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  • Studio5 (in Dance Center Evanston) 1934 Dempster Street Evanston, IL, 60202 United States (map)

$20-25. Click HERE for tickets.

John Kornegay - alto sax
Jim Gailloreto - tenor sax
Peter Brusen - baritone sax
Doug Scharf - trumpet
Russ Phillips - trombone
Bob Sutter - piano
Doug Bistrow - bass
Bob Rummage - drums
special guest, Dee Alexander - vocals

Strings: Lisa Fako, Jeff Yang, Michèle Lekas, Jeri-Lou Zike, Wendy Benner, Sarah Kim

Dee Sings Billie with the MJO

The Metropolitan Jazz Octet (MJO) is the reawakening of a group that was created in the 1950s by saxophonist/arranger Tom Hilliard (1930-2006). When Hilliard’s health started to decline, he left the MJO library to his former student, Jim Gailloreto. In 2014 Gailloreto organized a group of musicians (including other former Hilliard students) to read through the charts and create a new iteration of Hilliard’s group. In early 2018 the MJO gave a riveting performance at Studio5 to a packed house. We are excited to welcome them back. 

This year, MJO will partner with dynamic jazz vocalist Dee Alexander – and a string section! – to perform music from their new album It’s Too Hot For Words, a reimagining of classic Billie Holiday songs.  Dee has selected swing standards such as The Blues Are a Brewin’, Ain’t Nobody’s Business and also iconic ballads like I’m a Fool To Want You and Billie’s famous Strange Fruit.

The CD will be released on Delmark Records in the Fall of 2019.  The music is both swinging and relevant, a beautiful vehicle for Dee’s voice and style.  2019 is the 60th anniversary of Billie Holiday’s passing, making this project all the more significant and meaningful.  The MJO will be appearing at the Chicago Jazz Fest in August. Here’s a unique opportunity to see this incredible group up close in our intimate venue.

We'll be recording this performance for Chicago Jazz Live on WDCB, so you'll be part of the studio audience! See you there. -SR

Cash bar, light snacks, free parking right outside! Doors open for cocktails and socializing at 7:30.