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Chicago Blues'n'Jazz Concerts

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Chicago jazz concerts are an establishment in this world-famous city. Both jazz and blues have roots that run deep in Chicago, with its upcoming calendar featuring some of the best live bands and singers to grace its bars and clubs.

Got the Blues?

Nelle Tiger Travis Blues Band takes the stage at Kingston Mines – Chicago Blues Centre. Described by AllMusic as a “Fiery Chicago blues diva with a sideline in the contemporary Southern soul”, Ms. Travis is a bonafide Chicago blues veteran since her arrival to the city in 1992. She is certainly no stranger to the Kingston Mines stage, performing there since 95, where she was mentored by Chicago blues legend Koko Taylor. Travis will be supported by the Nora Jean Bruso Blues Band and Doktu Rhute Muuzic.

2017 Blues Foundation Award nominee, Corey Dennison Band will strut their stuff in concert on Monday 14 May, as part of their weekly residency at the Kingston Mines. This mainstay of the Chicago blues concert scene is set apart by Dennison’s soulful vocals influenced by Wilson Pickett, Curtis Mayfield & Sam Cooke. His beefy guitar style is no doubt honed under the tutelage of Chicago blues veteran Carl Weathersby, whom Dennison played with for a decade. He has shared the stage with blues icons such as The Kinsey Report, Chico Banks, The Steepwater Band, Jimmy Johnson, Derek Trucks, John Mayer and more. The band’s razor-sharp blues chops combined with their magnetic stage show make them a staple of the Chicago scene. They will be supported by J.W. Williams & the Chi-Town Hustlers.

Staying with the Kingston Mines, 18 and 19 May sees the Chicago Blues Centre celebrates its 50th anniversary as part of the Chicago blues concert-scene with a two-day festival. An all-star line-up of Chicago veterans will be there to help them celebrate: Larry McCray; Joanna Connors and Vance Kelly.

Serbian-born blues guitarist Ana Popovic is certainly not short of accomplishments, with 11 albums under her belt, alongside several international award nominations and wins. She has played with a who’s who of blues legends like Solomon Burke, Bernard Purdie and more. Concert-goers are in for a treat when she performs at the Winery on 22 May.

Experimental Jazz Shows in Chicago

Chicago’s free jazz quartet, Extraordinary Popular Delusions, will be at the lounge/restaurant Beat Kitchen for their Monday night residency. The group is led by Grammy-nominated saxophonist Mars Williams who has recorded with the likes of Billy Idol, Billy Squier, Psychedelic Furs, Kiki Dee and much more. Composer John Zorn says about Williams, “In many ways, he has succeeded in redefining what versatility means to the modern saxophone player."

Any serious fan of jazz fusion will be thrilled to see the great Al Di Meola come to town on 24 June, when he plays Park West. Di Meola was a member of influential jazz-fusion supergroup Return to Forever, alongside such greats like Stanley Clarke and Chick Corea. However, he is a solo artist in his own right, and one of the most influential guitarists of his generation, blending jazz with Latin music genres like flamenco.

Jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington, riding on a wave of critical adoration as one of the creative forces behind rapper Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy-winning “To Pimp a Butterfly” album, comes to Riviera Theatre on 2 November. Washington is one of the leading lights in the new era of hip-hop-influenced black jazz musicians, which have been responsible for introducing a whole generation of young people to underground jazz. He brings his smooth style to the Chicago jazz concert scene.

Bostonian-Brooklyn transplants Lake Street Dive plays the Thalia Hall on 15 May. These five-piece multi-genre purveyors are touring in support of their second album “Free Your Self Up” released earlier this month on Nonesuch Records. They will be supported by psych-rock harpist, Mikaela Davis.

Trampled by Turtles have a 2-night stint at Thalia Hall on 19 and 20 May. The Duluth, MN natives are regulars on the international tour circuit and, appropriately, they have released their ninth studio album “Life Is Good On The Open Road”, which they celebrate by…going on a multi-city tour throughout the US and Europe for the majority of 2018.

Musical Royalty in Chicago

Funk royalty comes to Chicago when the world-famous Tower of Power takes a three-day stint at City Winery. A horn-section based band with a discography of over 20 albums since 1970, TOP has helped shape that unmistakably classic funk sound and have featured alongside artists like Otis Redding, Aerosmith, Elton John, The Monkees, Santana and Paula Abdul.

With such a packed schedule of live music, there is something for every era and variation of the jazz fan. For some of the hottest tickets, stay tuned to Feeltix.