St. Charles Jazz Weekend is a four-day event that showcases and promotes live jazz music at different St. Charles establishments. An array of St. Charles venues will take part in this year’s event featuring numerous jazz soloists, quintets, and big bands.
Patrons can enjoy jazz music starting mid-day through the evening, with the opportunity to visit multiple venues.
Please note: Some Jazz Weekend performances do require the purchase of tickets to attend. Please reference the Music Schedule to see which performances require tickets.
Thank You to Our 2023 Jazz Performers!
Chanson du Chat
Chanson du Chat is a gypsy jazz style trio/quartet/quintet led by guitarist John Papadolias. Steeped in 1930s style of gypsy swing paying homage to Dejango Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli with the Quintet o the Hot Club of France, Chanson du Chat plays lively and energetic music that turns heads. Featured members are Dave Bowers and John Papadolias on guitars, Chad Watson on upright bass, and Jim LeFager on drums and percussion, Chanson du Chat performs standards of the gypsy swing era, the Edith Piaf songbook as well as jazz standards and original compositions.
Everything from Miles Davis to Green Day filled a young Wright's ear. He couldn't wait for band tryouts. He started out on clarinet, but eventually switched to saxophone. After high school, Wright decided to join the Navy for six years. Music wasn't part of his plan anymore. Then, while home on leave, his father gifted him a saxophone. This would change Wright's trajectory forever. Upon fulfilling his commitment to his country, he came back home to Joliet, IL to finish his education and pursue music. During his time in school at Joliet Junior College and University of St. Francis, Wright went to jam sessions and open mics. He began meeting and networking with local musicians and performing regularly with several bands throughout the Chicagoland area, Memphis, and New Orleans. Wright enjoys his mix of genres of music as he regularly performs with the Third City Brass Band (second-line, funk, pop), Big Lagniappe (rock, funk, blues New Orleans second-line), the Selectones (reggae, ska, funk) and the Old Gang Orchestra (singe-songwriter/rock). While the bands do keep him busy, he enjoys teaching private lessons and giving back to his community that taught him what he knows. He is also a member of the Art Movement, Inc. and the Joliet Arts Commission.
Extraordinary Popular Delusions
Howard Mandel of the Chicago Reader says "the members of Extraordinary Popular Delusions bring vast and varied experience to this underappreciated ensemble's regular weekly shows which follow no rules but their own." Jim Baker has been playing piano and synthesizer in and around Chicago and the world for a few decades, mostly in improvisational contexts. His work has been documented on more than eighty commercially released recordings, including recent and/or forthcoming work with Extraordinary Popular Delusions (usually comprised of some combination of Baker, Mars Williams, Edward Wilkerson Jr., Brian Sandstrom, and/or Steve Hunt); Rempis/Abrams/Ra+Baker; Urs Leimgruber and Jason Roebke; Charles Rumback; Brandon Lopez and Bill Harris; WiHuBa (with Wilkerson, Vandermark, and Ra); Bernard Santacruz and Samuel Silvant; Christoph Erb (with Frank Rosaly, Michael Zerang, or Steve Hunt); Junius Paul; Benjamin Vergara/Keefe Jackson/Phil Sudderberg; Dan Phillips; Forget to Find (with Jean-Luc Guionnet, Pierre-Antoine Badaroux, and Jason Roebke); and Madness of Crowds (with Brian Sandstrom, Matt Lux, Nate Lepine, and Joe Adamik). For a number of years in the 90s, Baker was the house pianist for the weekly Sunday evening jam sessions at the Velvet Lounge, For most of the last fifteen years, he has been playing most Mondays at Beat Kitchen with free-improvisation group Extraordinary Popular Delusions. Edward L. Wilkerson Jr. (born July 27, 1953 in Terre Haute, Indiana) is an internationally recognized American jazz composer, arranger, musician, and educator based in Chicago. As founder and director of the cutting-edge octet 8 Bold Souls, and the 25-member performance ensemble Shadow Vignettes, Wilkerson has toured festivals and concert halls throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and the Middle East. "Defender", a large-scale piece for Shadow Vignettes, was commissioned by the Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Fund and featured in the 10th Anniversary of New Music America, a presentation of BAM's Next Wave Festival. His music can be heard on 14 recordings, including two film soundtracks and the critically acclaimed albums Birth of a Notion, and 8 Bold Souls, both on his own Sessoms Records label. Bassist/Guitarist Brian Sandstrom was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois. He learned jazz and blues roots there before