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Posts Tagged ‘jazz’

Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video) In this day and age of ringtone rappers, one-hit wonders, and soft-core sex-laden R&B, it’s like a breath of fresh air when a hidden gem can shine through all the filler. With a small selection of songs in commercial radio’s playlist, consumers sometimes are force-fed a daily dose of “microwave music” where the supply often overshadows the demand. Quality soul music is more abundant than one may think…you just have to “listen”. Julie Dexter is here to fulfill that demand. The world-renowned, Birmingham, England-bred, singer/songwriter displayed her dynamic range at a rare showcase this past weekend at the new “it” spot, julie dThe Shrine (located at 2109 S. Wabash). Julie Dexter’s vibrant style and jazzy vocals exude soul and her followers came out to support her. The showcase presented by IGM Entertainment had a record crowd turn out to hear the UK songstress perform favorites such as “Ketch A Vibe” and “Faith” off her 2002 album, “Dexterity”. The very popular jazz group, Zzaje, backed the intimate performance at The Shrine. Dexter, who has shared the stage with soulful legends such as Sade and modern heavy-hitters like Jill Scott, Eric Roberson, and Amel Larrieux kicked off her set with a tribute to another legend that inspired her by the name of Michael Jackson. She later transitioned to a jazzy bebop version of Beyonce’s “Déjà vu” that would have made the best “scatters” proud. After paying homage to other greats, Julie Dexter gave the crowd what they came to see…a one-hour set spanning her decade plus career from her first EP, 2000’s “Peace of Mind” to 2005’s “Conscious”. It’s not too late to get familiar with this classically trained musician who writes, arranges, composes and produces her own music. “The Julie Dexter Collection” drops this fall. Do yourself a favor and “Ketch the Vibe”. www.juliedexter.com

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Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video)
If you’re looking for great music and networking in a “chill-axed” atmosphere, you have to swing by “Groove Sessions” tonight at The Joynt (located at 640 N. Dearborn) in Downtown Chicago. This weekly event is hosted by Jessica Williams and Miisha McCullar of IGM Entertainment and features some of the hottest and most eclectic bands that range from Neo-Soul to Latin Jazz. This is definitely a sophisticated and sexy crowd, so make sure you bring your “swag” intact. Tonight’s guests will be treated to the soulful, Latin sounds of the Noguera Evolution Quartet. Doors open at 8pm and admission is complimentary until 10pm. There is a $10 cover after 10pm and the event goes until 2am. To get on the mailing list, make sure you hit up IGM at igmentertainment@yahoo.com.

Since the weather will be much warmer, there’s plenty to get into this weekend…On Friday, Chicago Bulls Superstar, Ben Gordon, will be hosting this month’s “First Fridays Chicago” for the “All Black Attire Affair” kindred2at Alahambra Palace (located at 1240 W. Randolph). This upscale event will also feature a special guest appearance by husband and wife R&B/Soul duo, Kindred. Meanwhile, the sounds will be pumped throughout the night on two luxurious levels by DJs: Timbuk 2, Mark Fullaflava, Maurice “Ice” Culpepper, and 33 1/3. The event runs from 9pm-2am.

CHICAGO HIP-HOP CLASSIC
In a city where many claim “doesn’t support it’s hometown artists”, the Chicago music community will unite on Saturday, March 7th at the Harold Washington Cultural Center (located at 4701 S. King Drive) for the Chicago Hip-Hop Classic. This celebration of Chicago’s local hip-hop scene will be comprised of a concert and music symposium where artists, music executives, and music lovers can come together for positive inspiration. Artists such as Pheave, Que B.I.L.L.A.H., Gemstones, Polie Da Great, Twone Gabz, Jak Frost and dance troupe Final Phaze will all be performing. Doors open at 6pm and the show starts at 7pm. Tickets for this all ages show can be purchased in advance for $10 at www.amusicexperience.com, or $15 at the door. The Chicago Hip-Hop Classic is presented by GO Sity Entertainment and Bo Beniz.

CHICAGO TAKES OFF

If you’re looking for something a little different and want to support a great cause, check out Chicago Takes Off, an annual burlesque revue-style show where Chicago’s Dance community struts their stuff in support of the TPAN (Test Positive Aware Network), a support group that empowers individuals living with HIV and AIDS and educates the community as a whole about HIV and HIV prevention. These colorful and flamboyant shows will take place this Saturday at the Park West (322 W. Armitage) at 7:30p and 10pm. Seats are limited and can be reserved at http://www.chicagotakesoff.org.

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

As if there aren’t enough events to take in as the summer draws to a close, you can add one more to the list. The 30th annual Chicago Jazz Festival kicks off on August 28, but there are plenty of ways to celebrate before then.

Chicago Trolley and the Jazz Institute of Chicago is hosting a club tour of the best jazz clubs in the city on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to midnight. For $25 in advance or $30 that evening, jazz lovers will be whisked to 15 jazz clubs on a trolley. Tickets are available at any of the 15 participating clubs.
Click here for more information.

You also may have noticed that some of the trolleys are sporting a different look these days. That’s because 30 of the trolleys have been renamed after jazz stars to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Chicago festival. The trolleys honor some of the greatest names in jazz history such as Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, but also some of the artists who will be performing live this year, such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Eddie Palmieri and Ornette Coleman.

So c’mon Chicago, get your jazz on!

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Kaylee King, NBC5 Street Team

I think we’ve all heard about the 2008 Lollapalooza lineup — which is SO rock&roll, by the way — but there are a few of my favorite Chicago summer festivals that haven’t really been talked about yet. So, I’m going to try my hardest to not say Lollapalooza for the rest of this entry, and let you in on some of the great acts and festivities that are going down in the upcoming warm months.

Green Apple Music Festival April 18-20
Celebrate Earth Day this weekend listening to music and chillin’ out on the lawn at the Lincoln Park Zoo. This year’s Green Apple Music Festival welcomes Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead), Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers), Scott Murawski (Max Creek), Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Chicago Afrobeat Project and many more bands. The event is free and make sure to say hello to Chicago Bear’s player, and emcee of the festival, Kyle Orton.

Manifest Urban Arts Festival May 16
I have to show love for my fellow Columbia College Chicago students and invite you all to our end of the year art show, Manifest. From film to music, reading to paintings and a live performance by Chicago natives OkGo, this free event is going to be a riot. Make sure to check out the Spectacle Fortuna, where puppetry students put their art on parade in an event that has been called “a mix of Mardi Gras and Halloween imagery.”

Taste Of Chicago June 27 – July 6
Yay for Grant Park festivals! The staple of a Chicago summer, the Taste of Chicago will tickle your tastebuds with all the different foods of the city that you can try. Performing on the main stage this year are Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, The Plain White T’s, Joss Stone and more!

Pitchfork Music Festival July 18 – 20
Spawn of the ultra-popular music review www.pitchforkmedia.com, the Pitchfork Music Festival has some of the hottest indie bands on this year’s lineup. Public Enemy, Animal Collective, Jarvis Cocker, Dinosaur Jr., Ghostface and Raekwon, the list goes on!

30th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival August 28 – 31
What a way to finish out the summer concert season with a hot mix of Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman. Spend an easy-going night at Millenium Park listening to jazz, enjoying the skyline and taking part in the Chicago Jazz Festival.

I told you I could make it through without saying the ‘L’ word. 

Have fun this summer!

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