Here’s a taste for what’s been going on around the Chicago music scene the last few years: Pocket Radio is a Chicago-based band known for energetic live shows and music that combines jazz, funk, hip-hop, and soul and gets audiences on their feet. This original tune, written by tenor saxophonist, S. Hudgens, is a perfect example of Pocket Radio’s style.
Stitely Orchestra’s own Bill Overton has been practicing his many instruments during band rehearsals for the musical extravaganza, Louis and Keely “Live” at the Sahara, opening this week at the Royal George Theater.
Louis Prima and Keely Smith were an American musical sensation in the 50s and 60s, virtually pioneering the Lounge Act in Las Vegas. The show is an original Musical Love Story featuring many of the duo’s greatest hits including That Ol’ Black Magic, Hey Boy Hey Girl, What Is This Thing Called Love, Night Train, Ai Ai Ai, and I Can’t Believe You’re in Love With Me.
Frank Sinatra also appears in a pivotal role in this new American musical play, which features a hot seven-piece live band that is guaranteed to bring down the house.
Co-written, directed and produced by Taylor Hackford, best known for directing the movies “An Office and A Gentleman” and “Ray”. Hackford also happens to be married to actress Helen Mirren who is currently playing Elizabeth II in the Broadway run of The Audience.
Book your tickets now!
With so much music in this great city of ours, there is often too much to keep track of. You probably aren’t even aware of half of the live music that take place in the city any given month, and with people like the folks at Sofar, there’s no wonder.
According to their website, Sofar Sounds started in 2009 in a “tiny North London flat. Frustrated by the traditional live music experience, [they] hosted three young artists who played to a carefully selected audience of the true music lovers.”
This is the premise for Sofar Sounds secret shows. Here’s how it works. You sign up for an e-mail list, and every month you are notified of the date that a secret show will be taking place. You can specify which city you would like to attend in (out of many across the country and the world), then give a reason why you should be admitted into the secret show, which usually takes place in someone’s apartment or living room. You won’t know what artist you are about to hear until you show up the night of the show–how exciting!
The link to subscribe to their updates is here. What do you think–would you attend a show featuring a band you’ve never heard of in someone’s house you don’t know?
With Spring just around the corner, I’ve been itching to get out and do more things in the city! If you’re feeling that cabin fever and love hearing new music as much as I do, then here are some shows to check out this month!
Ariana Grande @ Allstate Arena
If you like top pop, head over to the arena for what will surely be an entertaining production with high wow-factor.
The Lone Bellow @ Lincoln Hall
Unfortunately sold out, but had to mention them. If you haven’t heard their new album “Then Came the Morning” it’s a must must must.
Ben Sollee @ City Winery
This cellist and songwriter’s music is incredibly unique and hard to describe. Transcending genre in the best way, Sollee will keep you entertained with his skill and creative use of his instrument.
Milo Greene @ Lincoln Hall
While Milo Greene is not actually a real person, the band certainly and thankfully is. Check them out.
The Dodos @ Lincoln Hall
The band has been around for about 8 years, but is consistently coming up with new and interesting additions to the genre. Check them out at Lincoln Hall!
The Apache Relay @ Schubas
More people should know about them. Period.
Bob Schneider @ SPACE in Evanston
This Austin, TX native will be playing back-to-back shows at SPACE in Evanston. Definitely one to catch! A unique and intimate venue featuring a uniquely talented lyricist.
Shooter Jennings @ City Winery
Get your country on.
March 12 & 13
JD McPherson @ Lincoln Hall
This man is true rock and roll. Headlining 2 show at Lincoln Hall it’s a wonder that they’re both not sold out yet. Get on this!
Thelonious Monday: An Evening of Bebop Jazz @ The Double Door
To jazz up your monday night, head to the Double Door for a unique night, tributing a legendary jazz musician.
Maroon 5 @ United Center
Mat Kearney @ The Riviera
A favorite of many, Mat Kearney is sure to entertain on his tour for his new album “Just Kids.”
Mortified! @ Lincoln Hall
While not exactly a music show, this hilarious comedy event is worth every penny! Listen as Chicagoans read their middle school and high school diaries out loud! So relatable, so hilarious, and completely mortifying in the best way.
Penny & Sparrow @ Schubas
This up-and-coming duo has been around for a while, but their newest album has gained well-deserved traction. They are ones to watch!
Matthew Perryman Jones @ City Winery
So mellow. So beautiful.
The von Trapps @ SPACE
Great-Grandchildren of the legendary Capt. & Maria von Trapp, this group has toured across the world, carrying on their family’s musical legacy.
Well folks, winter is here to stay in Chicago it seems. As the light at the end of tunnel still feels miles away, I’ve been searching for fun things to do in the city that won’t freeze my buns off. Going to shows is one of my favorite things, so I’ve compiled a list of shows taking place this month for you to think about attending! The list includes venues all over the city and suburbs, as well as old friends and new faces in the music scene. See below for a schedule with descriptions.
Wednesday, February 11
Winning the award for my new favorite band name, this band’s blend of “neo-soul, R&B, and ‘young funk’” is sure to be an exciting addition to your February.
Thursday, February 12
Up and coming Nashville singer/songwriter teamed up with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys to record her second album. Definitely one to watch.
For a little added southern warmth & Alabama Shoals flair to your February, don’t miss this singer/songwriter, Jason Isbell.
