for exploring the musicality of almost any household object, and Jeffo Weiss, master bassist who dazzles and mesmerizes on both upright and electric bass.

Every performance is played from the heart and infused with the perfect balance of ingredients that firmly proves that music truly does make the world a better place. Recognized as the “Dr. Feelgood” of Gypsy Jazz, Harmonious Wail has an knack for lifting the spirits of listeners of all ages. The Wail celebrates 10 recordings to date, the three most recent having been submitted for Grammy nomination consideration. Their upcoming project, currently in the works, finds them teamed up with a group of Gypsy Jazz all-stars.

Their gracious approach to music translates beautifully in any outreach program.  They have honed their skills to provide excellent educational programs tailored to fit groups of varying skill and age. Popular topics have included; ”the instrumentation of Gypsy Jazz”, “how to succeed in the music biz”, and Maggie’s Method™ “If You Can Speak You Can Sing”.

Not only a touring band the ever-reaching Harmonious Wail has enriched their lives working with National Public Radio.  They are honored to be recognized as “favorite house band” for the program “Says You” where they’ve matched their wits with the panelists. Their songs have graced the program “All Things Considered” and they have gifted their composition “The Money Song” to NPR stations across the country for annual fundraising programs.  Their songs, “People Stuff and “ I Like to Feel My Bones” both received International Songwriters Award, and four of their Gypsy Jazz compositions were cleverly woven into the film score of the internationally acclaimed independent film, ”I Really Hate My Job”.

True warriors for musicians worldwide, they are founding members of the highly respected International Folk Alliance, have created their own foundation, the Henry Mac Fund, supporting the arts in their hometown of Madison, Wisconsin and are recipients of the 2017 Musicnotes Outstanding Musical Career Achievement Award.

Exchanging musical ideas with other musicians around the world gave them the inspiration and enthusiasm it takes to create their own festival. In 2004 the Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest (MGSF) was born – a fund raising invitational showcase of the world’s finest gypsy jazz musicians. This Euro flavored festival has tripled in size since its inception. The workshops have also grown and the Wail is now regarded as “the stewards of Gypsy Jazz in the Midwest”.  Fueled by the energy of the MGSF and in their efforts to spread joy, in 2014 Harmonious Wail was proud to launch the Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest on-the-road, which is designed to present an outstanding evening of Harmonious Wail with a Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest headliner to sold out music halls across the country.

Harmonious Wail endeavors with each and every show, performance and workshop to not only showcase their talent, but to also touch each audience member’s or participant’s heart and soul and have them walk away feeling lighter in spirit.

 

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Lula Wiles
Oct
14
7:00 PM19:00

Lula Wiles

http://www.lulawiles.com/

Lula Wiles is a band deeply rooted in traditional folk music, but equally deep is their devotion to modern songcraft. Their songs span from heartbreak-drenched acoustic ballads to honky-tonk swagger to contemporary grit and back again, all anchored by powerful three-part vocal harmonies. Their lyrics are fiercely honest, littered with reinvented folk tropes and evocative images – a rainy field of daisies, a dusty bar lit by Christmas lights, an unmade bed. They deliver love songs that are at once defiant and heartsick, as well as new contributions to the folk ballad canon and timely explorations of what it means to live in America today. Drawing from the deep wells of traditional old-time music, classic country, and contemporary indie-folk-rock songwriting and arranging, Lula Wiles melds diverse influences to create a sound all their own. The three band members deftly swap instruments and frontwoman duties, with Ellie Buckland (vocals/guitar/fiddle), Isa Burke (vocals/guitar/fiddle), and Mali Obomsawin (vocals/bass) each contributing their own singularly expressive vocals, instrumental lines, and songwriting. Onstage, the band gathers tightly around a single microphone for a spirited and emotionally resonant live show.

If you ask them about their self-titled debut album, they’ll be quick to tell you it was a long time coming. The album’s eleven original songs were written over the course of the preceding four years, tested and lived in on stages and in bedrooms and backyards in Maine and Boston, and reborn through the band’s collaboration with producer/guitarist Adam Iredale-Gray and drummer Sean Trischka. Self-released on May 27, 2016, the album represents Lula Wiles’ exploration of the space where traditional folk meets modern songwriting and production. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan calls the album “a stunning collection of self-penned songs about love, loss, and drinking – the perfect blend of modern and timeless.”  Their sophomore album will be announced later this year.

