The hot, sultry summer months typically find countless numbers of local jazz enthusiasts seeking someplace nice and comfortable to go in Chicago, to hear fabulously cool jazz melodies, harmonies and rhythms.
One suggestion would be to catch the show by a talented, widely-respected husband-and-wife artistic team, jazz vocalist Margaret Murphy-Webb and husband, bassist Chuck Webb, at a somewhat low-key, south side music showcase - - an adult-audience club called the Quarry, located at 2423 East 75th Street in city's South Shore neighborhood. Their dedicated legion of fans already know what I'm about to tell you - - they're performing there every Tuesday night, starting at 8:00 p.m., through August 30th. The best news? It's good music in a great atmosphere - - and it's FREE admission. Sound interesting? Good. Round up some friends, call 773-741-6254 for more information and experience it for yourself.
In addition to displaying their considerable music chops at the Quarry and other venues around the city, both Chuck and Margaret are board members of the relatively new South Side Jazz Coalition (SSJC), a Chicago-based nonprofit cultural arts organization.
"Being part of the South Side Jazz Coalition is indeed exciting and worthwhile," says Margaret, taking a few minutes between sets. "We are just a group of creative minds expressing our love, respect and appreciation for this musical art form, while we hopefully set the stage, so to speak for a new revitalization of jazz performances in Chicago's south side neighborhood districts."
Although it's currently a sultry, smoking hot August month in Chicago, everyone knows that Labor Day, considered the official end of summer is sadly, yet inevitably looming on the horizon, not far away. The 'dog days' of summer, along with various outdoor festivals, concerts and other cultural pleasures will abruptly cease, potentially leaving a void in the artistically-oriented lives of many active, on the go-city and suburban dwellers who love music, and in particular - jazz music.
But have no fear - - the good news is - - South Side Jazz Coalition (SSJC) is announcing to Chicago that they are here! The members want to remind everyone that the changing calendar also means that the fall music and social event season will be here before we know it. Sounds like a perfect environment to enjoy an evening focused on cool jazz!
Who is the South Side Jazz Coalition? As previously mentioned, they're a relatively new, Chicago-based nonprofit cultural arts charitable organization. Founded in 2014, the members of the South Side Jazz Coalition (SSJC) are committed to expanding the jazz music presence on Chicago's great South Side, where the art form first originally expressed its roots. Comprised of a diversely talented group of experienced local vocalists, entertainers and musicians, they are working toward an admirable and achievable goal: the resurgence of south side jazz through live performances, music education and youth mentorship programs.
Explains an enthused Sasha Daltonn, the SSJC Board Vice-President and a seasoned, well-known, multi-faceted Chicago creative singer, writer and artist, "Over the last year and a half, I'm proud to share that the South Side Jazz Coalition has produced three successful community-based music & awards events featuring local talent, as well as an African-American History month concert highlighting famed Chicago trumpeter Obert Davis.
So now is the perfect time to mark your calendars and get ready to experience the 2nd Annual "Jazzy Evening in Red" Concert & Awards Gala hosted on Sunday, October 23, 2016 by the South Side Jazz Coalition (SSJC).
This year's exciting jazz extravaganza will be held at Hermann Hall, 3241 South Federal, on the campus of the former Illinois Institute of Technology, know known as Illinois Tech. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for the VIP reception from 5-6:00 p.m. General admission doors open at 6:00mp.m., with show-time at 7:00 p.m. Free parking is available.
Hosted by Chicago's own radio, television and jazz personality extraordinaire Richard Steele, guests at the 2nd Annual "Jazzy Evening in Red" event will enjoy an elegant evening of unbelievably energetic, virtuosic music performances, and a tasty, sumptuous buffet.
"We intend to position this event as an evening of quintessentially brilliant music magic for jazz lovers everywhere," said SSJC Board member Chuck Webb.Dr. Clifton Underwood, a deeply committed community leader and SSJC board member, expresses the importance of these fundraising events to advance the group's goal of re-establishing the former
"While each of us come from different aspects of the cultural Diaspora, we are all united in singular thought and action to make the SSJC a success. Being part of a fledgling cultural arts collaborative is a very significant undertaking, both individually and collectively, and we're in it for the long haul."
The South Side Jazz Coalition's 2nd Annual "Jazzy Evening in Red" Concert & Awards Gala scheduled this year for Sunday, October 23, 2016 is fast becoming one of Chicago's must-attend social destinations and a major music entertainment force in its own right, says Darius Lawrence, a SSJC board member.
