Denise La Grassa, Black History Month
This one-night, two-show concert is a celebration of jazz and blues innovators from Nina Simone to Charlie Parker who have inspired Denise La Grassa to write about social issues. The one-hour collage of songs and poetry, including a tribute to Langston Hughes, explores how African-American music of the 1920's and 1960's was a direct reflection of the immense social changes happening in those decades, and conversely, how jazz and blues music written and performed today has lost that connection.
In addition to La Grassa, the quartet includes composer/guitarist John Kregor, upright bassist Dan Thatcher, and drummer Bob Parlier. The music is co-written by Kregor and La Grassa, and all songs are written and sung by La Grassa, which include Davina's Song, I've Had It With The Blues, Color Is The Difference, Spinning Jenny, The Blues Ain't A Color, and Vain Game.
Denise will perform at Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago, Ill. on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, two shows only - 8 and 10 p.m. Call 312-360-0234 or visit www.jazzshowcase.com for more information. Tickets are $10 for regular single tickets / $5 for students, musicians and JIC members. Available at the door.
Denise La Grassa has performed her original music and poetry in some of the Windy City's finest jazz haunts for the past 25 years, as well as in New York City, Scotland, Germany, and Switzerland. She has also toured with The Second City, won three Emmy Awards, and been nominated for her work at Chicago's WTTW and Urbana's WILL. She has recorded three original jazz CD's, including April Dreams, which held the number Five Spot on The National Roots Music Report jazz chart for thirteen weeks. She's currently a doctoral graduate student at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she previously received a Master of Music degree.
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 they are not touring the U.S. and Europe. Kregor also played on Barber's 2013 album "Smash."
Photo Credit: Jane La Grassa