For years, Chicago has been home to many great Jazz and Blues musicians: from Muddy Waters to Corky Siegel to Sonny Rollins. Chicago brought about a unique sound into the Jazz world, borrowing from the Dixieland-style that migrated north with the freed slaves of the South. Chicago-style Jazz is a unique blend of the smooth, melodic sounds of blues melded with the sweet staccato rhythms of early Jazz.
With the rise in popularity of movies like Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby and TV shows like Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men, Jazz music and musicians are back in the limelight and are enjoying attention from a new and entirely different demographic— Millennials.
A flock of piano bars, cabarets, and jazz clubs have opened up in and around Chicago; some sprawling as far as Richmond. Raue Center For The Arts in Crystal Lake opened its own Piano Bar in its second floor lounge space, 26 North.
The influence of jazz is reaching out from the city’s gritty dark corners into little hidden gems of suburban nightspots, where different significant cultural and artistic outlets are developing.
This is good news not only for jazz lovers in McHenry County, but also for anyone who loves to see art and artistic organizations flourish in their community.
Piano Bar at 26N is open every First Friday at 7P- 26 N Williams Street, Crystal Lake, IL.