Fatoumata Diawara, Freddy Jones Band and More Will Perform at City Winery Chicago
City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph Street, announces Grammy-nominated Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara, roots rock group Freddy Jones Band and more. The following shows go on sale to the public on Friday, November 22 at noon. Tickets will be available at citywinery.com/chicago.
All City Winery Chicago events are open to all ages and start at 8 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m., unless noted.
Saturday, December 28
To urban contemporary listeners, Freddie Jackson is one of the biggest stars of the latter half of the '80s, dominating the R&B charts seemingly at will. Jackson's forte was sophisticated, romantic soul ballads aimed at adult audiences, but he was also capable of tackling urban contemporary dance fare and even the occasional jazz tune. In 1985, Jackson landed a record deal with Capitol and issued his debut album, Rock Me Tonight. The Laurence-penned title track stormed the R&B charts, spending a whopping six weeks at number one, and made Jackson an instant sensation on urban contemporary radio. "You Are My Lady" gave him a second straight R&B chart-topper and proved to be his highest-charting single on the pop side, peaking at number 13. With "He'll Never Love You (Like I Do)" and "Love Is Just a Touch Away" also hitting the R&B Top Ten, Rock Me Tonight topped the R&B album charts and went platinum. Jackson wasted no time issuing a follow-up set; Just Like the First Time appeared in 1986 on the heels of a number one R&B duet with Melba Moore, "A Little Bit More" (from her album A Lot of Love). Another platinum-seller, Just Like the First Time continued Jackson's incredible dominance of the R&B singles charts; "Tasty Love," "Have You Ever Loved Somebody," and "Jam Tonight" all hit number one, while "I Don't Want to Lose Your Love" went to number two. Jackson's more recent releases have been independent albums. These include Life After 30 (1999), It's Your Move (2004), Personal Reflections (2005), Transitions (2006), and For You (2010).
The Men of Mister Kelly's
Monday, January 13; 7:30 p.m.
The Men of Mister Kelly's is a benefit performance for the documentary Mister Kelly's Chicago. The show is a tribute to some of the greatest male entertainers of the 20th century featuring Steve Biossat, Andrew Distel, Sam Fazio, Bruce Henry, Frieda Lee, Michael Ross, Devon Sandridge, with Johnny Rodgers as music director, Joe Policastro (bass) and Phil Gratteau (drums), produced and hosted by Daryl Nitz. From 1953 until 1975, the greatest entertainers of the 20th Century, wowed audiences at Mister Kelly's, a small nightclub on Chicago's Rush Street. They presented male vocalist and comedians of all colors, to packed houses and critical acclaim from jazz legends: Mel Torme, Billy Eckstine, Bill Henderson, Bobby Short; pop stars Fats Domino, Barry Manilow, Lou Rawls, Harry Chapin, Donny Hathaway, Peter Allen; blues artists Muddy Waters and B.B. King; folk singers The Kingston Trio, Chad Mitchell, and Rod McKuen. Even Chicago's own Jimmy Damon, Jerry Butler, and legendary Frank D'Rone played Mister Kelly's. Audience members at City Winery Chicago will get a sneak peek at the upcoming documentary film, Mister Kelly's Chicago, produced by David Marienthal and Happy Medium Ventures.
Indie Soul Journeys Event with Sy Smith
Tuesday, January 28
Indie Soul Journeys is an interactive 30-minute docuseries devoted to the inspirational personal and musical stories of current and former independent soul, R&B, and urban alternative artists who are still following Black American Music traditions in the modern musical era. The series is narrated by India Arie. A fresh, inspiring docuseries profiling independent artists who have overcome an extraordinary personal adversity in their pursuit of musical stardom. Through intimate testimonials, first-hand narratives, and electrifying performances, Indie Soul Journeys answers the people's call, by bringing to life the incredibly aspirational stories of musician mavericks who dared-despite unsettling fears and troubling trials-to persevere and live out their wildest dreams.
