December Shows Announced At City Winery Chicago

By: Nov. 19, 2018
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December Shows Announced At City Winery Chicago

The following are acts performing at City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph Street, in December for consideration in your upcoming calendar and cultural listings. All City Winery Chicago events are open to all ages and start at 8:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Tickets can be purchased by calling 312-733-WINE (9463) or by visiting

Andrew Ripp

Saturday, December 1


Currently based in Nashville, singer/songwriter Andrew Ripp began his music career in Palatine, Illinois. Ripp creates music that pushes the boundaries of genre stereotypes, blending the energetic beats of pop music into a soul culture and adding the depth and groove of soul music into a pop culture. Since beginning his career in 2005, Ripp's songs and records have successfully impacted a diverse and growing audience including true music lovers (fans that appreciate the nuances of a well-crafted album) and easy listeners (fans who simply want to hear a catchy tune). Ripp has opened for Sara Bareilles, Andy Grammer, Needtobreathe, Jon Foreman, and the Plain White T's. He has performed on high-profile TV shows including ABC's "Bachelor in Paradise" and "Entertainment Tonight" and his songs have been featured on "American Idol," "House of Lies," "One Tree Hill," and "Vampire Diaries." In 2018, Ripp announced his latest full-length album, The Heart & The Soul, will be released in two halves. The first half, The Heart, is now available.

Jennifer Knapp & Margaret Becker 'Hymns of Christmas'

Sunday, December 2; 12:00 p.m.

GA Seated $18 in advance/$22 day of show

+$20 brunch buffet available

Hymns of Christmas pairs two gifted singer/songwriters in a musical setting that gives a fresh spin to a set of traditional holiday tunes. Jennifer Knapp and Margaret Becker share a background in Christian pop/rock, as well as a willingness to push against the genre's conventions. Knapp has had two albums chart on the Top Contemporary Christian chart while Becker has received multiple Grammy nominations. In Hymns of Christmas, the pair goes for both complementary and contrasting vocal arrangements as they ground their sound in acoustic guitars, bass, and light percussion. Songs from centuries past are embroidered with deft harmonies and filled with a spirit of joy and camaraderie. Both singers take their turns in the spotlight, with Becker shining on a jazzy reworking of "The First Noel" and Knapp stepping forward to deliver folk-styled takes on "Go Tell It on the Mountain" and "The Coventry Carol." Whether the songs are famous or obscure, Knapp and Becker render each number with loving care, lending an inviting glow to the album overall.

An Evening with Suzy Bogguss

Sunday, December 2; 7:00 p.m.


Suzy Bogguss is the recipient of a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album as a part of Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster, as well as several awards from the Academy of Country Music, The Country Music Association, CMT and ASCAP. Her songs have been heard on television shows and in commercials. She has performed on many national television shows including: "In Performance at The White House" (PBS), "A Capitol 4th" (PBS), "Austin City Limits," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Live with Regis And Kelly" and "The View." Bogguss is a frequent guest on National Public Radio's "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor. In 2011, Bogguss released American Folk Songbook, a 17-song CD and hardcover book with stories and sheet music. Her latest album, Aces Redux, was released in 2016.

Dave Hollister

Monday, December 3; 7:00 p.m.

R&B singer Dave Hollister has been in the music business for thirty years. He spent the first half of his career touring as a background singer, appearing on TuPac's "Brenda's Got a Baby" and Keep Ya Head Up," and becoming a member of the group Blackstreet. For the last fifteen years, however, he has enjoyed fame as a solo artist. His first two solo albums, Ghetto Hymns and Chicago 85, both went gold and included the top ten hit singles "My Favorite Girl" and "One Woman Man." The foundation of Hollister's latest release Chicago Winds...The Saga Continues is classic R&B, which he refers to as real music sans techno-heavy
electric synthesizers.

Kris Allen - Somethin' About Christmas and VIP Meet & Greet

Tuesday, December 4


Although not the first contestant to play his own instrument on "American Idol", Kris Allen benefitted more than most from the experience, and his coffeehouse singer/songwriter vibe earned him a first-place finish in 2009. Allen emphasized his wide-ranging abilities as a musician, playing piano during a cover of "Ain't No Sunshine" and strumming the guitar for an acoustic take on Kanye West's "Heartless," securing him a win in the tough singing competition.