Though the band is young, all the members of Lula Wiles have spent their lives grounded in songs. Born in Maine to musical families, they began playing music together as kids at Maine Fiddle Camp, and eventually each made their way to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music. Isa and Ellie began performing as a duo in 2013, and Lula Wiles was born when Mali joined the band a year later. When Lula Wiles performs, the band’s many years of friendship are clear from their electrifying musical chemistry and alchemic vocal harmonies. Now based in Boston's thriving and close-knit roots music community, Lula Wiles have performed at premier festivals and clubs throughout the eastern United States, including Club Passim, the Sinclair, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Fresh Grass Festival, and Green River Music Festival. They’ve recently expanded their touring territory to Canada and Europe, and have shared stages with artists like the Wood Brothers, Aoife O’Donovan, Darlingside, Sarah Jarosz, and Tim O’Brien. Roots authority No Depression predicts Lula Wiles “will be a huge force on the Americana scene for years to come.” All proficient vocalists, multi-instrumentalists, and songwriters, the three women of Lula Wiles are each uniquely powerful in their own right; but combined, they are a force to be reckoned with.

PRESS

"This album is a stunning collection of self-penned songs about love, loss, and drinking – the perfect blend of modern and timeless. From rich swells of fiddles to powerful honky-tonk guitar, all anchored by rocking bass, this album delivers one gem after another. In an age where so much music feels trite and phoned in, Lula Wiles emerges with their own unique blend of honest lyrics and gorgeous singing. Do yourselves a favor and listen to this record. Or better yet, see a live show."    – Aoife O'Donovan

"These young women [...] will be a huge force on the Americana music scene for many years to come. The chemistry they bring to the stage is a joy to behold."   – No Depression

"Lula Wiles are pushing the boundaries of Americana, crafting narrative lyrics that are just as detailed and complex as their tightly woven harmonies... The result is brilliant." – Sound of Boston

"The harmonies, the attitude, the musicianship. These 3 young ladies absolutely KILL it and do so without breaking a sweat... This trio is probably my personal favorite new act of the year."   – Red Line Roots

"With the harmonization of a well-performed experiment in human chemistry, the three young women behind this microphone are a testament to the classic sound of American songwriting."   – Otis Mountain Get Down

"With one whispered harmony, new Boston-based trio Lula Wiles can stop you in your tracks. Their debut release has a mesmerizing charm, filled with songs that hearken back to the classic era of folk and country."   – Mayer Danzig, Twangville

"An impressive, multi-talented, all-female group featuring tight soaring harmonies, clever songwriting, and an old-timey vibe"   – Glide Magazine

"A delicate balance between feverous passion and harmonious light and charm and grace... It's organic and raw in a way that is honest and real… It's just plain beauty incarnate."   – Red Line Roots

"[Lula] Wiles sincerely blew me away... Most bands project their sound and they project their message. What [Lula] Wiles did was kind of the opposite. They aren't trying to push their music. They invite people and if they like it, they listen a little closer."   – Bow Thayer, Cider Mag

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Ryan Meisel Jazz Quartet   $10
Oct
13
8:00 PM20:00

Ryan Meisel Jazz Quartet $10

http://www.meiselmusic.net/home/

I am a musician, educator, saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist.  I strive to share music that is original, unifying among musicians, and uplifting for the audience.  My ensembles consist of original, strait-ahead, modern jazz with the "Meisel Music" duos, trios, quartets and the larger band called the Meisel Music Collecitve.  "Montauk Project" is my creative music duo with drummer Jake Polancich, and "Two Owl Song", a spiritual ensemble co-lead with my wife Celia, featuring music for the earth and humanity.  I teach k-8 music at Erin school, direct the Moraine band at the University of Wisconsin Washington County and bring the community together hosting open mic sessions in Hartford and Milwaukee.