Featured in one of the episodes of Indie Soul Journeys is soul singer Sy Smith. City Winery Chicago will screen the episode featuring Smith, followed by a performance by the artist herself. Smith has long since solidified her place in the world of underground soul music. This Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter and producer helped cultivate the nu-soul scene in that city more than 10 years ago, a scene which now easily boasts some of the most progressive artists of that genre to date, some of whom came directly from Smith's own band line-ups (including Thundercat and Kamasi Washington). Her catalog includes 5 studio albums, with contributions from a who's who of producers (James Poyser of The Roots, Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest and Nicolay of The Foreign Exchange). All five of her albums, including her brand new project Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete have been heralded by critics around the world for Smith's lyrical dexterity, her vocal whimsy (often colored with a very distinctive rhythmic swing that's all her own) and her ability to spin a story like few others in soul music. Listeners often remark on Smith's vocal range, which moves effortlessly from a speakeasy, gritty alto all the way to a stratospheric soprano whistle register reminiscent of the late Minnie Riperton.
Tuesday, February 25
Hailed as one of the most vital standard-bearers of modern African music, Fatoumata Diawara takes her artistry to fresh and thrilling heights on her new album FENFO. Boldly experimental yet respectful of her roots, it's a record that defines her as the voice of young African womanhood - proud of her heritage but with a vision that looks confidently to the future and a message that is universal. Her spectacular 2011 debut album Fatou made the Malian singer and guitarist the most talked about new African artist on the planet. FENFO (which translates to "something to say") dramatically fulfils that promise on a set of vivid and original new compositions that draw on the rich experiences she has enjoyed since. Those she has worked with include some of the biggest names in contemporary music. She recorded with Bobby Womack and Herbie Hancock; played Glastonbury and other major festivals; and toured with the Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca. She assembled a West African super-group featuring Amadou and Mariam, Oumou Sangaré and Toumani Diabaté to record a song calling for peace in her troubled homeland; and climbed aboard Damon Albarn's star-studded Africa Express, which culminated in her sharing a stage with Sir Paul McCartney.
Freddy Jones Band with special guest Brett Wiscons
Thursday, February 27
Freddy Jones Band is one of America's premier roots rock bands fronted by founding member and sole writer/singer of the band's biggest hit to date, "In A DayDream," Marty Lloyd, who plays alongside longtime member/bassist Rich Ross. The lineup rounds out with veteran musicians Stu Miller (guitarist) and Goose LaPoint (drummer). Freddy Jones Band is best known for their number one hits including "In a Daydream" and "Hold on to Midnight." Never Change is brand new music produced by a three-time Grammy winning producer Justin Niebank. Since the release of Never Change, Freddy Jones Band has been touring relentlessly. Currently, The Freddy Jones Band is working on new music to be released in early 2020.
Alan Doyle with special guest Chris Trapper
Friday, May 15
In Alan Doyle's third solo album, A Week at The Warehouse, he makes it plainly clear that there's a lot more than luck at play in this decades long, awards-studded career. This album was recorded live off the floor with Doyle's band. With producer Bob Rock at the helm, A Week at The Warehouse is filled with country-tinged, radio ready tunes that bring with them the flavor of some of Doyle's favorite artists from John Mellencamp to Rock's own band, Payolas. Doyle covers a Payolas tune on this album, "Forever Light Will Shine," with that band's singer, Paul Hyde appearing as a guest vocalist.
In addition to Rock's work with Payolas, Doyle loved the metal albums Rock produced in the eighties, and his more recent work with the Tragically Hip, Jann Arden, and others. That kind of ease and experience-plus the incredible talents of Doyle's touring band-made recording A Week at The Warehouse a relative breeze. Doyle's desire was to have an album that sounded and felt like the live show, and A Week at The Warehouse does just that.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on November 22 at noon. Only members of City Winery Chicago's signature VinoFile™ program have access to ticket sales tomorrow in addition to receiving: a waiver of ticketing fees; free valet parking; Restaurant Loyalty Rewards, such as a free pair of VIP concert tickets for every $500 spent on food & beverage in the restaurant; exclusive membership-only events; and access to the proprietary City Winery Virtual Sommelier™, which helps make suggestions for wines one might enjoy based on past consumption at the venue.