A night of the sweet Memphis soul of 1970s Hi Records, performed by an all-star band of Chicago jazz, rock & roll, and rhythm and blues musicians.
Alton Smith sings and plays keyboards with everyone from Anna Fermin’s Trigger Gospel and Dolly Varden to Phil Angotti and Jay O’Rourke to Come Sunday and Bear Williams. He has been a fixture as a musician in Chicago and a teacher at the Old Town School for almost twenty years, and has even played at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Bill Brickey is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who has performed with BLT, Wood Bone and Steel, Come Sunday, and many other bands. He is an educator of children and adults, and an impresario who founded Elastic Revolution’s Emerging Artist series in Logan Square and ShooBooty Productions as well as his own ongoing series of house concerts.
Chris Greene is an award-winning saxophonist and composer from Evanston, having come up through the Evanston High School Wind and Jazz Ensembles as well as Indiana University’s Jazz Studies program. Since then, he has led the Chris Greene Quartet—their newest CD is “Boundary Issues”—and played with Common, The Temptations, Eric Roberson, Ed Motta, Andrew Bird, and many other artists.
Gros Pokossi picked up a bass in his native Camaroon at age fourteen and won second place in a school band competition two weeks later. Variously based in France, Germany, LA, and now Chicago, he has played bass all over the world, with fellow Cameroonian musicians Vicky Edimo, Aladji Toure, Roger Sabbal Lecco, Moustik Ambassa, and Jean Dikoto Mandengue, and with the USA Army band, the Yaounde Jazz band, and Prince Ndedi Eyango, with the Decording Society, Roland Shannon Jackson, James Carter, Jef Lee Johnson, and Trilok Gurtu.
Jack Cassidy has played trumpet everywhere and with artists like Van Morrison, Grover Washington Jr, Clark Terry, Lou Rawls, Buddy Guy, and Junior Wells. He is a product of Indiana University’s Jazz department, and earned his Masters at DePaul. He is a writer and a singer as well, and plays flugelhorn, French horn, piano, organ, and percussion on his album “Symbia.”
John Mead is a singer, guitarist, writer, and bandleader who has spearheaded a couple dozen projects over the last several years—his own band playing his songs as well as bands playing music by Prince, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, and the Rolling Stones, and many more. He has brought bands to the stages of City Winery, Evanston SPACE, Martyrs, and the Old Town School. His forthcoming album, “Exile,” is due next year.
Drummer Lenny Marsh has toured and recorded with Rounder Records artist Big Shoulders, Come Sunday, Fred Barbini Trio, R&L Rhythm and Blues Revue, Great Moments in Vinyl, and “anyone else who will have him.” He has also been on the Old Town School of Folk Music’s faculty for over twenty years.
Steve Dawson, best known for his work w/ Dolly Varden, first made a name for himself in Chicago in the 1990s with Stump the Host, and currently also leads Funeral Bonsai Wedding, blending his songwriting with improvisational jazz. His influence as a songwriting teacher has spread through the Chicago music scene, and he recently co-authored a book on the topic with Mark Caro, “Take It to the Bridge.”