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September 12th-15th

Presented By

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 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.

2024 Jazz Performers

Aimee Gwen Duo

Led by guitarist Aimee Gwen, this group performs regularly throughout the Chicagoland Area. The band plays a mix of jazz including swing and bossa. 

Andy Schlinder Duo

Andrew Schlinder is a Chicago-based saxophonist. Following the receiving of his Bachelor’s in Music at Chicago College of the Performing Arts, he has been able to play with popular musicians like Ralph Bowen, John Swana, Lew Soloff, and many more. He plays regularly with a variety of jazz groups such as Bill O’Connell and the Chicago Skyliners, The Heritage Jazz Orchestra, New Nostalgia to name a few. 

Diego Rodriguez Big Band

The Diego Rodriguez Big Band, commonly known as the DRBB, emerged onto the Chicago jazz scene in December 2022 with a profound commitment to the art form and a dedicated to preserving the legacy of big band music. 

Led by drummer Diego Rodriguez, this ensemble stands as a testament to the enduring traditions of Black American Music. Rooted in the greats who laid the foundations of this music, the DRBB reverently pays homage to their contributions while simultaneously aiming to create their own sound. Their repertoire is marked by a fusion of standard repertoire and original arrangements/compositions, encapsulating the essence of both the past and the present.

Frank Catalano

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”.

Jack Macklin

Jack Macklin is a Guitarist, Composer, and educator originally hailing from Chicago, IL. Macklin's love for the guitar began at an early age starting with the first song he learned how to play; "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osborne. This sparked a life-long pursuit for Macklin to explore and discover the impact of music on humanity. Macklin's music is deeply inspired by improvisation and the lineage of master musicians who came before while exploring the boundaries of modern music by blurring the lines of what a genre can be.  Macklin now resides in Nashville, Tennessee where he continually interacts with Nashville's best musicians and is invested in the community. Macklin is continuing to compose and perform regularly in Nashville and beyond.

Macklin is known throughout the community as a young lion and has already performed with many notable musicians at the age of 25 including; Matt Ulery, Greg Ward, Joel Frahm, Donny McCaslin, Marcus Finnie, Dave Douglas, Don Aliquo, Bruce Foreman, and many others. Macklin has been a part of many successful projects including the notable "Red Door Band" which was featured in news articles by Chicago Read and WGN. The band also released an EP in the summer of 2020, which features Macklin as a co-leader in the group. Macklin is invested in his trio which released its debut EP entitled One that's on all streaming services and for sale on his website. His experience working with admired musicians from many different traditions has made him an interactive, and versatile musician who is finding his distinct musical voice.

Macklin currently performs at Authentique Wine Bar twice a week in Nashville, TN, and multiple weekly performances in Church Street Park. Macklin embraces these opportunities to workshop his compositions and perspective of music. Macklin's goal is to create a band that goes above and beyond genres to connect with the audience on a personal level and to have a compelling experience that leaves the listener wanting more. 

Neal Alger Duo

It makes perfect sense that Neal Alger's jazz guitar style and compositions reflect a variety of styles and approaches. Over the years, Neal has played different kinds of music and they've continued to influence him up to this day. For example, Neal performed hard rock/heavy metal as a teenager and co-wrote nearly all of the music in his first rock band entitled Requiem.

Right before and during college, the jazz bug caught Neal and he began listening to legends like saxophonist Charlie Parker and pianist Chick Corea. While participating in Northern Illinois University's Jazz Ensemble, Neal had the privilege of sharing the stage with Clark Terry, Tito Puente, Claudio Roditi, and Jon Faddis. These artists unknowingly started Neal's love for Brazillian and Afro-Cuban music as well as straight-ahead jazz.

After graduating from NIU with a bachelors' degree in jazz guitar performance, Neal moved to Chicago and has been freelancing there ever since. Neal has performed or recorded with Lin Halliday, Howard Levy, Grazyna Augusick, Leslie Gore, Ed Thigpen, and most notably, singer/pianist Patricia Barber. Neal has toured Europe, Canada, and the U.S. with Patricia and he is featured on her Blue Note Records releases VERSE (2002), LIVE: A FORTNIGHT IN FRANCE (2004), MYTHOLOGIES (2006), and THE COLE PORTER MIX (2008). Neal has also appeared on recordings by Chicago-based musicians/groups including Nick Bisesi, Jo Ann Daugherty, BMR4, Matt Geraghty, Sharay Reed, and Steve Hashimoto.