embarking on studies in contemporary classical and jazz bass at SIU (BFA, 1978). He subsequently made Chicago his home from 1979 through 2019. He began embarking on musical tours to Canada and Europe starting in 1988. He has recorded with numerous contemporary performers and educators (John Roothaan, Ed Petersen, Frank Portolese) and jazz legends (Von Freeman, Hal Russell, Frank Catalano). He is a regular member of the NRG Ensemble, Extraordinary Popular Delusions, Witches and Devils and the Green Mill all-stars. He is continually looking for the "new thing". Drummer Steve Hunt has been active in the Chicago music scene since 1980 when he became a member of the Hal Russell NRG Ensemble. They toured nationally and internationally beginning in 1988 and released six recordings (Nessa, Abduction, Principally Jazz, and ECM) before Hal's passing in 1992. With the addition of Ken Vandermark, the NRG Ensemble continued touring internationally and released three recordings (Quinnah, Atavistic and Delmark), with a forthcoming release expected later this year featuring a live performance from 1997 in Utrecht. Among other groups, he has played on a mostly weekly basis with Extraordinary Popular Delusions since 2005, releasing two recordings (Harmonic Conversions and Okkadisk) which include Mars Williams on saxophones. He is als othe drummer for Witches and Devils, led by Mars Williams. They have released five recordings (Knitting Factory, Soul What Records, Astral Spirits) four of which are An Ayler Christmas which feature arrangements by Mars Williams of the music of Albert Ayler and Christmas music. Additionally, he is a member of WiHuBa which includeds Edward Wilkerson, Jr. and Jim Baker. The trio is featured on one self-released recording "Live at the Owl", recorded in 1988.
Grey Matter Quartet
Grey Matter Quartet (GMQ) is an ensemble that focuses on fusion styled jazz, originated by the masters of the style (Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, George Duke, Weather Report, YellowJackets, Snarky Puppy, etc). As all jazz should include original content infusion by the performing musicians, you will find pieces of all of us in the presentation of these compositions. They also consider it their honor and privilege to bring these compositions to their audiences. Be it in a restaurant, dinner party or concert setting. Inevitably folks will be tapping their feet & bobbing their head.
Julia Danielle is an up-and-coming vocalist, arranger, educator, and composer based in Chicago. Blending the lines of classic and contemporary jazz and soul music, she has had the opportunity to perform alongside notable performers including Clark Sommers, Jeremy Kahn, Isaiah Collier, and many more.
Lenard Simpson is a saxophonist, composer and educator from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lenard was mostly self-taught through high school, but his natural ability and musicianship earned him accolades such as membership in the esteemed Grammy Camp Jazz Session, and an outstanding soloist award at the Mingus Jazz Competition in New York City. Lenard has had the opportunity to play and travel with artists such as pianist and composer - Billy Childs, Kurt Elling, Marquis Hill, and Clayton Cameron.
Nick Glover Trio
The Nick Glover Trio is made up of Nick Glover on trumpet and piano, Alex Johnson on Bass, and Logan Lake on drums. They play a progressive, fusion-inspired form of jazz, mixing jazz's roots in the blues with funk and bebop. Based in northern Illinois, the trio has played at prestigious venues such as the Lazy Bird in Chicago.
Shout Section Big Band
Formed in 2007, the Shout Section Big Band has been entertaining audiences at swing dances, weddings, corporate events, city concerts, festivals and schools all over the Midwest. They’ve been featured on WGN TV, WBEZ radio, and on the nationally syndicated television show, “Vampire Diaries.” They were hired by Amazon.com to perform 1940’s swing for the opening of the Amazon Prime series “A League o Their Own.” Staffed by some of the best musicians in the Chicago Area, you’re going to love listening to and dancing to Shout Section Big Band!
Thot Dawg is a trio founded by bassist and composer Chano Cruz. This is his first endeavor as a band leader and the group consists of some of his long-time friends from music school: Jonny Gifford on drums and Matt Kavanaugh on guitar. They cover funk, jazz, fusion, pop, rock, and any music they think will catch the listener's attention.
Alyssa Allgood is a Chicago-based jazz vocalist, bandleader, educator, and composer who has been described as “assured and daring” by DownBeat Magazine and a “model of sophisticated song interpretation” by the Chicago Tribune. She brings a modern flair to the jazz tradition with her engaging arrangements, infectious swing feel, and lyrical focus of self-love, and human connection.