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Josh Harty & Lost Lakes     $10
Oct
12
8:30 PM20:30

Josh Harty & Lost Lakes $10

https://joshharty.com/ .                        http://www.lostlakesmusic.com/

Josh Harty is a messenger. A North Dakota songsmith. “A true son of the heartland whose bold defiance and riveting delivery channel the essence of American music” (Glide Magazine). As the son of a small town police chief and preacher, grandson of a South Dakota polka legend, Josh grew up performing with his dad at every Lutheran Church, Eagles Club, Moose Lodge and Rotary Club in the Upper Midwest. Having released several internationally-aclaimed albums and performing across the US & Europe, it is clear that Harty was born and bred for this. His live shows prove that good storytelling combined with journeyman musicianship is as authentic as music gets.

When Josh is not on the road, he resides in Madison, WI where he enjoys carpentry projects of all kinds and is an active member of the local music scene. Josh is also a long-time member of Folk Alliance and a founding member of The Wisconsin Room: an organization that promotes WI artists to an international audience and brings world- class music to Madison from elsewhere in the form of intimate gigs at various venues.

 

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Nessa Music Celtic Fusion   $10
Oct
11
8:00 PM20:00

Nessa Music Celtic Fusion $10

Brown Paper Tickets   https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3596415

Nessa is a Celtic fusion group led by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist, Kelly McDermott, known for her dazzling flute technique and beautiful, soulful voice. She is joined by co-founder/multi-instrumentalist Rob Crozier to research and arrange the music of Nessa. This hard-working team re-imagines the ballads and dances of the U.K. and Europe, uniquely blending elements of classical, folk, jazz, funk and world music to create rich, complex musical hybrids. With no shortage of virtuosity, Nessa includes some of Southeastern Michigan’s hottest players. The band moves audiences with funky reels, “barn burner” jigs, and deep, soulful glimpses of old stories.Nessa has a mystical, dreamy side akin to the music of Loreena McKennitt, an energetic aspect not unlike Solas, a touch of global fusion a la Pentangle and Eilleen Ivers, and a depth and dimension similar to Brian Eno.

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Rare Element   $10
Oct
5
8:00 PM20:00

Rare Element $10

“Horn-driven instrumental funk & groove PERFORMED LIVE”

The Madison, Wisconsin-based horn band, RARE ELEMENT, has assembled uniquely talented musicians with years of performance experience, though only just recently have they begun playing together.

Chad Whittinghill (trumpet, flugelhorn) and Bryan Husk (tenor, baritone sax) first met in 2003 as members of the urban neo-soul band, VIBE SYNDICATE. Unbeknownst to them then, for the next 15 years they would play side by side together in hundreds of shows in some of Wisconsin’s best funk and blues bands, including the THE CLYDE STUBBLEFIELD SHOW, THE JIMMYS, and THE BLUE OLIVES.

During their six years playing with THE JIMMYS, they crossed paths with Darren Sterud (trombone) and dubbed their horn section “The Amateur Horn Stars.” Over the years together they talked about their favorite funk bands and their favorite horn players and which which tunes were “the most killer jams.”

Finally, a band was brought together to play that funky groove inspired repertoire.

They named that band...RARE ELEMENT.

Todd Phipps (keyboards, B3 organ) of THE BLUE OLIVES (and many other bands) was the first join. Longtime Madison talent, Joe Niesen (guitar), also got in early. Joe liked what he heard and recruited a quietly infamous bassist, Brett Farrey, formerly with SMOKIN’ WITH SUPERMAN.

The critical piece of the puzzle was finding a drummer talented enough to keep it funky. Enter Arno Gonzalez, an international drummer with 40 years of professional experience that began with the TONY BROWN REGGAE BAND in the early 1980’s. Arno was born in Mexico City, but lived in Madison for six years and graduated from East High School. He just moved back to Madison with his wife after years living in California.

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Jazz on Tap Featuring Katherine Kramer, Virginia Mayhew, Roberta Piket, Laurie Lang & David Bayles
Oct
4
8:00 PM20:00

Jazz on Tap Featuring Katherine Kramer, Virginia Mayhew, Roberta Piket, Laurie Lang & David Bayles

Brown Paper Tickets .  https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3596379

Women in Jazz Series

http://www.katherinekramerprojects.com/

“She tiptoes, skids and brushes, gently paring away at the floor, coaxing out the sounds through terrifically seasoned technique... We happily remember, thanks to Katherine Kramer, that jazz dance (which today lies in the realm of the body) and tap dance (in the feet) all used to be one, big happy family."
Constance Valis Hill, Albany Times Union

