Tommy Castro, Griffin House, Louis Prima Jr. and More Coming to City Winery Chicago
Thursday, June 1
Major. is an all-around experience. Fittingly, his sophistication, comedic nature and larger than life personality are all elements that translate as nothing short of his birth-given name - Major. If he's not hosting or acting, he's crooning backed by his big band of eclectic musicians. Some liken his nostalgic style to the late Sam Cook and his rich baritone to that of Nat King Cole. Currently, Major. is in the studio, building a special debut project with super producer, Harmony Samuels (of BOE Global). BET Networks has recently initiated him as the newest rising star to the join the Music Matters Program.
Sunday June 25
Griffin House picked up the guitar when he was 18, started writing songs right away and within a couple years started making records and performing live. In 2004, House was featured on CBS Sunday Morning. Music journalist Bill Flanagan (MTV/VH1) raved about Lost and Found (House's first nationally released record), putting the newcomer on his short list of the best emerging songwriters in the U.S. House's intelligent and heartfelt lyrics and melodies have won commercial and critical acclaim with songs like "The Guy Who Says Goodbye to You Is Out of His Mind" and "Better Than Love," playing clubs and touring with national acts including John Mellencamp and the Cranberries. House continues to gain national recognition as he headlines his own U.S. shows.
Monday-Tuesday, July 3-4
The Church are an Australian psychedelic rock band formed in Sydney in 1980. The Church's debut album, Of Skins and Heart (1981), delivered their first radio hit "The Unguarded Moment" and they were signed to major labels in Australia, Europe and the United States. They returned to the charts in 1988 with the album Starfish and the US Top 40 hit "Under the Milky Way." Subsequent mainstream success has proved elusive, but the band retains a large international cult following and were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in Sydney in 2011. The Church continue to tour and record and released their 24th studio album, Further/Deeper, in October 2014.
Louis Prima Jr. & the Witnesses
Tuesday, July 11
Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses are bringing the musical style of Louis Prima Sr. into the 21st century. More concerned about creating a future for "Prima music" than about reliving the past, Louis Prima Jr and the Witnesses bring new energy and a current attitude to the masses with "The Wildest Show this side of the 1960's." Since their breakout performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (aka Jazz Fest), #TeamPrima has performed everywhere from Seattle to Palermo, from small clubs to performing arts centers, from casino showrooms to music festivals, and from Access Hollywood Live to PBS. The band is currently touring in support of their newest release, BLOW - a collection of original music (save for a couple of surprises). Building off of the success of their critically acclaimed debut CD Return of the Wildest!, the band has brought together many years of diverse musical tastes into their second offering. From the first thunderous stomps of the title track, it is evident that this isn't your daddy's swing music, but a raucous roller coaster ride of tail-shakin', foot-stampin', horn-driven smiles.
Tuesday, July 18
Over the course of his four-decade career, Tommy Castro, a six-time Blues Music Award winner, has played thousands of shows to hundreds of thousands of fans, packing dance floors, always leaving them screaming for more. Hailing from the San Francisco area, Castro, along with his band The Painkillers (currently featuring bassist Randy McDonald, keyboardist Michael Emerson and drummer Bowen Brown), play music that is guaranteed to fire up fans and leave critics searching for new words of praise. Billboard says the band plays "irresistible contemporary blues-rock" with "street-level grit and soul." Now, with Method To My Madness, the group turns the intensity up another notch.
Saturday, July 29
Pat McGee started his professional music career in 1995 as leader of Pat McGee Band, touring relentlessly for over ten years all over the United States, including one stretch doing 98 shows in 103 days. The band, dubbed PMB, sold out venues all over the U.S. and shared stages with The Who, Allman Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Counting Crows, Rat Dog, Levon Helm and more. Touring solo, singer/songwriter Pat McGee returns to City Winery Chicago. His most current songs are some of his most hard-rockin' and, at the same time, most delicate arrangements.
Sunday, August 27; 7:30 p.m.
>From New Jersey, John Gorka is a world-renowned singer-songwriter who got his start at a neighborhood coffeehouse in eastern Pennsylvania, Godfrey Daniels, which was and is one of the oldest and most venerable music institutions and has long been a hangout for music lovers and aspiring musicians. In the late 1970's, Gorka was one of these aspiring musicians. Although his academic coursework at Moravian College lay in Philosophy and History, music began to offer paramount enticements. Soon, he found himself living in the club's basement and acting as resident MC and sound man, encountering legendary folk troubadours like Canadian singer-songwriter Stan Rogers, Eric Andersen, Tom Paxton and Claudia Schmidt. Their brand of folk-inspired acoustic music inspired him and before long he was performing his own songs - mostly as an opener for visiting acts. Soon, he started traveling to New York City, where Jack Hardy's legendary Fast Folk circle (a breeding ground for many a major singer-songwriter) became a powerful source of education and encouragement. Folk meccas like Texas' Kerrville Folk Festival (where he won the New Folk Award in 1984) and Boston followed, and his stunningly soulful baritone voice and original songwriting began turning heads. Those who had at one time inspired him - Suzanne Vega, Bill Morrissey, Nanci Griffith, Christine Lavin, Shawn Colvin - have become his peers.
Sunday, October 29; 7:00 p.m.
Join Chicago folk trio Sons of the Never Wrong - Sue Demel, Deborah Lader and Bruce Roper - as they celebrate their 25-year anniversary and the release of their new album Song of Sons. Their original "turbo-charged folk music" skewers the notion of three-part harmony within original, whimsical songs that spring from both a folk tradition and some other melodic planet you might never have visited. Guests John Abbey, John Erickson and Gerald Dowd will join the Sons of the Never Wrong for this extra special show. Opening for Sons is award-winning songwriter Jonas Friddle.
All City Winery events are open to all ages and start at 8 p.m., unless noted.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Thursday, April 27 at noon. Only members of City Winery Chicago's signature VinoFile program have access to ticket sales today in addition to receiving: a waiver of ticket service 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.
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.
Chicago'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 www.citywinery.com.