Bill Boris Jazz Trio
The Bill Boris Trio performs an exciting blend of Jazz, Pop, and original compositions with a vibrant contemporary sound. The group features Roger Harris on keyboards and Tyrone Blair on drums. Bill Boris has performed at festivals all over the world including the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Barbados Jazz Festival, and the Kaunas Jazz Festival in Lithuania. He can be heard on Mike Frost Project C.D. “Comin’ Straight at You,” which was nominated for a Grammy in 2007.
Jazz Violinist, Daniela Bisenius, was born in Bucharest, Romania. Her parents, both professional pianists, started her on violin at the age of five, and as a teen, she performed with her father and brother in Germany with major symphony orchestras and major opera houses. She has shared the stage with many great stars over the years such as Natalie Cole, Luther Vandross, Smoky Robinson and Kurt Elling.
Erik Skov Duo
Guitarist, educator, and composer, Erik Skov has been performing in Chicago for over a decade. An experienced performer on guitar, as well as banjo, Skov has been able to work professionally with top musicians and composers in the jazz and classical worlds. Skov can be seen performing in several Chicago based ensembles including Gustavo Cortinas Kind Regards, Kitt Lyles Real Talk, Emily Kuhn Quintet, Alvin Cobb Jr. Trio, MCH Trio, Matt Peterson Sextet, and Roy McGrath Chi-Town Sounds. Skov's most recent project, Liminality, is a six-piece jazz ensemble that features saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi, trumpeter Emily Kuhn, trombonist Euan Edmonds, bassist Kitt Lyles, and drummer Gustavo Cortinas. The ensemble's name, Liminality, comes from the anthropoligical term relating to the middle stages of a ritual or rite. In this stage, the participants have left their previous state and have begun a transformative process that will lead to the desired rewards. Skov's latest album aims to celebrate music as the state of liminality, a lifelong process aimed at connecting and communicating with others.
Frank Catalano is a 3-time Grammy-winning, and 11-time Grammy-nominated jazz saxophone player who has been heard by millions of people all over the globe. He has recorded alongside notable artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Destiny's Child, and John Legend. His most recent album, “Tokyo No. 9” was recorded in collaboration with Jimmy Chamberlin, the drummer for the alternative rock band “The Smashing Pumpkins”.
InFunktious is more than a traditional cover band - they bring you familiar music in a new and fresh way. They're best described as a rock and blues-driven band that gets funky with elements of jam and jazz. Members of InFunktious have recently opened up for Mark Lettieri Group & The Zack/Brock Bob Lanzetti Band of Snarky Puppy as well as Kick the Cat which features Kris Myers of Umphrey's McGee.
Kingdom of Groove
Kingdom of Groove is a jazz quartet that consists of local Chicagoland musicians: Sam Wyatt, Mary Halm, Andy Schlinder, and Steve Hunt. Kingdom of Groove will be providing the music at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church's Jazz Service, and will accompany The Chancel Choir's "Unity" conducted by Jeff Hunt. All music during this service including the hymns will be jazz style. Music will start at 9:15am with the service beginning at 9:30am.
Leonid & Friends
Comprised of 11 musicians from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus, Leonid & Friends captures the spirit, musicality, and fire of American supergroup, Chicago. With multiple sold-out U.S. tours, and hundreds of thousands of fans around the world, their videos have received more than 50 million views, and they’ve recorded two albums showcasing its tribute to Chicago.
Raíces Latin Jazz
Raíces pays homage to the originators of Latin Jazz such as Cal Tjader, Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria, and will also perform original music in the same style from their new, self-titled album. The group was founded by the late percussionist Ruben Alvarez to whom this performance will pay tribute. Raíces was received enthusiastically by the 2023 Chicago Latin Jazz Festival audience.
Andrew Egizio Trio
Andrew Egizio is a jazz trumpeter from the Chicagoland Area. Graduating from DePaul University where he earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Studies, Egizio had the opportunity to play with the DePaul Jazz Workshop. He has performed at many restaurants throughout St. Charles and the surrounding area, and at a variety of Chicago jazz club staples such as Andy’s Jazz Club and the Jazz Showcase.
Dean Simms and The Hot Notes
Virtuoso trumpeter, Dean Simms leads a tribute to one of the all-time greats, Louis Armstrong. The band also consists of Par Tolliver, on keyboards and lead vocals, as another principal member of the group. Hear Dean and his band perform renditions of “Basin Street Blues”, “Wonderful World”, “The Saints Go Marching In” and more Louis Armstrong classics. Dean Simms and The Hot Notes have opened for famous acts such as Kelly Price, Warren Hill, and Oleta Adams.
