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St. Charles Jazz Weekend Opens Strong

Noted performers continue to enchant jazz enthusiasts tonight, Saturday and Sunday.

The Downtown St. Charles Partnership is celebrating what it considers a successful first night on Thursday of the four-day-long St. Charles Jazz Weekend.

“Jazz weekend had a good start last night with jazz at Bistro One, Alibi, and McNally’s,” Marketing and Development Manager Scott Piner wrote in an email to Patch. “Tonight, there is more jazz at B1W, McNally’s and on the patio at Isacco. And then (Saturday), there is Jeans and Jazz at Bistro One in the afternoon, jazz at McNally’s and B1W in the evening, and then jazz at B1W on Sunday.”

The rundown:

  • Friday:

6-9 p.m. — at Isacco Kitchen, the Chris Madsen Jazz Trio.

7:30-10:30 p.m. — Bistro One West, Bill Borris Trio.

  • Saturday:

12:30-3 p.m. — Bistro One West, Jeans & Jazz Lunch and Fashion Show.

7:30-10:30 p.m. — Bistro One West, Mike Jeffers Trio.

9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. — McNally’s Irish Pub, Chicago OGD.

  • Sunday

11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — Bistro One West, The Mike Frost Duo.

Chris Madsen Jazz Trio

The Chris Madsen Trio formed in 2010 and has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Brookfield Jazz Society, Andy’s Jazz Club, Club 3160, Katerina’s, Highland Park FOCUS on the Arts, the Ridgeville Park Summer Concert Series, the Bughouse Square Debates, and the Des Moines Social Club, according to Madsen’s website. The trio’s first album, released in 2011, Chris Madsen Trio plays Bix Beiderbecke, is available from JeruJazz records. The group’s unique take on the American Songbook is turning heads from Chicago to New York and beyond, the website states.

Madsen is a jazz saxophonist and composer with impressive credentials. In his bio, he notes he serves as jazz faculty member at Northwestern University in Evanston; jazz director at Midwest Young Artists in Highwood; and since 2009 has coordinated the National High School Music Institute’s jazz program.

His bio states that Madsen actively performs, writes, and teaches in multiple contexts and venues. He is a jazz clinician whose work includes clinics to ensembles of all ages and levels; a Rico Reed clinician; and a member of the Fulbright Specialist Program roster, Jazz Education Network and the National Educator’s Association.

This year he has been featured in Jazziz Magazine and the Jazz Spotlight for artsamerica.org.

The Bill Borris Group

The Bill Boris Group combines elements of straight ahead jazz, funk and rhythm and blues, Borris’ website states. The group performs original compositions and jazz standards. Members of the group have toured the world with major artists such as David Sanborn, Freddie Hubbard, and Stanley Turrentine. The group performed music from Bill's debut CD Hold Back at the 2010 Elkart Jazz Festival .The band members are guitarist Bill Boris, trumpeter Victor Garcia, keyboard artist Roger Harris, bassist Chuck Webb and drummer Makaya McCraven.

Mike Jeffers Trio

The Mike Jeffers Trio will bring its from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Bistro One West.

A drummer with more than 20 years of professional musical performance experience, Mike Jeffers is the founder and president of Chicago Jazz Magazine and ChicagoJazz.com. According to ChicagoJazz.com, he has performed with different jazz and rock groups at such venues as Carnegie Hall, the House of Blues, Taste of Chicago, Green Mill, Andy’s Jazz Club, The Metro, Schubas, Double Door and many other clubs, festivals and venues throughout the country. A freelance musician, Jeffers runs his own entertainment company, Chicago Jazz Entertainment, booking his variety of musical groups for private events, festivals and club dates throughout the country.

Chicago OGD

Darryl Armistead on the Hammond B-3 organ and vocals, Barry White on guitar, and Frank Neigel on drums comprise Chicago OGD — for organ, guitar and drums. According to Armistead’s website, Chicago OGD exemplifies the soulful, funky, hard bop sound of Philly organ jazz made famous by Jimmy Smith, “Brother” Jack McDuff, and Joey DeFrancesco.

Covering standard jazz and modern smooth jazz, Chicago OGD also performs dance music and the blues. The musicians tout themselves as having lived a lifetime of jazz and the blues.

The Mike Frost Duo 

Mike Frost and his bands have made a name for themselves. Frost, a tenor and soprano saxophonist, leads the Mike Frost Project, which also offers smaller combos of featured performers from the six-member band. Based in Chicago, the band has been described as “definitely in the pocket … pulling out all the soulful stops ...” by Paula Edelstein, of AMG allmusic.com. His performers “cast a spell with a combination of great original writing and reverent presence. The result is universal appeal,” wrote Gregory J. Robb, of Jazz Improv magazine.

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