February Shows Announced At City Winery
The February lineup of acts performing at City Winery Chicago (1200 W. Randolph St) has been announced. See full details below!
All City Winery Chicago events are open to all ages and start at 8:00 p.m., unless noted. Tickets can be purchased by calling 312-733-WINE (9463) or by visiting www.citywinery.com/chicago.
NOTE: all shows listed below have been announced. Download artist photos here. Please contact me if you would like additional hi-res artwork or to arrange interviews with any of the artists.
Elle Varner - Ellevation with special guest J. Brown
Saturday, February 1; 7:00 and 10:00 p.m.
Elle Varner is a Grammy-Award-winning singer-songwriter, who unveiled her first studio album titled Perfectly Imperfect in 2012, which debuted at the top of several Billboard charts. The album also produced hit singles "Only Wanna Give It to You" featuring J. Cole and "Refill." Varner's relatable struggles with body image, relationships, and everyday life situations are some of the themes reflected in her music, creating a cult-like following from fans for the hip-hop & soul singer. Varner won her first Grammy in 2017, for her work on Chance the Rapper's hit album, Coloring Book.
The NYU Tisch Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music Alumna returned as colorful as ever this year, with new tracks "Loving U Blind" and "Pour Me" featuring Wale. Varner's single "Kinda Love" was an empowering ladies anthem for Summer 2019. Elle Varner delivered her long-awaited follow-up project to Imperfect on July 12th, titled Ellevation.
Sunday, February 2; 7:00 p.m.
Mac Powell, former front man of four-time Grammy award-winning Christian band Third Day, comes to City Winery with the next chapter of his career, Mac Powell & the Family Reunion. The Family Reunion, started in 2018, is a band that has developed over the past several years from the musical "brothers" that have been recording and playing live with Powell in support of his first two independent solo projects. The Southern roots American rock collections are foot-stompin', hand clappin' tunes that clearly pay tribute to the early musical inspirations from his childhood. This live show is a blend of classic and sing-along Gospel, Country, and American Rock songs, combined with some of Powell's favorite Third Day numbers he has written, and his latest original tunes. A limited number of Golden Circle Meet & Greet tickets are available for $50.
Tuesday, January 7 and Tuesday, February 4; 7:00 p.m.
$25 General Admission seated
Each month, Lola Wright curates a live gathering at an iconic Chicago music venue with the inspiring musicians of the Bodhi House Band and original work from Chicago's most moving cultural leaders. Wright, CEO of Bodhi Center, works with the band to create a multisensory experience of release and renewal, allowing participants to move into 2020 with receptivity and the space to amplify creativity and aliveness. The performance will move the body, provoke the mind and awaken the soul.
Storm Large of Pink Martini
Wednesday, February 5
Storm Large of the "rollicking around-the-world musical adventure" known as pop orchestra Pink Martini returns to Chicago with her own band. A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, Large moved to San Francisco, and later to Portland, where she founded her band Storm and The Balls. The band developed a cult-like following in clubs for their "mash up" renditions of artists such as ABBA, Billy Idol, Led Zeppelin and Olivia Newton-John as well as their own compositions. Large shot to national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova where, despite having been eliminated in the week before the finale, she built a fan base that follows her around the world to this day. She has performed around the world, including sold-out concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and the Grant Park Music Festival.
Robert Randolph & the Family Band
Thursday, February 6; 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Grammy-nominated artist Robert Randolph and his band recently released their album, Brighter Days. The first three songs of the album are a full dive back to Randolph's gospel roots, starting with lead track "Baptize Me," a joyous romp of a song that makes a direct connection between religious and musical ecstasy and salvation. Randolph grew up playing sacred steel music - basically gospel played on pedal steel guitar - in the House of God church in Orange, New Jersey. He began taking his joyous, gospel-infused music out to clubs, backed by family members who shared not only backgrounds, but blood. "The Family Band" is not just a name meant to evoke connections of togetherness. They are an actual family; the group that supports Randolph is anchored by his cousins, bassist Danyel Morgan and drummer Marcus Randolph and his sister, vocalist Lenesha Randolph.