Friday, February 13
For your Chicago jazz fix let this incredible trumpeter whisk you away.
Saturday February 14
For a Valentine’s Day throwback hit up the City Winery for 10,000 Maniacs’ 2 shows.
For an even throwier-back (as well as a pretty penny) Fleetwood Mac will be playing their second show at Allstate Arena in the past year.
Tuesday, February 17
For all the Portlandia lovers out there, head to the Riviera for the grandest reunion show of the season.
Another American folk singer/songwriter whose sure to entertain in the most mellowest of ways. The intimate setting of the SPACE venue in Evanston is the perfect place to experience this kind of music.
Thursday, February 19
Winning the award for my second-favorite new band name, Timer Timbre will be your fix for all things bluesy and all things Canadian this winter.
Friday, February 20
The New Zealand pop artist will surely entertain and impress with her killer pipes at this unique Chicago venue.
Wednesday, February 25
Enough said. It’ll be what you think it will be…probably awesome.
Thursday, Februray 26
Nothing like your emo past-self getting a little love this winter. For a night of nostalgia, nothing is better.
Saturday, February 28
Japanese-American house artist brings electronic energy that will help you to celebrate the end of this wintery month, in one of Chicago oldest and most unique venues.
On a sweeter more mellow note, the Punch Brothers will be your bluegrass fix for the month. Their harmonies are beautiful and you’ll feel refreshed after listening.
So there you have it—your Chicago music for the month of February. Links to tickets are on all the artists’ names. Click through and enjoy the music!
Here at Stitely Entertainment, we don’t just play music for weddings but we love to revel in the musical roots of Chicago’s blues and jazz scenes. This week’s Music Monday will be featuring 2 Chicago jazz staples: The Bobby Lewis Quintet & the Jazz Showcase venue, founded by Joe Segal.
Jeff Stitely has been playing with the Bobby Lewis Quintet for about 15 years, but Bobby Lewis’ legacy started much earlier. Moving to Chicago in 1961, Bobby quickly became the top studio call for recording on albums, commercials and films. As a studio recording musician he has logged over 7500 recording sessions and has recorded with names like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Sammy Davis Jr., Joe Williams, Mel Torme, Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney, Al Jarreau & Frank Sinatra, Ramsey Lewis, Natalie Cole, Jack Teagarden—the list goes on. He also accompanied Tony Bennett for 15 years in all his Chicago appearances. Lewis not only plays with the greats, but is one himself. He has recorded 11 albums and acted as executive and musical producer on all of them.
This week, his Quintet will be playing at the Jazz Showcase, Chicago’s oldest jazz club. Established in 1947 by Joe Segal, and now owned and operated by his son Wayne, the Jazz Showcase is a cultural icon in Chicago. Joe has been called the “ambassador of jazz” to Chicago and is constantly doing whatever he needs to do to keep jazz alive in the city. The Jazz Showcase features live jazz 7 nights a week and continues to be a space where jazz thrives.
With two pillars of Chicago jazz being represented this weekend, there is no excuse not to come out and take a listen! The performances will take place Feb. 5-8, at 8 PM & 10 PM, with an additional 4 PM matinee on Sunday. For more information and tickets go to jazzshowcase.com.
Here at Stitely Entertainment we just love the music scene in Chicago. In the week’s Music Monday post we have the privilege of featuring one of our very own bandleaders, Nicholas Barron, and his solo gig coming up next month!
Nicholas, the leader of 312 Chicago, will be playing a solo show at Lincoln Hall on Wednesday February 4th. Tickets are $10 and it will be a night of awesome R&B and Blues music. Buy tickets here.
Not only is Nicholas a great musician, but also a talented artist in other mediums! (Note the custom guitar in the picture above!) Check out his website nicholasbarron.com for more info about his music and art.
See you at Lincoln Hall on Feb. 4th!
This week’s Music Monday feature is Allen Stone, a current favorite of Stitely’s Planning Coordinator Katy. In anticipation of the release of his new album Radius in 2015, Allen Stone is a force to be reckoned with. Many compare his sound to that of classic Motown/R&B singers while he classifies himself as a “soulful hippie.” His familiar R&B feel and tone combined with his quirky, hipster-geek style and lyrics makes this Washington-rooted artist appealing to an increasingly wider audience. Whatever the classification, Allen Stone is a little-known powerhouse that is sure to make waves this year. Let’s hope he makes a stop in Chicago again this year!
Check out this live performance of his single “Unaware” recorded from his mother’s living room.
If you’ve watched any TV this holiday season, it’s likely you’ve come across Acura’s commercial featuring a familiar holiday tune – “I Wish It Was Christmas Today.” You’ll remember the original version from the maroon-clad foursome Horatio Sans, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan & Tracy Morgan on Saturday Night Live in 2000. This hilarious song was an immediate SNL classic.
The version featured in the commercial (as well as topping my holiday playlist) is former Strokes’ lead singer Julian Casablancas’ 2009 cover of the comedy sketch.
Both videos are featured here—which one to do you enjoy more?
One of our most requested songs for our bands during Chicago’s wedding season has been the catchy and controversial “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor. It’s definitely a fun tune! For a new twist on the song, take a listen to this awesome jazz cover by Postmodern Juke Box featuring Kate Davis on Upright Bass.