"We're still receiving accolades from last year's inaugural event, but FYI, we've definitely upped the stakes this second time around - - so the 2016 Jazzy Evening in Red Awards Gala will be even bigger, better and with another impressive lineup of local and national musical talent. You'll definitely not want to miss it!", emphasizes Lawrence, a well-known Chicago jazz music professional, internationally-acclaimed and multi Grammy-award winning music producer.
The theme of the evening "A Jazzy Elegant Evening in Red" acknowledges the contributions made by local and national jazz icons of the past, present and future, as they promote the cultural consciousness, and the enduring historic legacy of Jazz on Chicago's South Side,.
This intimate evening features a reception and dynamic concert featuring local and internationally-acclaimed jazz artists, a silent auction and an awards program honoring several distinguished cultural ambassadors of Chicago's civic community. These honorees embody the spirit of the SSJC mission: to create an interactive, ongoing synergy between music, education and people.
Over 300 jazz enthusiasts and their friends are expected to attend. Last year's inaugural gala was a tremendous success, showcasing guests for the evening, which also included local elected officials, members of Congress, honored guests, VIPs, and a host of national and local, organizational, business and community leaders.
Renee Carr, the SSJC board member who also serves as the group's treasurer, shares their strategic, mission-oriented focus: "As we work toward the resurgence of jazz on the south side of Chicago, the success of these events sponsored by the South Side Jazz Coalition has largely occurred thanks to the generous contributions of our event sponsors, many of whom have gone out of their way to assist us in making this dream come true, by lending financial and in-kind support to what we believe is a culturally relevant cause. We thank them all!"
Continues Carr, "All the money we raise, and proceeds from the upcoming October 23 "Jazzy Evening in Red" Concert and Awards Gala will help support the revitalization of the South Shore Jazz Festival, which was founded by respected jazz maven Geraldine de Haas in 1981. Over the years, she lovingly built it into a highly-anticipated annual rite, but it was unfortunately discontinued in 2013, after she relocated to the west coast following a bout of poor health. This festival enjoyed a storied 30-year run. The community has let us know that they miss this treasured event, and that's why we are trying to bring it back."
Headlining this year's "Jazzy Evening in Red" concert awards gala is one of the newest bright lights in jazz, the 'young lion' sax master Ravi Halim, whose smooth melodies will satisfy your musical sensibilities. Ravi is best known for his mastery of the tenor sax, and his collaborations with other legendary jazz artists. The Jazzy Evening entertainment lineup also includes award-winning arranger Tom Washington & the South Side Big Band, featuring Iconic Chicago-based vocalist Frieda Lee.
The musical program will also include award presentations to several Chicago civic and community leaders for their service, under the following categories: Music Education: “The Von Freeman Legacy Award” & The Geraldine De Haas Preservation Award” Community Service: “The Henry English Humanitarian Award” & “The SSJC Community Partnership Award”. 2016 Awardees include: Mr. Leroy Kennedy of IIT, Mr. Arthur Robertson of The South Shore Drill Team, Ms. Frieda Lee of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra and the legendary musician/arranger Mr. Tom "Tom" Washington.
Concludes Margaret Murphy Webb, the group's unassuming, yet fiercely dedicated spiritual muse: "In the final analysis, our primary goal is to make a clear cultural statement - - that great jazz music is accessible, alive and well on the south side of Chicago."
General admission tickets are $50, with VIP seating and pre-concert reception at $75. Sponsorships are available. For more information, call (773) 983-3352 or 312-498-7103, or go to www.southsidejazzcoalition.com. Tickets can also be purchased at Eventbrite, www.eventbrite.com.
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About the South Side Jazz Coalition
The South Side Jazz Coalition is a not-for-profit, 501.c.3 cultural arts organization, headquartered on Chicago's south side, and comprised of a small, yet dedicated group of creative, artistically-inspired individuals who love, honor and respect the music, legacy and cultural significance of Jazz. The Mission of the South Side Jazz Coalition (SSJC) is to create a synergy between artists, producers, students, seniors and venues in Chicago by promoting and producing live jazz music performance, educational events designed to engage the next generation of young Chicago musicians, and pursuing diverse music business opportunities to support the mission of the revitalization of the once legendary South Shore Jazz Festival.