Award-winning bassist, Ethan Philion is a composer and bandleader based in Chicago. Before moving to Chicago, Philion spent three years working as a bassist in DC and Baltimore performing at Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, the Kennedy Center, and more. In 2017, he moved to Chicago where he was weekly residency with Alfonso Ponticelli at the Green Mill and frequently at clubs including the Jazz Showcase, Andy's Jazz Club, The California Clipper, and Constellation. He has performed with an extensive list of jazz artists including Rufus Reid, Greg Ward, Dana Hall, Mark Feldman, and many more.
Native of Transylvania, Romania, Gabriel Datcu is a guitarist who began his musical career at the age of 4. Since arriving to the Chicagoland area in 2000, Datcu has been providing live entertainment as a solo guitarist, or with ensembles, locally and nationally for over 20 years, becoming a versatile guitarist. He improvises styles of Classical, Jazz, Latin, Funk, R&B, Motown, Acoustic Rock to current pop hits. He has had the opportunity to perform at venues including Grant Park, Jazz Showcase, Willis-Sears Tower, and many more.
Jack Macklin Trio
The Jack Macklin Trio is a bright light in the growing community of improvised music. The Trio will uniquely navigate their way through popular songs ranging from the present to the 1950's, as well as sprinkle in original material. Macklin is currently residing in Nashville, TN and intends to represent his experiences and American culture through his music. For a thoughtful artist like Macklin, who will research and connect with an idea and material, it is a liberating experience to connect with and explore music on a deep level. There is a sense of spontaneity, and exploration whenever this group sets foot on the bandstand. During his time in Chicago, Macklin has been heralded by WGN Chicago, and Chicago Reader magazine for his continuous work to push the music forward, and manifest a community around his music. Macklin is thrilled to share his developments with his trio, and expand upon his goal of performing music that goes beyond genres to connect with an audience on a personal level and leave the listeners wanting more.
John Wesley Band
John Wesley III was born and raised in Chicago, where his father played trumpet and his mother directed and sang in the church choir. Music has played a large part in the Wesley household. At about age 12, John heard his first live jazz saxophone solo. It was love at first note. From there, his life as a musician began. From the Gallery 37 Jazz Band internship to the Chicago All-City Jazz Ensemble. From the ensemble came the creation of the John Wesley Experience (JWE), a group of musicians that come together to make people feel good. JWE is currently in residence at The Duplex in Chicago's Logan Square on the third Thursday of every month.
Kirby Fellis is an accomplished performer, educator, composer and arranger. Born and raised in South Florida, Fellis attended both Performing Arts Schools at Parkway Middle and Dillard High studying under Melton Mustafa Jr. and Christopher Dorsey respectively. Currently, he is the Graduate Assistant in the Jazz Studies field at Northern Illinois University.
Matt Shevitz Duo
Matt Shevitz is an in-demand musician in the jazz, blues, and popular music scenes of Chicago area. He has performed alongside such internationally renowned jazz musicians as Dick Hyman, Ignacio Berroa, Howard Levy, Frank Capp, and Frank Wess along with blues/roots rock guitarist Eric Lindell and Ropeadope Records artists Spare Parts. Shevitz has performed at Jazz in the Park Festival (Milwaukee), Waterfront Blues Festival (Portland), Chicago Blues Festival, Lollapalooza and House of Blues in Chicago. Shevitz has contributed to DownBeat Magazine since 2009 with articles analyzing transcripts of jazz solos as well as jazz theory and effective practice habits. He is featured regularly on WDCB, Chicago's public radio jazz station, both as an interviewee and a performer, and has released two albums as a a bandleader, Forward Motion (2018), and First Take! Live on WDCB (2022). Shevitz is a professor and the Director of Jazz Ensembles at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL.
Sam Robinson Quartet
Since 2003, Sam Robinson has played in venues all over Chicago and the Midwest. He currently leads the Sam Robinson Quintet, which plays straight-ahead jazz, mainly from the hard-bop/post-bop era. The band also performs original compositions in a similar style. In 2019, he released his debut album, "Sweet Love of Mine," and his second album, "Be With Me: Live at the Eastgate Cafe," in 2022. For more information including YouTube footage, upcoming shows, CD information, interviews and reviews, please visit samrobinsonmusic.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the performances free of charge?Most jazz performances are free of charge, but some do require tickets. Check the schedule for more details.