Shortly after "American Idol," Allen began to prep for the release of his debut album in late 2009, working with songwriters and producers including Eg White, Chris Daughtry, and David Hodges. The album's first single, "Live Like We're Dying," was released in September and peaked at number 89 on the singles charts, followed two months later by Allen's self-titled debut album. Allen returned in 2012 with his sophomore album, Thank You Camellia. The album found Allen working with a handful of producer/songwriters including former Sugarcult singer Tim Pagnotta, Nasri & Adam Messinger, and Boots Ottestad, among others. Letting You In arrived in 2016 and was his second consecutive release to debut in the Top 20 on Billboard's Independent chart. Allen brings his second Christmas album, Somethin' About Christmas, to City Winery Chicago this holiday, 2018. A limited number of Meet & Greet tickets are available for $50.

Joe Pug

Wednesday, December 5


Joe Pug has it figured his career, if not life: Just write the songs that have to be written, play them for anybody who will listen, tour as if you had no home. Oh, and give your music away. At the age of 23, Pug packed up his belongings and pointed his car towards Chicago. Working as a carpenter by day, Pug spent nights playing the guitar he hadn't picked up since his teenage years. Using ideas originally slated for a play he was writing called "Austin Fish," Pug began creating the sublime lyrical arrangements that would become the Nation of Heat EP. After playing over 200 shows, Pug took a brief respite to record his full-length debut. If Nation of Heat heralded the arrival of a talent to watch, the full-length Messenger assigns Pug a deserved spot among the finest songwriters of his generation.

The Empty Pockets Holiday Concert

Thursday, December 6


The Empty Pockets' often cerebral and sometimes playful indie rock sound is built on a foundation of Americana, blues, and Motown soul. An old-school sensibility showcased by multiple lead singers, rich harmonies, and skilled instrumentalists sets rootsy Chicago outfit Empty Pockets apart. Following their success as a Buddy Holly Tribute act, the foursome began an expedition to stomp on the floorboards, sing to the rafters, dance on their instruments, and create music completely on their own. The Pockets return to their Chicago hometown for this special evening of music filled with critically acclaimed originals and holiday favorites.

Syleena Johnson - Celebration of her book "The Weight is Over"

Friday, December 7; 7:00 & 10:00 p.m.


Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Syleena Johnson is one of those undeniable talents. Johnson has collaborated with everyone from Kanye West and Common to Anthony Hamilton and R. Kelly. She has appeared on television shows including TV One's "R&B Divas: Atlanta," WE TV's "Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars" and the TEGNA Media/ TV One daily live talk show "Sister Circle."

Johnson's latest album Rebirth of Soul was released in November 2017 and features Johnson's searing interpretations of classic R&B songs, mainly from the fifties and sixties, recorded in real-time with live musicians just the way "real music" used to be made. Recorded in Chicago, Johnson's long-time base and hometown, the sessions included musicians who played on hit R&B recordings over the years, and a majority of the album features songs associated with Chicago artists, songwriters, or record labels. The songs on Rebirth of Soul run the gamut from lesser-known gems such as Betty Everett's "There'll Come A Time," the original song "We Did It," and Bettye Swann's "Make Me Yours" to such landmark hits as "Chain of Fools" and "I'd Rather Go Blind," recorded definitively by Aretha Franklin and Etta James respectively. Johnson manifests an uncanny ability to get inside of each song, digging deep to deliver passionate performances that bring a fresh spark to even the best-known selections. With the release of Rebirth of Soul, Johnson reaffirms her place as one of the most dynamic singers of her generation, rooted in the great soul tradition and uniquely capable of moving it forward.

Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Players present: A Christmas Carol

Sunday, December 9; 12:00 p.m.

General Admission: $25 (seated) + optional $20 buffet add-on

The Chicago Philharmonic awakens the spirits of holidays past, present, and future to bring a touch of music magic to Charles Dickens' beloved story, A Christmas Carol. Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley's Ghost, the Cratchits, Tiny Tim, and more classic characters are brought to life by narrator Frank Babbitt while the Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Players weave in story and holiday-themed music selections. Joined by mezzo-soprano Maureen Davies, works will include Corelli's Christmas Concerto, Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Greensleeves, Sara Bareilles' Love is Christmas, Beethoven's Scherzo from String Quartet, and other seasonal favorites.