United by a love of both straight-ahed jazz and R&B/Hip-Hop in the early 2000's, Alger and dynamic vocalist Typhanie Monique formed a musical and personal friendship that continues to the present day and their duo project (complete with special guests) has released three CD's that have garnered considerable critical praise: INTRINSIC (2004), IN THIS ROOM (2007), and YULETIDE GROOVE (2008). Neal made a guest appearance on Typhanie's most recent disc, the highly ambitious work CALL IT MAGIC (2017) and they perform regularly around the Chicagoland area.

In addition to modern jazz, Neal's ever-expanding musical curiosity has led him to play in other groups that are sometimes jazz-related, sometimes not. Neal plays R&B fusion with keyboardist/singer William Kurk, rock/pop movie soundtracks with Androgynous Mustache, sophisticated pop with Steely Dan cover band Bad Sneakers Orchestra and classic rock covers with Cast Iron Skillet.

While Neal currently has sufficient original music for a new jazz CD, his current focus is on the many facets of Brazilian popular music through the performances of three groups: a guitar-bass-drums trio (NEAL ALGER'S BRAZILIAN TRIO) which features jazz improvisation over songs by popular Brazilian composers, a flute-guitar duo (DUO TEMPERO BRASILEIRO) which performs an older Brazilian style called choro, and a dance-focused samba quintet (BOSSA TRES) led by vocalist Dill Costa.

In addition to his busy performing schedule, Alger teaches jazz improvisation, jazz history, and coaches several groups at both Elmhurst College and Roosevelt University (Chicago).

Ten Cat Swing

Ten Cat Swing is a Chicago-based acoustic quartet, bringing a fresh twist to the jazz standards everyone loves. Our music captures the essence of gypsy jazz and beyond, offering the perfect blend of timeless melodies and innovative arrangements. Whether you’re a jazz aficionado or someone new to the genre, our tunes are engaging, easy to listen to, and will make you want to dance, swoon, or croon along with us! Ten Cat Swing performs at a variety of venues and events, from intimate gatherings to grand celebrations, bringing jazz to life wherever we play, and delivering an unforgettable musical experience that is truly “the cat's meow”!

Tina Jenkins Crawley

Tina has shared the stage with numerous stars such as, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Sarah Bareilles, Cyndi Lauper, and Lionel Richie to name a few. She has also appeared on the hit Fox TV show “Empire.” Her album “The Longest Journey” reached #1 on the UK Soul Charts.

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.

Chris White Trio

Originally from Toronto, Chris White has gained recognition as a leader with the albums Young at Heart and Tributaries. At home in a host of genres and settings, he has made his name as a go-to freelance pianist, arranger and accompanist in the Chicago area. His performance credits include the Chicago Jazz Festival, The Jazz Showcase, The Green Mill, Winter's Jazz Club, Cliff Bell's, Catalina Jazz Club, Feinstein's/54 Below (NYC) and the The Jazz Kitchen, among others.

Erik Skov Trio

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. 

Glenn Miller Orchestra

The most popular and sought after big band in the world today for both concert and swing dance engagements. With its unique jazz sound, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is considered to be one of the greatest bands of all time. The present Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed in 1956 and has been touring worldwide ever since. 

Javier Red Trio

Comprising Javier Red on piano, Dan Thatcher on bass, and Tim Davis on drums, the trio presents a performance centered around their interpretation of Thelonious Monk's compositions. They skillfully meld Monk's distinct rhythmic nuances with their own improvisational styles.

St. Charles East Jazz Workshop

The St. Charles East Jazz Workshop is comprised of St. Charles East band students who have a passion for performing jazz music.

The Jimmy Farace Quartet

Jimmy Farace is a dedicated jazz baritone saxophonist, composer, and educator based in the vibrant city of Chicago. Farace is known for collaborating with acclaimed musicians and presenting innovative projects that blend jazz tradition with a unique, thematic approach. His compositions have been described as “delightfully elegant, flirtatiously succulent” (Exclusive Magazine) and tone has been celebrated as “big and sonorous – visceral while giving hints of Gerry Mulligan coolness” (Jazz Weekly). Farace firmly believes that music should be accessible to all, serving as a universal language that communicates themes and emotions shared by every human being. 

