Lauren & David (Bride's Parents)
Susan & Dan
Kristen & Isaac
312 Chicago Compilation Video
If you don’t want a cookie-cutter wedding or a traditional Chicago wedding band, check out 312 Chicago. Their artistry and explosive energy will create an unforgettable experience. This dynamic dance band features two of Chicago’s most charismatic performers. Nicholas has opened for legendary artists B.B. King, Al Green, the Neville Brothers and just released his tenth CD. Yvonne has toured with Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion and Madonna. Their soulful vocals and inventive style will pack your dance floor all night.
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band leader, vocals & guitar
Nicholas is an artist down to the core and a free spirit who wears his heart on his sleeve. His powerful voice grabs your attention, touches your soul, and inspires you out onto the dance floor.
Mr. Heart and Soul
Singer/guitarist Nicholas Barron has been entertaining Chicago audiences for more than two decades with his signature soulful vocals and unique interpretation of songs. Nicholas has opened for such national headliners as B.B. King, Al Green, Johnny Cash and the Neville Brothers and was featured in 2007 in the New York Times Emerging Artists series. In 2007 Nicholas released his first solo acoustic CD, As I Am, which highlights his original mix of blues, folk and soul and another solo offering, Two Of One Mind, in early October 2014.
Nicholas co-created a “live wire soul” tuba-based trio called The Strapping Owls with a New Orleans and Chicago Blues ‘n Funk ’n roll vibe. They are currently working on a combo of a CD and DVD to be released soon. He’s also planning to record with his dynamic duo partner, cellist Ben Davis, comprising of folk-singer songwriter and acoustic songs.
Ain’t no stoppin’ Yvonne Gage when she hits the stage. She electrifies the room with her big voice and presence. She’s equally adept at jazz, soul, and contemporary pop music.
A Musical Gem With Serious Pipes
Yvonne is an R&B and jazz singer who has sung with some of the most famous singers and musicians in the world. She has shared the stage and recording studio with Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder. Madonna, Smokey Robinson, Peter Cetera, Richard Marx, Ramsey Lewis, R. Kelly, and CeCe Winans. Yvonne is also a writer and producer, having recently released her own CD single titled “Rainbow.” When she’s not performing on stage, Yvonne is singing jingles. She has recorded countless television and radio commercials in the past twenty years. She’s also recognized for singing on and helping to create the soundtrack for the TV show, Empire.
Frank is a lover of life, family, and most importantly the bass. His knowledge and understanding of the instrument is unmatched and music is at his core. With an incredibly deep groove, Frank has a way of making everyone in the room feel the music and have a great time.
All About That Bass
Bass guitarist Frank Russell, a native of Chicago, started his music career early playing drums, guitar and sax before switching to bass guitar at the age of 14, and has been playing it ever since. Russell’s diverse performance background includes working on Grammy-nominated albums with Henry Johnson, performing at Steppenwolf Theater productions, and winning first prize in the 1992 Best of Chicago Jazz Search. He has performed in countless jazz festivals like Newport Jazz Festival, the Telluride Jazz Festival, and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and has performed with such distinct artists such as Ramsey Lewis, Freddie Hubbard, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Bobby Irving, Art Porter, and many others. Jazz writer, Dave Freeman writes, “For the complete Frank Russell bass experience, see him live, he’s one of the escapees from Monster Bass Island.”
Born in Oak Lawn, Illinois, Timothy started on piano and switched to saxophone in high school. Originally pursuing an engineering degree at UIUC, his love of jazz was fostered there by Sinclair Greenwell (“Guido Sinclair”).
Bring on the Brass
Returning to Chicago 1992, he finished a degree in Jazz Studies at DePaul University.
He has performed with Jon Faddis, Branford Marsalis, Phil Woods, Benny Carter, Frank Wess, Bob Mintzer, Nancy Wilson, Doc Severinsen, Larry Nozero, Buddy DeFranco and Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, the Four Tops, Roberta Flack, Peabo Bryson, Frankie Valli and Aaron Neville. He has also accompanied a variety of Broadway shows and the Milwaukee and Rockford Symphonies. After releasing a CD of original compositions, he is working on a CD with wife Ellen Germaine. Additionally, Tim teaches instrumental lessons, coaches jazz combos and orchestra at FW Parker School in Chicago, and serves as an adjudicator for the LALPC and IMEA.
Andrew Distel was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. While studying at the prestigious College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, he was taken under the wing of Mary Ellen Tanner, sitting in and learning from some of the great musicians in the Cincinnati jazz scene including John Von Ohlen and Cal Collins. His trumpet mentors include the much sought after teacher and clinician, Pat Harbison; and the world-renowned trumpet guru, William Adam, former professor at Indiana University.
Blows You Away
Upon his arrival in Chicago, he began headlining at such notable venues as the Pump Room, the Green Mill, Pops for Champagne, Green Dolphin Street and performing at a variety of festivals including the International Association of Jazz Educators. He has performed or recorded with Ira Sullivan, Cal Collins, Bobby Caldwell, Ron Hawking, Rob Parton, Fred Hersch, Paul Leim, Brent Mason, Jimmy Nichols, Joe Chemay, Scott Burns, Ted Sirota, Bob Bowker, Darmon Meader, the Lakeside Singers, and the Phil Degreg Trio. Andrew’s performance experience has allowed him hone his craft even further with a band comprised of some rising stars of the Chicago jazz scene.
Kwame Steve Cobb, a veteran drummer, songwriter and producer, began his professional career at age 16 performing in lounges and nightclubs on the south side of Chicago. Kwame is a significant contributor to the celebrated history of the Chicago music scene as a session and touring musician. His discography spans over three decades and includes record sessions as well as commercials for radio and television.
A Guiding Beat
As recording artists, Kwame and his wife, Chavunduka wrote and produced the classic recording call “Seven Principles,” the first complete contemporary collection of original songs for Kwanzaa. Their song “It’s Kwanzaa Time” has been embraced as the anthem of Kwanzaa by celebrants around the world and has been featured in a number of TV and radio programs. Kwame and his wife, Chavunduka have eight adult children, and ten grandchildren. His ongoing commitment is to use the arts and African culture to promote health and peace in the world.
Leandro Lopez Varady first performed at the age of 19 in his native Buenos Aires, Argentina. He graduated from the Catholic University of Arts and Musical Sciences “Santa Maria de los Buenos Aires”, where he majored in Composition, receiving a Gold Medal and Honorable Mention in 1992. In the late 1990’s, Leandro has toured through Asia with the Eldeé Young Quartet in Singapore, South Korea and China.
Lean on his Melodies
Since 1999, Leandro became part of the music scene here in Chicago. He has played in several venues as The Green Mill, The Jazz Showcase, Andy’s Jazz Club, and Fitzgerald’s among others, as well as different festivals as Chicago Jazz Festival, South Shore Jazz Festival, Chicago Summer Dance, Detroit Jazz Festival, and The Jazz Bistro in St. Louis, MO.
In 2003, Leandro recorded a solo piano CD entitled “Snail Shell” and participated as a sideman in several other recordings. Leandro Lopez Varady currently works as a Music Director at Saint Martin’s Episcopal Church in Chicago and as a pianist, teacher, arranger, and composer.