Friday, February 7; 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 8; 7:00 and 10:00 p.m.
Aja Graydon and Fatin Dantzler of Kindred and the Family Soul were introduced in 1997 during a production camp hosted by hip-hop band The Roots, and after collaborating on several individual projects, were married by 1998. Kindred released their debut album, Surrender to Love, in 2013, with hit songs "Far Away" and "Stars" both earning a spot as top ten urban adult contemporary hits. The album received Soul Train and BET Award nominations. The band went on to produce four additional studio albums, including collaborations with stars such as John Legend and Snoop Dog. Kindred released their most recent album, Legacy of Love, in August 2016.
Sunday, February 9; 5:00 and 8:00 p.m.
Beginning with their first performances in the early 1970s, The Manhattan Transfer have become the cornerstones of contemporary music. Known for their amazing harmony and versatility, incorporating pop, jazz, R&B, rock and roll, swing, symphonic, and a cappella music, the group was signed by the legendary Ahmet Ertegun to Atlantic Records. The group made their recording debut with their self-titled album in 1975. Known primarily as an East Coast cult act, they expanded their following by starring in their own 1975 CBS-TV variety series as a summer replacement for the Cher Bono Show. Starting as an underground group in New York City, The Manhattan Transfer garnered international popularity when "Chanson D'Amour" from the 1976 Coming Out album became a number one hit in Europe.
Defying easy genre categorizations, The Manhattan Transfer became the first act to win Grammy Awards in the pop and jazz categories in one year (1981) for "Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal" for "Boy From New York City" and "Best Jazz Performance Duo or Group" for "Until I Met You (Corner Pocket)." In 1985, their album Vocalese made history as the single greatest Grammy nominated album in history in one year with 12 nominations. Vocalese earned two Grammys: "Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group" and "Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices" for "Another Night in Tunisia." This album, which featured jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Ron Carter, and the Count Basie Orchestra, changed the perception of The Manhattan Transfer from superstar pop artists to formidable jazz singers.
One of the co-writers on The Junction - the group's new album which draws inspiration in part from The Transfer's classic 1975 version of Glenn Miller's "Tuxedo Junction" - is the group's new member, bass vocalist Trist Curless. Curless began subbing on the road for the late band founder Tim Hauser in 2013, officially joining after Hauser's passing in late 2014.
Chi-Town Sings: British Invasion
Monday, February 10
Chi-Town Sings is back with another roof-raising, City Winery party: British Invasion style. Award-winning entertainers Lauren Paris and Robert Deason will be joined by a five piece band and over a dozen mega-talented performers from Chicago's beloved theatre community, as they take on pop hits from the likes of Adele, Amy Winehouse, Sam Smith, Queen, Elton John, Jessie J and more. After celebrating Britney vs. Christina, Lady Gaga, Sara Bareilles, and Demi Lovato over the past two years, this show has become a hot ticket in town. Performers include: Neala Barron, Sarah Bockel, Katherine Bourne, Nathan Cooper, Max DeTogne, Jacquelyne Jones, Teressa LaGamba, Hillary Marren, Will Skrip, J Tyler Whitmer, Aja Wiltshire and more.
Miki Howard Winter Residency
January 8, January 15, February 11 and February 18
Born in Chicago, Alicia Michelle "Miki" Howard is the daughter of gospel singers. When Howard was in her early teens, her mother moved the family to Los Angeles. Already aiming for a career in music, the 15-year-old Howard received her first break when she participated in a teen beauty contest. Augie Johnson, leader of the group Side Effect, happened to be in the audience; impressed with Howard's singing talent, Howard joined the Side Effect lineup in 1978 when another singer departed. Howard sang with Side Effect until 1982. She recorded her first solo album, Come Share My Love, in 1986. The title track from the album was its first single, hitting the top ten of the R&B charts and reaching number five in late 1986. Howard now has 10 studio albums and has had many top ten hits on the R&B Charts during her 35+ year career as well as a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album for her album Three Wishes.