Los Lobos

Sunday-Thursday, December 9-12


Los Lobos, one of America's most distinctive and original bands, returns for their 7th consecutive December engagement at City Winery Chicago with a four-night stand. Best known for "La Bamba," Los Lobos draws equally from rock 'n' roll, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music. Since their first recordings, they have found ways to redefine and expand their sound, without ever straying from the musical traditions that form the heart and soul of the band.

Art Garfunkel

Friday-Saturday, December 14-15


Six-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Art Garfunkel has made an indelible mark on the music world as both a solo artist and half of the unrivaled Simon & Garfunkel known for hits such as "Mrs. Robinson," "The Sound Of Silence," "The Boxer," and "Bridge Over Troubled Water," among many others. In his current tour, Garfunkel performs a mix of these hits and works from his solo career to present an artful, moving, and lyrical memoir about the making of a musician, the evolution of a man, and a portrait of a life-long friendship with Paul Simon that became one of the most successful musical collaborations of all time.

Vienna Teng

Sunday, December 16


Indie-pop singer Vienna Teng tours with her most adventurous studio album, AIMS. The project is exuberant and buoyant in its enthusiasm yet crafted with the same creative precision that has defined her previous work. The acoustic piano, once the centerpiece of her recordings, plays an occasional supportive role here; in its place are intricate layers of electronica, percussion, strings, and electric guitars. Through richly unique tracks, Teng explores inequality through the eyes of a compassionate investment banker, the perspective of Big Data by densely layering and manipulating her vocals into an electronically-textured choir, and tender moments with folk-tinged album closer "Goodnight New York," a love letter to a previous home and relationship. The result is glorious, intelligent pop music with a signature all its own.

Tab Benoit

Monday-Tuesday, December 17-18


Louisiana born Blues star Tab Benoit is dedicated to drawing on his Cajun roots to fuel a long-standing discography of back-to-basics blues signatures, earning him several awards in the genre, including a 2006 Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album for Brother to the Blues, a collaboration with Louisiana's LeRoux, and multiple Blues Music Awards, including Best Contemporary Blues Male Artist two years in a row and two B.B. King Entertainer of the Year awards. With a career spanning back to nightly impromptu gigs at the Blues Box, a local Louisiana institution, and a record deal with Justice Records, Benoit has produced nearly 20 albums since 1993. Keeping in touch with his home state, Benoit also starred in the IMAX motion picture Hurricane on the Bayou, a documentary about Hurricane Katrina's effects and a call to restore the wetlands. Benoit returns to City Winery in celebration of his long career in blues.

Kurt Elling

Wednesday-Thursday, December 19-20


Grammy Award-winner Kurt Elling is among the world's foremost jazz vocalists. He won the DownBeat Critics Poll for fourteen consecutive years and was named "Male Singer of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association on eight occasions. An international jazz award winner, he has also been Grammy nominated a dozen times. Most recently, he released a Christmas album, The Beautiful Day: Kurt Elling sings Christmas (Okeh Records). Elling, a Chicago native, returns to the city following annual sell-out gigs at City Winery since 2015.

Michael McDermott - Mischief & Mistletoe

Friday-Sunday, December 21-23


Described by author Stephen King as "one of the best songwriters in the world and possibly the greatest undiscovered rock 'n' roll talent of the last 20 years," Michael McDermott's brand of rock 'n' roll brims with the kind of well-honed style and wisdom that can only come from a career on the road and a pedigree in the studio. Effortlessly blending natural folk sensibility, pop hooks and honest rock, McDermott's music is as much for the outcast as the congregation. It's an exploration of the dark corners of life's journey and it resonates middle class truths through the passionate filter of a kid that grew up on Chicago's Irish South Side. McDermott brings his latest release studio album Out From Under to City Winery Chicago.

Christmas for the Jews featuring Joel Chasnoff, Moody McCarthy, and Rabbi Barry Schechter

Tuesday, December 25

General Admission seated: $28 advance/$32 at the door

Following sold-out shows in 2016 and 2017, Joel Chasnoff's Christmas for the Jews returns to City Winery Chicago with special guests Moody McCarthy and Rabbi Barry Schechter. A Chicago native, Chasnoff is the author of the comedic memoir The 188th Crybaby Brigade about his service in the Israeli Army. He has performed on stage and screen in nine countries, including two off-Broadway shows, a USO comedy tour of Japan and Korea, more than 1,000 Jewish events in North America and Europe, and Israeli late-night TV. A graduate of I.O. (formerly Improv Olympic) in Chicago and UCB and The PIT in New York, Chasnoff regularly performs improv and teaches his Improv Comedy 101 Workshop to adults and teens. A portion of proceeds from Chasnoff's comedy and book sales is donated to his foundation, Project Elijah.