Virginia Mayhew: http://www.renmarecordings.com/VMindex.html
“Who’s this Virginia Mayhew woman anyway? Dexter Gordon’s daughter? Sonny Rollin’s niece? She plays the saxophone like a blood relative of those two giants.”
- All About Jazz

Roberta Piket: http://robertajazz.com
“Roberta Piket is a revelation on the piano, a virtuoso whose skill and innovation can enliven and transform any song.” NYC Jazz Record

Roberta Piket: http://robertajazz.com
“Roberta Piket is a revelation on the piano, a virtuoso whose skill and innovation can enliven and transform any song.” NYC Jazz Record

Laurie Lang: http://laurielangmusic.com/index.shtml

Dave Bayles: https://www.facebook.com/david.bayles.9

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Freddy & Francine   $15/Door   $12/Advance (Brown Paper Tickets)
Oct
3
8:00 PM20:00

Freddy & Francine $15/Door $12/Advance (Brown Paper Tickets)

Authenticity in the music industry is slippery when wet. Everyone praises its value, yet when an artist is truly authentic, it is often only embraced if it can be easily walked on without slipping and landing in a pile of genre-related questions. To the casual observer, Freddy & Francine seem safely cemented as a folk duo. They got the look. The soulful harmonies. The folk circuit bookings — over 150 a year, including the legendary Telluride Bluegrass Festival. They’re even getting married. Cute. Even their act’s name is cute. You could make a movie about it. Someone probably has.

But Freddy & Francine (their actual names are Lee Ferris and Bianca Caruso) aren’t interested in acting, or genres, or talking or not talking about their relationship. They’ve done all that. They’ve even recently left their longtime home of Los Angeles for Nashville. And they’ve never looked more like themselves.

“We just want to play music all the time and we don't care about the rest of the bullshit,” Ferris said.  And there’s been plenty of bullshit. The Hollywood types, the rat race, the traffic, Ferris’s struggle with alcoholism (he’s now five years sober). Longtime fans know that the band took a three-year hiatus when Ferris and Caruso’s relationship unraveled, a time which found Ferris turning his back on music while driving trucks in L.A., and Caruso working an office job in New York.

During this break, both seemingly were able to land on their feet. Ferris was cast as Carl Perkins in the Broadway and touring productions of Million Dollar Quartet, and Caruso co-wrote and filmed a television pilot in Joni Mitchell’s Laurel Canyon home (her friend rents it), featuring Seth Rogen, and sold the thing to ABC. But appearances can be deceiving.

“I was miserable in the whole process, because I wasn't connected to myself in my gut,” Caruso said. “I didn’t enjoy it. I enjoy traveling and playing music.”

Despite rockin’ in Perkins’ blue suede shoes from Memphis to Japan, in front of thousands of people, Ferris was also unhappy because he was singing someone else’s songs. “My heroes were Joni Mitchell, The Stones, Dylan, B.B. King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Carl Perkins, the guys who just tapped into something in themselves, who needed to write and speak their own truth. That’s who I am,” Ferris said. Adding, “The experience of sitting down with an instrument and coming up with something for the first time, you can’t beat that. The best experience I’ve ever had as a person doing that, and coming up with something that is bigger than the sum of its parts, is with Bianca.”

But this is all old news. Freddy & Francine are full-time musicians, and have released three full-length albums and two EPs — not to mention Ferris’s production of an album by award-winning actor William H. Macy (featuring Caruso’s vocals), and the duo’s collaboration with Dead & Co. keyboardist Jeff Chimenti on the musical direction and casting for 2017’s Off-Broadway musical “Red Roses, Green Gold,” featuring the music of The Grateful Dead.

Keeping truckin’, Freddy & Francine plan to release their latest Nashville-recorded EP in September. The six-song “Moonless Night,” co-produced by Dan Knobler (Lake Street Dive, Rodney Crowell) finds Freddy & Francine — which has often used full bands on its recordings — still produced but more intimately portrayed, a sound closer to the duo’s live performances.

But don’t call it folk music. It’s too energetic.

