Featuring jazz and jazz influenced music by young and emerging artists at the corner of Leavitt and Lyndale.

Curated by fest neighbors Blake Beckstrom and his son Lane, the New Jazz Roots stage features young and emerging jazz artists. A venue designed to support listening, some of the best young musicians in Chicago take the stage to show off their musical chops.

Two days of free jazz and jazz influenced music by young and emerging artists. The New Jazz Roots stage at The Bucktown Arts Fest.

2017 schedule: 10th anniversary of the New Jazz Roots Stage

Saturday, August 26, 2017

11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Jazz Ambassadors
Under the direction of Mark Coulter, John Foster and Michael Nearpass, The Jazz Institute of Chicago’s Jazz Ambassadors gives Chicago’s most promising young musicians a chance to get serious about jazz. The program develops student musicians in grades 6 through 12 by providing hands-on weekly training, access to free live jazz performances, monthly workshops and master classes, and frequent opportunities to work with guest artists and clinicians.

1:00 – 2:00 pm – Many Blessings
Many Blessings is a young jazz group that finds a home in the meeting point between thoughtful composition and wide-open improvisation. Led by Lucas Gillan on drums, the compositions reveal the influence of jazz heroes, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus, but have a modern style of their own, with extended forms, free improvisation, and a straight-forward melodic sensibility. Many Blessings’ debut album, Arroyo, will be released on JeruJazz Records on September 15, 2017.

2:30 – 3:30 pm – The Julian Richey Quartet
The Julian Richey Quartet consists of Julian Richey on guitar, Otto Marloft on piano, Grant Le on bass, and Chris Sanchez on drums. These young Chicagoland musicians played together at The Ravinia Jazz Scholars Program and the Merit Tuition-Free Conservatory. At these programs, they had the opportunity to work with mentors such as Willie Pickens, Bobby Broom, Ernie Adams, Steve Million, Eric Hochberg, and many others.

4:00 – 5:00 pm – Twin Talk
Chicago’s Twin Talk is known for their offbeat melodic approach to creative improvised music. Drummer Andrew Green, saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi, and bassist/vocalist Katie Ernst share an ever-expanding musical language that is deeply personal and highly connected. Chicago Jazz Magazine praised their latest record as “provocative and enchanting.” Twin Talk is returning to The New Jazz Roots stage this year to present music from their self-titled latest album, which is available through ears&eyes Records.

5:30 – 6:30 pm – Rum Velvet
Rum Velvet remains a whimsical mystery. Some say they formed in Eastern Europe a decade ago, playing among the great Balkan Bands, others claim they toured West Africa and the Indian subcontinent amassing a catalog of original music heavily influenced by their surroundings. Still others swear that they came together while in graduate school at Kingston, Jamaica. Whatever the actual truth behind these rumors, the band’s varied musical influences are undeniable. And in our current post-truth world, one feels compelled to declare Rum Velvet the world’s greatest band being described in this paragraph. Rum Velvet is Christopher Dixon, trombone; Labrat, saxophone; Yahn VanDeWalle, trumpet; Mo McNulty, sousaphone; Carlos Pecciotto, snare; and Blake Beckstrom, bass drum.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

1:00 – 2:00 pm ­– Lane Tech Jazz Combo 2017
The Lane Tech High School Jazz Combo meets after school to refine their craft in a spirit of camaraderie and expression.  They are influenced by artists ranging from Art Blakey and Horace Silver to Stevie Wonder and Avishai Cohen. The combo is led by Matt Hudson and has a philosophy that states, “If you stay late enough after-school, you can learn every bebop, post-bop, hard bop, and soul groove ever written.

2:30 – 3:30 pm – Andrew Cobb Collective
Andrew Cobb is an innovative young musician and composer from Chicago, IL, who specializes in jazz and gospel music, but is not limited to any genre. As a saxophonist, Andrew has performed at Buddy Guy’s Legends, Room 43, Andy’s Jazz Club, the Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Millennium Park, and the House of Blues for Kirk Franklin’s Gospel Brunch.. His first composition, “What About You”, was featured at the Ravinia Festival this June. He has performed with the likes of Greg Ward, Ernest Dawkins, Willie Pickens, Charles Heath, and Marquis Hill among others.

4:00 – 5:00 pm – Lane Tech Jazz Combo 2007 Alumni Band
This is the band that started it all. Ten years ago, in 2007, members of The Lane Tech College Prep Jazz Combo laid out a carpet in front of the garage behind 2300 N. Leavitt and performed unofficially for attendees at The Bucktown Arts Fest. This performance was so well received that the fest decided to create a permanent second stage in 2009, and the rest is history. We are so proud to welcome back to the Bucktown Arts Fest the band that made it all happen – This is The Lane Tech Jazz Combo 2007 Alumni Band.

5:30 – 6:30 pm – Jeff Swanson’s Case-fitter
Case-fitter is a craftsman who assembles the different parts of the watch case to house the movement in its exact dimensions. Guitarist Jeff Swanson’s newest project looks at this concept from a musician’s standpoint and allows a wide range of influences to make it’s way into the repertoire. Accompanied by some of Chicago’s finest open-minded musicians, the group explores improvisations and sound collages while piecing together Swanson’s compositions in real-time. A CD and digital release will be available later this year, for more information please visit

We’ll see you at the New Jazz Stage!