Shemekia Copeland

Wednesday-Thursday, December 26-27


Whether she's belting out a raucous blues-rocker, firing up a blistering soul-shouter, bringing the spirit to a gospel-fueled R&B rave-up or digging deep down into a subtle, country-tinged ballad, Shemekia Copeland sounds like no one else. With a voice that is alternately sultry, assertive and roaring, Copeland's wide-open vision of contemporary blues, roots and soul music showcases the evolution of a passionate artist with a modern musical and lyrical approach. Copeland's latest album, America's Child, is by far her most compelling work yet, with music swelling beyond blues and into spirited Americana, with elements of rock, soul, and country. From America's Child's anthemic opening track, "Ain't Got Time For Hate," to the closing lullaby, the traditional "Go To Sleepy Little Baby," Shemekia Copeland sings with passion and insight about the chaos and uncertainty in the world while still finding joy all around her.

Macy Gray

Friday-Saturday, December 28-29


Five-time Grammy nominee and multi-platinum artist Macy Gray is an American R&B and soul singer/songwriter, musician, record producer, and actress. She is known for her distinctive raspy voice and a singing style heavily influenced by Billie Holiday. Gray will be performing at City Winery as part of her latest tour in support of her 10th and newest LP, Ruby, which was released in September.


Sunday, December 30


Monday, December 31; 7:30 and 11:00 p.m.


Tuesday, January 1; 5:00 p.m.


Soul, R&B, and gospel singer/songwriter Avery*Sunshine, with thunderous pipes and heart-to-heart songs, is known for her invigorating and combustible live performances, compelling and revealingly honest songwriting, and her impeccable vocal instrument. Her life-inspired music is meant to spread joy and encouragement and to honor both human and spiritual relationships. "I want people to get my music. I don't want them to have to decipher some code in order to understand where I'm coming from," says Avery.

Avery*Sunshine's music is inspired by such diverse iconic figures as Nina Simone, Gladys Knight, The Doobie Brothers, Curtis Blow, B.B. King and John Coltrane to Parliament & Funkadelic, The Clark Sisters, Madonna, Miles Davis, Earth, Wind & Fire and?James Brown. In 2005, the singer lent her voice to the soundtrack for Paramount Pictures' The Fighting Temptations. In 2007, she was sought out by Grammy- and Tony Award-winning vocal powerhouse Jennifer Holliday to be choral director for the theatrical production of "Dreamgirls" during the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. Avery*Sunshine has also had the distinction of performing at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, CO and at private events during the 2009 Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Opened in 2012, City Winery Chicago is a fully operational winery, restaurant with outdoor patio, concert hall and private event space located in the heart of the West Loop at 1200 W. Randolph, in the historic urban Fulton Market district. Once a refrigerated food distribution warehouse, the 1911 building has been transformed into a contemporary 33,000 square foot haven for those passionate about wine, music and culinary arts. The décor evokes the romance of being in wine country, from the exposed stainless steel fermenting tanks and French oak barrels, to the aroma of fermenting grapes. The West Loop's only fully operation winery has produced dozens of in-house wines sourced from vineyards in California, Oregon, Washington, Argentina and Chile, including a Wine Enthusiast 90-point 2012 Bien Nacido Vineyard Reserve pinot noir. With more than 400 unique producers from around the world City Winery is recognized with 2014 and 2015 Best of Awards of Excellence "for having one of the most outstanding restaurant wine lists in the world" by Wine Spectator. The globally inspired, locally sourced, wine-focused food menu is conceived for pairing and sharing. The concert hall accommodates up to 300 guests, all seated at tables with complete beverage and dining service, ensuring a comfortable "listening room" experience enhanced by a state-of-the-art Meyer Sound system. Riedel is the official and exclusive provider of glassware, showing City Winery's commitment to enjoying quality wine in a quality vessel. American Airlines is the Official Airline and Virgin Hotels Chicago is the Official Hotel of City Winery. For more information, please visit


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