“We’re performers. We’re not just folk musicians who play and sing mellow songs with little voices ... there’s screaming,” Caruso said. Don’t call it Americana either. They don’t wear hats. Besides, Caruso says, “The minute you think one of our songs is an Americana song, it can turn into a retro pop song.” Despite the reaction of most roots music fans to the dreaded “P” word, Caruso says she doesn’t mind Freddy & Francine being labeled a pop band.

“Pop music gets a bad rap, but it comes from the word ‘popular.’ I’d love to be popular,” she said. “I never discriminate against a song because it’s popular if it stays in your head ... every Beatles song is a pop song.”

But mostly, Freddy & Francine sounds like Freddy & Francine. It ain’t the easiest thing to explain, but it makes sense when you hear it, and finally, it makes sense to the two people who matter most. “I’m really happy with who I am and I'm happy with the life I have,” Ferris said. At the end of the day, or road, authenticity is internal. Watch your step. 

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Joyann Parker Band   $10
Sep
28
8:30 PM20:30

Joyann Parker Band $10

Advanced tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3612612

https://joyannparker.com/

"Hard To Love" is a  colorful musical tapestry woven by a consummate artist out of the warp and wool of jazz, soul and blues. Parker's passionate vocals deliver what might be one of the best albums of the year so far." (Henry L. Carrigan/Living Blues Magazine)

"Blasting forth defiantly ('You say you're gonna change/But I ain't staying to find out') with the throbbing 'Memphis,' the Minnesota blueswoman throws down a guantlet and sets a highbar of expectations that the rest of this 13-track album generally meets. It showcases her as a singing, songwriting (with guitarist Mark Lamoine), guitar-playing, self-producing, self-aware powerhouse, but the driving force is unquestionably her voice - a formidable instrument she wields with soul and taste. RIYL Shemekia Copeland and Janiva Magness." (Bliss/Pasadena Weekly)

“There’s some serious singing and musicianship afoot here...she's got the pipes and comes across honestly and passionately...on firmly planted ground singing the smoldering, slow-burning Stax-like ballads.” - Jim Hynes/Elmore Magazine 

"this woman has found the inner meaning of the word SOUL and she has made it her purpose to explore it thoroughly." (Bob Gottlieb/No Depression)

"the next great Twin Cities blues singer...Joyann Parker is the best Twin Cities blues singer you've never heard. Imagine a sober Janis Joplin. And that's a good thing. Imagine a taller Shemekia Copeland without the my-dad-was-a-blues-star pedigree. And that's a really good thing. There's pain in Parker's heart - and in just about every song she writes and sings. And, onstage, the grimace on her face, the clenched fists and the ache in her roar let listeners know that she knows hurt...Whatever she plays, Parker owns it." (Jon Bream/Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

“Parker's voice is mesmerizing...this album is one of the year's best.”  — Richard Ludmerer, Making A Scene 

"The immense, propulsive bass notes that open the album are the first hint that we are in for a treat with Hard To Love...Promising that, "By the time I get to Memphis, you'll be gone,' Parker (producer, guitar, piano and trumpet) wastes no time establishing her power as a vocalist and bandleader. Her blend of blues and roots includes plenty of Memphis-Muscle Shoals spirited soul, and with just a hint of country in her voice...Like the best soul-enriched blues, Hard To Love contains tales of trouble, misplaced devotion, and broken vows and shattered hearts. Some songs simmer with desire ('Jigsaw Heart' and 'Home') while other songs shade their passions behind a danceable beat that few this side of the late Sharon Jones can manage ('Dizzy' for example). Like the best of songwriters, Parker takes her experiences and threads them through those of others, creating relatable songs containing universal truths. And, you can dance to it! (Donald Teplyske/Fervor Coulee)

"some of the smokiest, smokingest green eyed soul you are going to encounter.  Killer stuff throughout."  - Chris Spector /Midwest Record

"Joyann Parker's voice is sensously soulful and it raises the temperature on a wide variety of blues styles here...The title track, 'Hard To Love,' is an emotion-packed torch song. It could have been a standard from the Great American Songbook....her sound is hot, hot, hot!" (Paul Freeman/Pop Culture Classics)

"we are dealing with a future big star here....the rawness of a female singer like Elkie Brooks and the soul of female vocalists like Joss Stone and Dusty Springfield...very soulful...impressive." (Peter Marinus/Blues Magazine NL)