This performance will feature Farace’s original compositions and arrangements for a jazz quartet, featuring a stellar lineup of highly acclaimed Chicago musicians. The ensemble comprises GRAMMY award-winning Clark Sommers on bass, Dana Hall on drums, and Kenny Reichert on guitar.

Wayne Messmer Quartet

Wayne Messmer is a native-born Chicagoan and veteran entertainer and one of Chicago’s most recognized voices. He has been seen and heard for decades performing the National Anthem for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Wolves Hockey, Blackhawks, Bears, Bulls, White Sox, Chicago Sting Soccer, Loyola and Northwestern Universities. He has also appeared at major functions and conventions across the country, as well as in concert and in smaller settings of jazz clubs and senior communities.

In addition to his work with sports, Messmer is a highly respected professional speaker, broadcaster and musical performer who loves to share his talents with appreciative audiences across the greater Chicagoland area. Wayne’s ability as a singer of the classic tunes from “The Great American Songbook,” Standards and selections from the Broadway stage have earned rave reviews. He has been described as a “singer of remarkable talent,” reminiscent of the song stylings of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and the other great crooners of the golden era of popular music.

Wayne’s live performances have been applauded for their outstanding entertainment value. As a master storyteller with an engaging personality, Messmer connects with every audience before whom he appears, sharing his voice, along with a sense of humor sharing memories and anecdotes to make the music come to life.

Wayne performs a solo act with a keyboard and supplemental customized music tracks. Additionally, he also frequently appears with a pianist, his Jazz combo or the Wayne Messmer Big Band and also with his talented wife Kathleen Messmer.

Andrew Lawrence Trio

Andrew Lawrence, who plays keys with Leslie Hunt in District 97, is one of the top-call pianists and keyboardists for live performances and recordings in the Chicago-area. A native of Chicago, Andrew started his classical piano studies at the age of five. 

In addition to District 97, Andrew splits his time between the jazz-rock nonet New Nostalgia, a weekly residency at aliveOne in Chicago with the jazz fusion band Bonzo Squad (which was nominated for the Best Jazz Ensemble in Chicago by the Chicago Reader), and the Andrew Lawrence Trio.

Derrick Gardner

Jazz trumpeter, Derrick Gardner, inspired by the finest hard-blowing funky bop bands of the 1960's, is working to extend that great tradition as a composer, arranger, performer, leader and educator. With extraordinary, creative natural talent, Derrick quickly made his mark upon arriving on the New York jazz scene in 1991. There he began a top-flight career that has taken him around the world performing internationally with the Count Basie Orchestra, (1991-present), Frank Foster's Loud Minority Band, Harry Connick Jr.'s Big Band, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and Swiss tenor player Roman Schwaller's European Sextet. Among his performance locales are Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Japan, South Africa and Thailand as well as many premiere venues in the United States. Over the last 18 years Derrick has worked with a tremendous litany of artists that include late Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Frank Foster, Jon Faddis, Nancy Wilson, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Rufus Reid and Clark Terry just to name a few.

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.

Harry Tonchev Trio

Harry Tonchev is a Bulgarian-American jazz guitarist and electrical engineer who currently lives and works in the Chicago area. He holds a B.A. in music performance from University of Central Oklahoma, B.S. in electrical engineering from University of Oklahoma and M.S. in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University. While living in Oklahoma, Harry has performed with Oklahoma City Jazz Orchestra, OKC Lyric Theatre, Brian Gorrell and the Jazz Company, and many others. As time permits, Harry enjoys the company of his wife and two kids, going to jazz jam sessions and further developing his improvisational music skills.

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.

St. Charles North Jazz Workshop

The St. Charles North Jazz Workshop is comprised of St. Charles North band students who have a passion for performing jazz music. 

The Paul Abella Trio

The Paul Abella Trio thinks that Jazz should be funky, soulful, gritty, and fun. They seemingly take their inspiration from everywhere…Southern Soul, Midwestern Funk, Nuyorican Salsa, and of course, the long list of Chicago Jazz royalty. From the soul-stirring tenor of Gene Ammons or the cerebral funk of Eddie Harris, to the one of a kind sound of George Freeman, and the bold expressions of Jeff Parker, they're here for all of it.

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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.

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