Wednesday, February 12
Neapolitan crooning sensation and PBS network favorite Patrizio Buanne, known for his engaging and spectacular performances, returns to City Winery Chicago for an intimate performance. His first two albums The Italian and Forever Begins Tonight had captured the hearts of fans of timeless Italian songs worldwide in less than two years. Over a million albums were sold, and all this without Buanne having an international radio hit or professional music management. His next phase included securing a new global recording contract and the recording of his third album, under the helm of veteran music producers such as Humberto Gatica and Brian Rawlings. This team collaborated on researching more tunes of the Italian songbook. These songs feature Patrizio´s own contemporary and timeless interpretation of International and American standards, alongside some stunning new compositions for an eponymous titled album, simply named PATRIZIO. Its first release in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and South Africa responded not only with Platinum awards but with an immediate tour schedule for Austral-Asia in May 2010, US release and tour in 2011, and a preparation for his German speaking album in 2012. Patrizio Buanne is currently touring worldwide and recording now also in other languages.
Thursday-Friday, February 13-14
Saturday, February 15; 5:00 and 8:00 p.m.
10,000 Maniacs has covered plenty of ground in its 35-plus years, from cult-herodom to international stardom, to their current status as a cornerstone alternative band. But, the sound and spirit of 10,000 Maniacs remains consistent. The live shows embrace their entire catalogue, and the lineup is still anchored by four of the six original members. Keyboardist Dennis Drew and bassist Steven Gustafson cofounded the band in 1981, drummer Jerry Augustyniak came along shortly afterward, and founding guitarist/singer John Lombardo, who'd never completely left the picture, was welcomed back fulltime in 2015. And the two "new" members have long been part of the family: Mary Ramsey toured and recorded with the Maniacs as a viola player and backup singer before stepping into the front woman's role 24 years ago. And, the new guy Jeff Erickson, the lead guitarist for a mere 17 years, came in at the behest of his friend and mentor, the late Rob Buck.
10,000 Maniacs was proudly eclectic from the start, making trademarks of wide-ranging music and poetic lyrics. The tribal-sounding "My Mother the War," one of their most aggressive early tracks, hit college radio and briefly scraped the UK charts in 1984. Signed to Elektra the following year, the band worked with legendary producer Joe Boyd on The Wishing Chair and embraced its love of British folk-rock, a sound they'd return to over the years. Yet the more direct approach proved the charm, as the band played to ever-growing audiences (including a memorable tour with R.E.M.) and began writing its most enduring material. The late '80s/early '90s found the band delivering a remarkable string of albums-1987's In My Tribe and 1989's Blind Man's Zoo, both produced by the legendary Peter Asher, and 1992's Our Time in Eden, produced by Paul Fox. From these albums came the hits "Like the Weather," "What's the Matter Here?," "Trouble Me," "These Are Days," and "Candy Everybody Wants"-all among the more thoughtful and beautifully crafted singles of their time. Recent years have only brought the band members closer together, once again with a strong six-piece lineup. Current plans call for another studio album in the near future.
Sundays, Feb. 16/Mar. 22/Apr. 26; 12 p.m.
$25 GA ticket, plus $20 brunch buffet option
Sunday, February 16: In the Realm of Senses - Pictures at an Exhibition
This concert is a unique multi-sensory performance of Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." Multi-instrumentalist Jeff Yang has arranged and transformed this classical music staple, based on the paintings of Russian artist Viktor Hartmann, for two players and eight instruments. Throughout the performance, audiences will experience stunning music paired with animated lithographs by Chicago Philharmonic's own John Gaudette, along with other sensory elements. The program will also include Maurice Ravel's beautiful, nostalgic duo for violin and cello.
Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie with Chastity Brown
Sunday, February 16
General Admission Seated - $12 Advanced / $15 Day of show
Low Cut Connie is a rock and roll band based in Philadelphia, which was formed in 2010. The band has been recognized by various media in the US for their records and high-energy live show, of which the Los Angeles Weekly said, "Their ferocious live show...is unmatched in all of rock right now." Frontman, pianist, songwriter Adam Weiner has been described by NPR as "masterfully fluent in the foundational languages of Western pop, living at the crossroads where the church house meets the roadhouse, or where the Dew Drop Inn meets CBGB." Essentially a solo project for Weiner, the band is known for appearing on President Barack Obama's list of favorite songs and their association with Elton John who has called the band one of his favorites.