Past Performance Schedules:

Saturday, August 27, 2016
11:30 am – 12:30 pm – The Jazz Ambassadors
1:00 – 2:00 pm – Whitney Young Jazz Ensemble
2:30 – 3:30 pm – Sun Speak
4:00 – 5:00 pm – The Jeff Swanson Group
5:30 – 6:30 pm – Lane

Sunday, August 28, 2016
11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Pritzker College Prep Jazz Ensemble
1:00 – 2:00 pm ¬– Lane Tech Jazz Combo
2:30 – 3:30 pm – Spocket
4:00 – 5:00 pm – Andrew Trim Quartet
5:30 – 6:30 pm – Meridian Trio

Saturday, August 29, 2015
Jazz Links Youth Ensemble
The Jazz Links Youth Ensemble performs under the direction of Mark Coulter, Madeleine Mollinedo, and Carlos Ayento and is sponsored by the Jazz Institute of Chicago. The ensemble consists of 5th grade through high school students from The Chicago Public Schools throughout the city.

Whitney Young Jazz Ensemble
The 2014-15 year has seen the rebirth of the Whitney Young Jazz Ensemble which enjoyed visits from Sherman Irby and Vincent Gardner of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra as well as Wycliffe Gordon and Ernie Adams from Columbia College’s Louis Armstrong Legacy Program. The Jazz Ensemble performed this past year at the New Trier Jazz Festival, UIC Jazz Festival, IHSA and CPS organizational contests as well as numerous school and community performances.

Ro Joe Trio
The Ro Joe Trio is built upon the collaboration between Rob Fletcher and Chris Misa, which began in Minnesota in 2008. After a run of gigs at the now-extinct Artist’s Quarter Jazz Club In St. Paul, they both went on to study jazz at DePaul University in Chicago. Joining them for this performance will be Mike Harmon on bass as they create new interpretations of originals by Misa and Fletcher and improvisations heavily influenced by the golden era of Miles Davis.

Rooms Trio is a continuously evolving piano trio for the modern era. They play a repertoire of original compositions that ranges in idiom from simple rock songs, to baroque rhythmic and harmonic structures, to open-ended templates for wild improvisations. This performance, along with their forthcoming album, will feature new music, as well as old favorites from their ever-growing catalogue. Rooms features Dan Pierson on keyboard, Charlie Kirchen on bass, and Matt Carroll on drums.

Inspired by the music of Afro-beat pioneer Fela Kuti, Ransome takes it name from a surname of the eccentric and outspoken Nigerian. Led by bassist Lane Beckstrom, Ransome aims to have one foot in the Gulf of Guinea and the other foot in a mixture of Funk and Jazz.

Sunday, August 30, 2015
Eve’s Undoing
Fronted by a ukulele playing singer songwriter, Eve’s Undoing features a mixture of sweet and sometimes scathing humor, a sublime but compact horn section, jazzy harmonies, and transcendent strings and percussion.

Lane Tech High School Jazz Combo
The Lane Tech Jazz Combo meets after school to refine their craft in a spirit of camaraderie and expression. They are influenced by artists ranging from Art Blakey and Horace Silver to Stevie Wonder and Avishai Cohen. The combo is co-led by Matt Hudson and Joe Sweet. There philosophy has always been, if you stay late enough after-school, these kids will learn the every bebop, post-bop, hard bop, and soul groove ever written.

Twin Talk
Twin Talk’s music is a celebration of communal risk-taking and collaborative music-making, inviting listeners along for the ride. Described by All About Jazz as “bold in its youthful energy, sophisticated in its thematic unity…fresh, enjoyable, and exciting,” they draw from a diverse pool of influences to create a personal, unified sound. Twin Talk’s debut album Sightline is currently available on BandCamp, and their self-titled sophomore album will be released in early 2016. Twin Talk is drummer Andrew Green, saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi,and bassist/vocalist Katie Ernst.

Paul Bedal Quartet
The Paul Bedal Quartet is an ensemble formed by pianist Paul Bedal. Paul is an Ears and Eyes and CAM Jazz recording artist, and released his debut album “Chatter” last fall. Paul recently completed his MFA in film composition at Columbia College Chicago, and holds a jazz performance degree from University of Miami. His group has played both nationally and internationally. His debut
album received positive marks from both the NYC Jazz Record Magazine and Wondering Sound catalogue. Joining him on this date are saxophonist Nick Mazzerella, bassist Matt Ulery and drummer Charles Rumback.

Stereo Genius – Justin Boyd
Stereo Genius is a Chicago-based musicians’ collective led by drummer, composer, and producer Justin Boyd. They present a mixture of digital and analog sounds in the genres of jazz, soul, funk, and world music, performing a wide repertoire and pulling from numerous sources of inspiration. The group’s most recent release, Miracle Year, offers a glimpse into the band’s sound and style. Stereo Genius has shared the stage with Roy Ayers, Boney James, and other notables. Stereo Genius features Justin Boyd (Drums), Andrew Voght (Bass), Jeff Swanson (Guitar), Hunter Diamond (Tenor Saxophone) and Andrew Lawrence (piano).

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To weed out the spammers *