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Top 5 Pick's for Live Jazz This Weekend (March 3rd-5th)

Here are my picks for 5 jazz groups performing this weekend that I would suggest checking out. Now these are not the only groups performing or worth hearing however but if you are new to the scene or just can't make up your mind here are my picks. Have a great weekend and hopefully I will see you somewhere out on the scene!



George Fludas Quartet Plays Music from the Classic Blue Note Catalog

Winter's Jazz Club

465 N. McClurg Court (on the promenade), Chicago

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March 3rd & 4th Friday & Saturday

8pm, 9:30pm, 11pm

Drummer George Fludas' Quartet plays music from the classic Blue Note catalog - featuring Scott Burns on tenor sax (March 3) and John Wojciehowski (March 4), with Reggie Thomas on piano, and Jeremiah Hunt

on bass.

George began his professional career in 1987 playing in Chicago clubs with local greats like Von Freeman, Jodie Christian and Lin Halliday, as well as in groups with the area's top young musicians of the day, including Ron Blake, Jesse Davis, Bobby Broom, Ron Perrillo and Eric Alexander.

He has performed with a who's who of jazz greats, including Johnny Griffin, Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones, Phil Woods, Ira Sullivan, Frank Wess, and Barry Harris, to name a few.

He was a member of legendary bassist Ray Brown's trio in 2000-2001, and toured with Diana Krall's group in 2002. From 2003 to 2009 he toured extensively with pianist Monty Alexander's trio and Jazz and Roots group. He also performed often with legendary pianist/composer Cedar Walton from 2002 until his passing in 2013. In 2013- 2014 he toured and recorded with organist Joey Defrancesco's trio.


Charlie Ballantine Group

Andy's Jazz Club

11 E. Hubbard, Chicago

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March 3rd & 4th Friday & Saturday

5pm & 7pm

Named Indianapolis' "Best Jazz Musician" of 2015 by NUVO Magazine, Charlie Ballantine, is a professional guitarist who performs regularly around the midwest. Charlie has been a featured artist at notable events such as the Penrod Art Festival and The Indianapolis Jazz Festival and is a frequent performer at renowned jazz clubs such as The Jazz Kitchen and The Chatterbox. He also holds a degree in jazz studies from Indiana University where he studied under Corey Christiansen, David Baker, and many others. His music stems from the traditions of folk, jazz, and blues music with influences such as Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Wes Montgomery, and Jimi Hendrix. In early 2015 Charlie released his debut album "Green" which earned him local acclaim as well as being very well recieved nationally. Charlie's sophomore album "Providence" was released in May of 2016 and has helped him develop even more of a presence on the national level through reviews from a wide variety of publications (Vintage Guitar Magazine, Absolute Sound, Midwest Record) as well as making it into the top 100 on the jazz radio chart and being played on hundreds of stations worldwide.


Greg Osby 4

Green Mill Jazz Club

4802 N Broadway St, Chicago

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March 3rd & 4th Friday & Saturday

9pm Fri & 8pm Sat

Saxophonist, composer, producer and educator Greg Osby has made an indelible mark on contemporary jazz as a leader of his own ensembles and as a guest artist with other acclaimed jazz groups for the past 20 years. His career took off upon his move to New York in early 1983, Osby quickly established himself as a notable and in demand sideman for artists as varied as Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Jack DeJohnette, Andrew Hill, Muhal Richard Abrams, Jim Hall and Jaki Byard as well as with many ethnic and new music ensembles in the New York area.


Harry Allen, Scott Hamilton, Andy Brown Quartet

Jazz Showcase

806 S. Plymouth Ct, Chicago

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March 2nd-5th

8pm & 10pm

Sunday 4pm

At the age of twenty-two, and thanks to Roy Eldridge, Hamilton got a six-week gig at Michael’s Pub. Thanks to Eldridge that gig paved the way for him to work with Anita O’Day and Hank Jones. Although it was the tail-end of the of old New York scene, a lot of the greats were still playing and he got to work and learn from people like Eldridge, Illinois Jacquet, Vic Dickenson and Jo Jones. Eldridge was Scott’s champion, but pulled no punches, and could be extremely critical, something for which Scott has always been grateful. In December of the same year John Bunch got Scott his first recording date, for Famous Door, and was also responsible for him joining Benny Goodman. He continued to work with Goodman at different times until the early 1980s.

In 1977 he formed his own quartet, which later became a quintet, with Bunch added to the group. The same year Carl Jefferson heard him, and began recording him for his Concord record label. More than forty albums later he is still recording for them, having made many under his own leadership, several with his regular British quartet of John Pearce, Dave Green and Steve Brown, including his latest, Nocturnes & Serenades. The Quartet plus two guests, Dave Cliff and Mark Nightingale recorded Our Delight! for Alan Barnes’ Woodville label. A new release, Across the Tracks on Concorde is due this May. Along the way he has made albums with Dave McKenna, Jake Hanna, Woody Herman, Tony Bennett, Gerry Mulligan, Flip Phillips, Maxine Sullivan, Buddy Tate, Warren Vache, many with Rosemary Clooney and a number with another of his mentors, Ruby Braff, with whom he played residencies at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, London in the mid-1980s. Over the years Scott has also performed and recorded with such touring bands as the Concord Jazz All Stars, the Concord Super Band and George Wein’s Newport Jazz Festival All Stars.


Charlie Johnson Quartet Charlie Johnson, with James Perkins, Ron Hall, Charles Heath

Room 43

1039-1043 E 43rd St, Chicago

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March 5th



Chicago keyboardist Charlie Johnson has backed many local and international artists for over 15 years performing jazz, R&B and gospel. Charlie wanted to focus on his love of jazz so he put together some of Chicago's finest musicians for his own quartet. You can hear him this Sunday at the Hyde Park Jazz Society's famous Sunday night session.


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