Weiner performed as a solo artist prior to starting Low Cut Connie. While living in New York City, he played piano in gay bars, karaoke bars, restaurants and ballet classes, often under the name Ladyfingers. He toured throughout North America and Europe, playing often to unforgiving crowds in dive bars, honky tonks, anarchist squats, warehouses, drag bars, etc. Weiner started the project that would become Low Cut Connie with former members Dan Finnemore and Neil Duncan.
An Acoustic Evening with Donavon Frankenreiter with special guest Christina Holmes
Monday, February 17
Donavon Frankenreiter has been writing, recording, and touring his music for 20 years. With over a dozen full-length records released and hundreds of songs written, the traveling troubadour has become a beacon for funkified jams, stylish stomps, and feel-good grooves. From his surf-inspired serenades to classic blues-rooted funk, Frankenreiter is always evolving. After a whirlwind of travel and months on the road touring, Frankenreiter cruised his way back to the studio to get started on some brand-new tunes. His fresh collection of handwritten scribbles on loose paper started to come to life before his eyes - manifesting themselves into 4 brand new tracks: "Them Blues," "Boom Boom," "Is It You," and "Could Be One of Those Days." To celebrate this new selection of tunes, Donavon will be performing acoustic stripped-down versions of all his songs on a select number of dates this winter.
Wednesday, February 19
Pioneered and headlined by John Michael Coppola, best known for his appearance in Chicago's long running production of the Broadway smash hit Jersey Boys, The Four C Notes are the Midwest's only tribute dedicated to recreating the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. While they call Chicago home, they have been seen at private events, performing arts centers and outdoor festivals all over the country. The tribute features all of the favorite hits, including "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like A Man," "Workin' My Way Back To You (Babe)," "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You," "Let's Hang On" and many more. Having appeared throughout the United States, The Four C Notes are quickly becoming the country's premier Frankie Valli tribute. Four guys, smart choreography, and Mr. Coppola's legacy with the Frankie Valli and Four Seasons catalogue give The Four C Notes a matchless authenticity to their performance.
Thursday, February 20
Ryan Montbleau has been pouring his heart out in song since the early 2000s, when he first began performing around his native Massachusetts. He'd go on to collaborate with Martin Sexton, Trombone Shorty, and Galactic among others, and share bills and stages with artists as diverse as Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ani DiFranco, The Wood Brothers, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Mavis Staples, but it was Montbleau's ecstatic headline shows-often more than 200 a year-that solidified his reputation as a live powerhouse and an inexorable road warrior. NPR's Mountain Stage compared his "eloquent, soulful songwriting" to Bill Withers and James Taylor, while Relix hailed his "poetic Americana," and The Boston Herald raved that "he's made a career of confident, danceable positivity." The desire for connection, for a true human bond, is a recurring theme in Montbleau's writing. The bittersweet "Our Own Place" searches for a home that's perpetually just out of reach, while the brooding "Ships In The Night" ruminates on our polarized political climate, and the heartfelt "The Country and The Town" (a song commissioned by PBS in Montbleau's newly-adopted home of Vermont) celebrates the power of community. Montbleau's live shows are nothing if not communal affairs, and the confessional "Help Me" reaches out a helping hand for anyone struggling through hard times.
Friday, February 21
Keith Washington is an American R&B vocalist, songwriter, actor, and producer born in Detroit, Michigan. He started singing at the age of six, opening for artists such as: Brenda Russell and many others that grace the stage at the club, Twenty Grand. Years later, Washington started touring with the legendary group The Dramatics, being featured on stage and seen by well-known artists, as well as record executives. In 1984, Washington made his first TV debut on the hit show Star Search, hosted by Ed McMahon. The exposure from Star Search, afforded him opportunities to do background recording sessions with renowned artists such as Stevie Wonder, George Clinton, R&B Vocalist Miki Howard, and the Jacksons just to name a few.