"By opening full-throated and scorned, 'Memphis' immeidately disintegrates any illusion of demureness that Hard To Love's lace and lipstick cover might mistakenly relay. Joyann Parker is the fiery femme fatale...And besides tripling up on guitar and trumpet, the Minneapolis-based pianist writes darn-good tortured love songs." (Dennis Rozanski/Baltimore BluesRag)

"a powerful, sassy, soulful singer who also plays guitar, piano and trumpet and wrote all 13 of the songs on Hard To Love...Ms. Parker really shines...Her voice just plain soars." (Bill Mitchell/BluesBytes)

“If you want music with a whole lot of soul and passion, music that can move your heart one moment, then move your feet the next, check out the new release from Joyann Parker, Hard To Love.”  — Michael Doherty 

“Fans, they don’t write just any blues songs–this duo creates soulful, passionate trips into the listener’s heart, just the way they wrote ’em back in the days of Sam, Dave, Aretha, Dan, and Spooner.”  — Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society

"The new Queen of the Blues! A global star is born and she shines on the horizon." - Rootstime.be

"Joyann Parker's voice is a revelation, what an instrument she processes. It is sublime, passionate, sensual, guttural, powerful, breathtaking, mesmerizing." - Peter Merrett, PBS 106.7

"Joyann Parker... has a stage presence you cannot resist. Parker will pull tears out of you no matter how hard you fight it, make you smile and love the one you’re with. Resistance is futile with this big, solid band." - Wausau City Pages

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Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy   $5
Sep
24
8:00 PM20:00

Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy $5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFwdFNG_hzo

is a high-energy "Brass 'n' Grass" sextet from Wichita, KS. The band, whose sound has been described as “...a stagecoach in overdrive”, has brought their eclectic blend of bluegrass, ska, punk, and dixieland to packed clubs, basements, and festivals across the US since their inception in the spring of 2007.

CNS has built a solid following playing 47 states and 5 countries with their energetic live show and ability to fit on the bill with acts ranging from bluegrass to rockabilly; punk to ska. As the banjo rolls over rhythmic guitar, breakneck mandolin solos melt into blaring trombone and trumpet lines, while the standup bass and feed-bucket-trap-set churn out driving rhythms that carry the force of a Kansas freight train.

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Alex Mercado Trio   $10
Sep
23
6:00 PM18:00

Alex Mercado Trio $10

http://www.alejandromercado.com/

Alex Mercado - Piano, Bob DeBoo - Bass , Rodrigo Villanueva - Drums

Alex Mercado: A pianist with astounding technique and boundless imagination, Alex Mercado is acclaimed for his ability to write striking compositions and create vibrant sonic landscapes that have resonated with critics and audiences alike in his native Mexico and internationally. On his fourth album and latest release Paisajes (2017) after Refraction (2016) Symbiosis (2014) and 2012’s The Watcher, Mercado takes us on a journey through a vibrant musical world full of engaging melodies and the dynamic improvisations that typify the finest in contemporary modern jazz.

Alex Mercado, a Yamaha artist, has recorded and performed with Antonio Sánchez, Scott Colley, Bryan Lynch, Sachal Vasandani, Eric Alexander. Magos Herrera, Camila Meza, Luca Santaniello, Emanuele Cisi among other and has toured extensively in Europe, Asia, and his native Mexico. 

Bob DeBoo: Based in Saint Louis, Missouri, bassist Bob DeBoo has played for audiences all over the country for the last twenty years. He has worked with many notable jazz artists including Matt Wilson, Ronnie Burrage, Seamus Blake, Peter Martin, Montez Coleman, Terrance Blanchard, Marquis Hill, Byron Stripling, Tony Desare, Christopher McBride, Houston Person, and many more. He is also active in jazz education as a teaching artist with JazzSTL's 'JazzU' program, and Peter Martin's 'Open Studio Network.'

