NextGenJazz Series Returns at The Drake Hotel

The Jazz Institute of Chicago and The Drake Hotel have announced that they are continuing their partnership to present NextGenJazz, a six-concert jazz series at The Drake Hotel.

Beginning this April 2013, on the first three Thursdays of April, May, June, July, September and October, some of Chicago's new jazz artists lead trios in the Palm Court. Free and open to the public, the 2013 series kicks off with Makaya McCraven on April 4, 11 and 18.

The NextGenJazz partnership with The Drake is said to provide a great opportunity for the Jazz Institute to “connect new audiences to emerging artists and a unique venue for Chicago's talented young performers to hone their craft”.

The series reflects the Jazz Institute's commitment to supporting new artists who represent the next evolution of the art form, and enables The Drake to engage with the community as well as provide guests new, interesting entertainment.

Reservations are recommended.

Slated on April 4, 11 and 18 is the Makaya McCraven performance. Drummer and producer McCraven blends contemporary influences with his roots in jazz and world music. McCraven's work led to both national and international appearances, and earned him Downbeat awards and a Grammy nomination.


Marquis Hill will perform on May 2, 9 and 16. Trumpeter Hill toured the US and abroad with Dee Alexander, Ernest Dawkins and Willierm Delsifort, and leads his own group the Marquis Hill Black-tet.

June 6, 13 and 20 will see Junius Paul, an established electric and acoustic bassist who combines a variety of genres including jazz, hip-hop, house music, funk, classical and gospel.

July 4, 11 and 18 will see Christopher McBride, a saxophonist who was raised in a household filled with the sounds of gospel, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, soca, dancehall, world, and R&B. McBride has performed in Ireland, England, Scotland, China, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain sharing the stage with musical greats including Billy Preston, Antonio Hart, John Clayton, Jimmy Heath, Bobby Broom, Percy Gray, Roy Hargrove, Talib Kweli, 88 Keys and Milton Mustafa.

Scheduled on September 5, 12 and 19 is Katie Ernst, an accomplished musician and vocalist. Ernst has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Naperville Jazz Festival, and numerous jazz clubs throughout the East Coast and the Midwest. In 2007, she received a Downbeat Award for her singing and was featured in Downbeat Magazine's June issue.

Meanwhile, on October 3, 10 and 17, Rajiv Halim will perform. The saxophonist, composer, bandleader and educator studied music at Gallery 37 and won multiple competitions.

Located on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, The Drake Hotel offers 535 guest rooms and five on-site dining facilities.