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Local music: PB&J, Sazzy jazz and Lincoln Park Live!

Local music: PB&J, Sazzy jazz and Lincoln Park Live!


There are only a couple more chances to catch Peanut Butter & Jam concerts at Veterans Memorial Park before the free concert series wraps up. Today’s concerts, at 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., will feature Chicago hit makers 7th Heaven.

The band has charted an impressive three No. 1 singles on the Midwest Billboard Charts in the past few years.They are also pretty famous for their “30 Songs in 30 Minutes” medley of hits from the ‘70s and ‘80s. The band is tight as they regularly average around 200 shows per year.

Feel free to bring a lawn chair or blanket and a picnic basket. It would be nice to throw some money the way of the vendors; food and refreshments will be available for purchase. Whether you grab a nice long lunch or an after-work refreshment, give yourself a treat. There are only two more chances to grab some PB&J this year.

7th Heaven performs today (Aug. 22) at 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. in Veterans Memorial Park, 625 52nd St. The shows are free and open to all ages.

Jazz at Sazzy B

The Bruce Mak Trio will be back at Sazzy B for their monthly gig Saturday. There will be a slight change in the lineup for this show. The ever lovable Tom Selear will be replaced at this show by a longtime member of the Mak tribe, Tim Keenan. Guitarist Bruce Mak and bassist Joe Olson will be performing as usual.

Mak is a Berkley College of Music alum and is equally comfortable playing jazz standards or more contemporary jazz along with other styles. If you want to hear a bit of their music before heading out, WGTD’s Dave McGrath will feature the trio on his “Noon Tunes” program the entire week leading up to the show. Showtime is 8:30 p.m., and it is free. Sazzy B has a full menu and interesting drinks.

The Bruce Mak Trio performs starting at 8:30 Saturday night (Aug. 24) at Sazzy B, 5623 Sixth Ave.

Lincoln Park Live!

Concerts aren’t just for weekends around here. Wednesdays have become a great evening to go out for an early show with the Lincoln Park Live! concert series.

Held in Lincoln Park’s flower gardens behind the Bruno Oribiletti Center, the free concerts showcase some of the best jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues and other genres in the area.

The show on Wednesday (Aug. 28) will feature Rogers Randle & Co. as well as the Ivy Ford Band.

Rogers Randle is a great guy and excellent musician who surrounds himself with great players. He delivers an engaging performance touching on R&B, soul, smooth jazz and blues with some funk.

Ford started out performing live with Kenosha’s legendary Real Deal Band at just 13 years old. Since then, the Chicago area musician who can play guitar, bass, piano, saxophone and drums has continued to grow her fan base and her skills, sharing stages with some of the Windy City’s top acts. She performs shows peppered with charging blues, jazz and some rockabilly. It will be an entertaining mix.

Rogers Randle & Co. will perform from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m., with Ivy Ford following. Lincoln Park is located east of 22nd Avenue at 70th Street. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket if you’d like.

Rogers Randle & Co. and Ivy Ford Band will perform starting at 5:45 p.m. (grounds open at 5:30) Wednesday (Aug. 28) at Lincoln Park Live!, 7010 22nd Ave.

Triple bill in downtown Racine

There is a super cool place to hang in Racine and hear great live music. Evelyn’s Club Main is located in Racine’s downtown Main Street strip and has live music occasionally. It’s not every weekend, but when they host shows, the bands are usually superb.

The historic landmark tavern will host a trio of touring bands on Friday. South Bend’s The Rutabega, Chicago/Milwaukee’s Lardo and Chicago’s Gerund will all perform at the free show.

The Rutabega are indie darlings, with music shifting from shimmering folk rock to squalling thunder. They call it “carp rock.”

Lardo is another slightly under the radar indie band specializing in a bit of stripped-down-to-the-core noisy rock riffage.

Gerund is more of a straight forward guitar rock trio sound and very listenable. with this club located in my neighborhood, I am looking forward to this show.

The Rutabega, Lardo and Gerund perform Friday (Aug. 23) at Evelyn’s Club Main, 331 Main St in Racine.

Union Park Tavern blues

There are a couple of blues shows this weekend over at Union Park Tavern. Low-Rene’s Luve Blues will be lighting up the place on Friday night. These cats are Chicago favorites with a core of fans here.

On Saturday, local guitar legend Terry James & The Blue Flames will put his many years of experience to the test. He has chops and a long list of songs that he can draw from. Check out either show, or better yet, both if you love rocking blues.

Low-Rene’s Live Blues performs Friday (Aug. 23), and Terry James & The Blue Flames perform Saturday (Aug. 24) at Union Park Tavern, 4520 Eighth Ave. The Saturday show is outside in the Biergarten.

That’s it for this week. Bands, artists and venues, please send me your calendars, gig listings, bio links, event listings and anything else you think might be useful to me to write up your show.

Email me at If I don’t know about it, I can’t write it up. Thank you for all that you do to keep music live. Fans, please remember all shows are subject to change.

PHOTOS: Lincoln Park Live: Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers

Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers — a band made up of Ade on vocals, Cameron Fair on cello and piano, Brittany Lumley playing multiple instruments and backing vocals, Roger Gower Jr. on drums, John Kulas on the bass and Joe Adamek on lead guitar — played a two-hour set at the latest installment of Lincoln Park Live in Lincoln Park, 6900 18th Ave., on Tuesday, July 17.

Here are a roundup of photos of the band performing at the event. 

Uploaded Photos

Betsy Ade and the Well-Known Strangers, seen here performing in Lincoln Park during the summer, are playing in Pennoyer Park Saturday as part …


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