Rodrigo Villanueva: Drummer, composer, producer, and director; Rodrigo Villanueva holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. He has played and recorded with many jazz, classical and pop artists from Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and the U.S. Among them are Stefan Karlsson, Lynn Seaton, Eddie Gomez, Fareed Haque, Ed Saindon, Ben Sidran, Liam Teague, Rodolfo SanchezLee Tomboulian, Hiro Morozumi, Jangeun Bae, Carlos Guedes, Takayoshi Yoshioka, Jon Anderson, Carlos Prieto, Roberto Limón, Sandra Kaye, Carla White, Tony Monaco, Reggie Thomas, Craig Butterfield, Anders Svanoe and Latin Pop singers: Lucero, Shaila Durcal and Alejandro Fernandez. Rodrigo is currently a full professor of jazz studies at Northern Illinois University where he teaches jazz drumset, jazz arranging and directs the NIU Jazz Ensemble. Rodrigo performs regularly with his jazz trio and quartet, the Eddie Gomez Trio, the NIU Jazz Faculty Group Nucleus, Liam Teague’s Panoramic, Alex Mercado and Anders Svanoe. 

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Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble   $10
Sep
22
8:00 PM20:00

Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble $10

https://www.gypsyswing.com/

Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble is a world traveling instrumental acoustic jazz group based in Madison, Wisconsin. They are primarily influenced by the legendary Roma Gypsy Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. The ensemble also pulls influences from American jazz, European Folk Music, traditional Latin, Parisian waltz, and other vintage-jazz sources. Expect a range of tunes from the “Hot Swing" repertoire, originals, and standards done in uniquely arranged styles.

Since its inception in 2003 Caravan has had substantial experience with live performance. They have performed in a broad range of settings including concert halls, festivals, and jazz clubs. They have also had a wide variety of live radio and television performance experiences!

Caravan has five releases on HotStringSwing Records and songs featured on other compilation CDs. The band regards their most recent release “The Waiting Game” to be their best work to date! Caravan's recordings have been prominently featured as a soundtrack in films, television shows, YouTube shorts, and advertisements.

Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble has become an experienced, seasoned group with a diverse repertoire, and a unique voice in the Gypsy Jazz genre. Although the music of Django Reinhardt is still at the core of the band they have learned to take Gypsy Jazz in a broad range of directions.

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An Evening with Dustin Thomas
Sep
20
8:00 PM20:00

An Evening with Dustin Thomas

$12 Advance https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3590125   $15 Door

Fresh off of a west coast tour with Michael Franti and Spearhead, Dustin Thomas travels through the Midwest making a stop in Madison, bringing with him a full band, a fresh sound, and new music for all us to enjoy as the summer ends its grasp of warmth. This night of intimate music with Dustin and his band will be accompanied by Madison's own soul/folk child The Jeffrey James Show and everyone's favorite roots~reggae vibesetta, DJ Kayla Kush. We are super pleased to be teaming up with North Street Cabaret to offer a wonderful listening room environment. See you soon Madison!

DUSTIN THOMAS
www.lovedustinthomas.com
https://music.lovedustinthomas.com/

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Grazyna Auguscik & John Kregor   $10
Sep
19
7:00 PM19:00

Grazyna Auguscik & John Kregor $10

GRAZYNA AUGUSCIK

Singer, composer, arranger, and producer Grazyna Auguscik has won the praise and admiration of music critics, jazz enthusiasts and even non-jazz audiences with a singular voice that speaks a universal language. 

She is one of the most intriguing contemporary vocalists on today’s World jazz scene. Her elusive style challenges traditional definitions of jazz and show vocalist and musician without boundaries. Her unorthodox approach to rewriting classic works is at once a tribute to its authors as well as an adventure into uncharted territory. Her originals give a fresh taste of uncanny flavor.

Her professional music career began in Europe, completed her studies in 1992 at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, and has since become a prolific collaborator sharing the stage with such jazz notables as Jim Hall, Michael and Randy Brecker, Toots Thielemans, Urszula Dudziak, John Medeski, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Michal Urbaniak, and many others.

Since 1994, Grazyna has made Chicago her home where she performs at the legendary Green Mill, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Millennium Park, to name  just a few.

John Kregor

In Austin in the late 90's, John Kregor studied guitar with Adam Holzman, jazz with Jeff Hellmer, and composition with Rick Lawn and Dan Welcher at the University of Texas. After graduating (Magna Cum Laude) in 2000 he moved up to Chicago to check out the scene. Since then he's had the good fortune to play with loads of great cats all over the world. He's still waiting for the catch. In addition to music-making

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