The Chicago Outskirts Big Band is a seventeen piece jazz ensemble comprised entirely of women from the Chicago area. The idea for the band was born when two of the members met at FitzGerald's in March of 2003. Jenny Yuhasz, a drummer from South Bend, was there to see her brother, trumpeter Danny Barber, play with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. Jenny sat in for a few numbers with the CJO. Linda Kottis, a tenor sax player from Naperville, was in the audience that night and began comparing notes with Jenny. They decided that an all-female big band would be a great idea. As of the next day, recruitment was underway. Fortunately, Linda and Jenny each had a separate network of female jazz musicians to call upon, and it was not long before the band was staffed. The main purpose of forming the band was to give women jazz musicians in the area more opportunity to play big band jazz, both in rehearsal and in performance for public or private functions. But a valuable side benefit the group hopes to provide is encouragement to young women still in school who have a desire to pursue a vocation, or even a serious hobby, playing instrumental jazz.
$10. Big Band Jazz music is not the same as Dance Band music. Big Band Jazz involves familiar tunes but includes extended solos wherein these talented musicians get to show off a little for the crowd (and for their fellow band members). Intended primarily as a concert performance, there's limited space for dancing (some folks can't resist). Look for a table with a Meetup sign. Of course RSVPs are appreciated so we know how many jazz fans to expect, but last minute attendees are always welcome.
FitzGerald's does not serve food (not even pretzels!), but you can dine before the show next door at Capri Ristorante or bring your own snacks into FitzGerald's.
Check out the extensive monthly schedule of music and entertainment at FitzGerald's.
And for a schedule of Big Band Jazz in the Chicago area provided by the Chicagoland Big Band Jazz Society (Join CBBJS for $10/yr.):
Listed on other Meetups!