Drummer Winard Harper and his sextet are coming to Chicago for a one week engagement at the famous Jazz Showcase, the city's second oldest operating jazz club. Beginning on Tuesday, July 4th, the group will do two shows a night. On Sunday, July 9, there will be three shows with the first at 4:00 PM. The Jazz Showcase is located at 312 West Grand Avenue and can be reached at 312-670-2473. Tickets for the Winard Harper Sextet are $20 and $25. The club's website has more information at www.jazzshowcase.com.
Winard Harper is considered one of the most exciting and innovative drummers in jazz, leading a group that mixes bebop with African and Caribbean rhythms. Equally at home with sticks, brushes or mallets, Harper is both a gifted soloist and rock-solid sideman, and he has surrounded himself with some outstanding young musicians. Trumpeter Josh Evans already is generating considerable attention at a young age, receiving the Outstanding Soloist Award from DownBeat Magazine and most recently winning the Wynton Kelly Award. Others in the group include saxophonist Stacy Dillard, pianist Sean Higgins, bassist Ameen Saleem and African percussionist Alioune Faye from Senegal.
Harper's newest album on Piadrum Records, Make It Happen, scheduled for early August release, is already generating considerable excitement due to its diversity and musicianship. Like the great Art Blakey, Winard Harper mixes standards and originals in a hard bop groove, often reminding listeners of a combination of Max Roach, Art Blakey and Billy Hart.
Harper is best known to Chicago audiences for his appearances with The Harper Brothers Quintet, Dr. Billy Taylor and the group's blockbuster appearance at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 2004. He also has worked regularly with Dexter Gordon, Betty Carter and Wycliffe Gordon, in addition to many guest appearances.
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