Denise La Grassa's 'American Women' Comes to New Rhythm Arts Center

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Denise La Grassa's 'American Women' Comes to New Rhythm Arts Center

Chicagoland jazz singer and composer Denise La Grassa will present American Women, an evening of original jazz/rock songs by her and guitarist John Kregor to honor American women leading change during the dismantling of democracy. The show runs two hours with one intermission.

From the Civil War to the present day, these remarkable female pioneers forged a new American identity. Songs include "Get It Done, Girl, Run," "Good Rule Makers," "Sunshine in the Toxic Ballroom," "Amen to Happiness," and "The Door." La Grassa will be producing a film of the same name highlighting obscure women who have made America great. Her live Rockin' the Castle Theatre EP was released in September, and features La Grassa's powerful vocals and melodic songwriting. Her April Dreams CD received critical praise.

WHEN: Friday, December 20, 2019, 7 - 9 p.m.

WHERE: New Rhythm Arts Center, 1441 W. Morse Ave., Chicago, IL

Street parking; Morse Red Line EL stop; wheelchair accessible

SHOW TIX: FREE ($5 suggested donation at the door),

Holiday beverages will be provided.


Dr. Denise La Grassa has performed her original jazz music and poetry in some of Chicago's finest jazz haunts for over 25 years, as well as festivals in New York City, Scotland, Germany and Switzerland. She released her first live CD Rockin' the Castle Theater in September 2019 to join her original jazz CDs, including The Blues Ain't A Color and April Dreams (available on Spotify), which held the number five spot on the national Roots Music Report jazz chart for 13 weeks. She's currently completing Sunshine in the Toxic Ballroom. La Grassa won three regional Emmy Awards as a producer for WTTW's Wild Chicago and ArtBeat Chicago, and was nominated for others in Chicago and for WILL in Urbana/Champaign.

La Grassa has been an educator for over 25 years and is currently Lincoln College's Lead Faculty of Contemporary Jazz Studies. She redesigned the former jazz studies track into a more relevant contemporary jazz performance program weaving original composition with original music, classic jazz standard repertoire, modern music like rap and hip-hop, and scripts. She also continues writing shows and songs with at-risk students in the Jazz Playformanceafter school program. She has also volunteered with Department of Children and Family Services locations at Columbus Maryville and Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, where she has taught self-empowerment via songwriting and performance.

John Kregor received a B.A. in composition at the University of Texas, and is a prized member of Chicago's jazz community. He has played in groups led by Jim Gailloreto, Rob Clearfield, Matt Ulery, and currently plays with Patricia Barber every Monday at the Green Mill when Barber is not touring the U.S. and Europe. Kregor also played on Barber's critically acclaimed 2013 Blue Note Records album Smash.

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