In 1991, he released his first single titled "Kissing You," off the Make Time for Love album, which was nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance and won a 1992 Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B single and topped the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Charts for several weeks. Shortly after, he released his second single titled, "Are You Still In Love With Me," giving him his first Gold and Platinum CD. Washington then went on to record his second CD titled, You Make It Easy, landing Washington his second Gold Album. Washington has recorded several duets with R&B singer Chante Moore, artist Taylor Dayne, and UK pop artist Kylie Minogue, titled "If You Were With Me Now" reaching #4 on the UK Single Charts.
In 2019, he received the "The National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame Award." Washington is now working on his forthcoming album and will soon be releasing his new single covering "My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration," originally recorded by Teddy Pendergrass.
The Mystick Krewe of Laff 31st ANNUAL MARDI GRAS BASH - Speakeasy in the Big Easy feat. Bonerama & Big Shoulders Brass Band
Saturday, February 22
$45 General Admission - Includes New Orleans-style eats
The annual Krewe of Laff Mardi Gras Bash is the biggest Mardi Gras event in Chicago. This year's theme is "Speakeasy in the Big Easy." This authentic Mardi Gras gala includes music, NOLA-themed food and drink, beads, and second line parade. Attendees can expect to dance the night away to two lively bands: New Orleans' favorite trombone powerhouse Bonerama and Chicago's own Big Shoulders Brass Band. Founded in 1992, the Mystick Krewe of Laff Social Aid and Pleasure Club is Chicago's premier Mardi Gras krewe, dedicated to supporting and promoting the arts, culture, and traditions of New Orleans and other social causes in both NOLA and Chicago. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, which provides comprehensive health care to New Orleans musicians, performers, cultural workers, and tradition bearers and their families, regardless of ability to pay.
Right Now, I Love You Forever - An Evening with Andrea Gibson
Sunday-Monday, February 23-24
For two decades, Andrea Gibson has been writing love poems and sharing them around the world. In this new show - a multimedia, poetic story-telling experience - Gibson highlights the most unforgettable moments of their love-life: from a neighbor's pet pig walking in during a sexy hook-up, to being proposed to just hours after leaving the psych ward. Right Now, I Love You Forever is a show that is for the hopeless romantics and the absolutely hopeless.
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.
Wednesday, February 26
Genre-bending icons Raul Midón and Lionel Loueke join forces to present a special night of song and guitar wizardry. The revered instrumentalists and vocalists will perform sets of original material in an evening that will culminate in an unforgettable jam. Blind since birth, Midón produced-engineered his 2017 Grammy-nominated album, Bad Ass and Blind, using special computer software for the blind. Midón's 2018 follow up release, If You Really Want, was nominated for a 2019 Grammy award in this same category.
Benin guitarist and vocalist Loueke has received critical acclaim on his latest release, The Journey. Paul Simon raves that Loueke is "one of a rare handful of guitarists that move effortlessly between his West African roots and modern American Jazz," and Sting cites Loueke as "one the most original, essential and inspiring musicians on our planet today." Loueke combines harmonic complexity, soaring melody, a deep knowledge of African folk forms, and conventional and extended guitar techniques to create a warm and evocative sound of his own.
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.
Drew Emmitt & Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon
Saturday, February 29; 7:00 and 10:00 p.m.
Long-time collaborators Vince Herman and Drew Emmitt are hitting the road for a rare run of acoustic duo shows to celebrate over thirty years of musical friendship. Each night will be a journey through the pair's long history and touch on all realms of their vast musical catalog including everything from well-known favorites to long-forgotten gems, and everything in between. Since they met, these two have been blazing new musical paths with Leftover Salmon, taking the music at their core, rock 'n' roll, folk, bluegrass, Cajun, soul, zydeco, jazz and blues, and crafting it into something new that has spawned a legion of bands in their wake. With their unpredictable approach in a live setting, their willingness to take chances by fusing disparate musical styles together and their incorporation of non-traditional bluegrass covers into their repertoire, Leftover Salmon has pushed that progressive bluegrass sound they were originally influenced by to the next level. Instead they are firmly settled in the long lineage of bands that defy simple categorization, always setting their own musical agenda.
For more information, please visit www.citywinery.com.